Big Ben: Young Yankees Energize Team

Austin Wells, Jasson Dominguez and some other guy.

BRONX, NY – Whoopsie daisies, is it my turn again already? I was busy getting irrationally excited about the Young Yankees turning this season into something more than meaningless. Let me throw something together before The Matts fine me again.

Patience with Volpe Pays Off

Anthony Volpe has had a roller coaster of a season. They tried to jam him into the leadoff spot for a while, then he hit last for a time, and has been all over the lineup since. And while his final stat line isn’t going to blow your skirt off, it is going to end up being a very good rookie year.

Volpe became the first Yankees’ rookie to steal 20 and hit 20 dongs. Sure, the new rules helped with the steals, but with nearly a month to go, he would’ve gotten there anyway. And there has lately been some Gold Glove buzz. Not bad for a guy considered to have a mediocre arm and being behind Peraza as a prospect.

The key with this kid was patience. It’s not always possible to give youngster a long look and let them play through struggles when the expectation is to win every year. But a cup of coffee isn’t enough to tell you if someone should stay for breakfast. If you want a player to develop, it doesn’t always happen from day one.

No Patience with Esteban

In contrast, take Estevan Florial. He was once a top prospect of the Yankees, but earlier this season he was put on waivers. He cleared and returned to the minors when no one thought he was worth a waiver claim. Florial was never given a true shot in pinstripes with only 20 ABs in 2021 and 31 ABs in 2022.

The man has hit in the minors with a .277 BA, 24 HRs, 69 RBI, and 24 steals in Triple A this season. But in spite of the Yankees outfield issues this season, he never even got a sniff. I’m not saying he would have made it, but he should have gotten a longer look at some point.

Young Yankees

Ben Whitney

Since “Baby Bombers” was already used, Michael Kay has been pushing “Yankee Yutes” as the new moniker for the current crop of youngsters bringing excitement to the Bronx. But maybe a reference to a 30+ year old movie isn’t the way to describe a group of players who weren’t even born at the time?

Anyway, the Martian, Jasson Dominguez is leading the way and he sure passes the eye test. This guy does not look like a 20-year-old kid and looks like he doesn’t take second fiddle to Judge or anyone else in the weight room. A switch hitter who can run and play center field? Yes, please. I know he was named after Jason Giambi, with an extra ‘S’, but nobody’s perfect.

Austin Wells is a hit-first catcher who impressed by gunning out a speedy runner with a near perfect throw on the first ever steal attempt against him. A lefty catcher with a terrible ‘stache who can hit? Yes, I’ll have that.

Everson Pereira is also getting a long look in left and Oswaldo Peraza is getting a look at third. Not all of these guys will pan out. Yankees’ fans will remember that after Aaron Judge homered in his first AB ever, Tyler Austin made it back-to-back blasts with a dinger of his own. Austin in currently playing in Japan.

Still, the change of topic from the Yankees are old and terrible and have all of these bad contracts has been refreshing. I just bought some $7 tickets to see these kids play.

That’s it for me. Be sure to check out the stellar Jimmy Buffet tribute by Angry Ward. 

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About Ben Whitney 384 Articles
Ben Whitney comes from journalistic stock. Aside from his brothers, rumor has that his great-great grandfather was the youngest brother of Eli Whitney and covered the earliest "rounders" games. Big Ben is also another New York Rugby Club player/pal of Different Matt, Short Matt and Junoir Blaber. He likes film noir discussions, has twin girls and took up ice hockey after retiring from rugby.