New York Yankees Prospect Check-In: Week 4

Week four of spring training concluded with the Yankees‘ roster drawing closer to the required 26 players. With only ten short days remaining until the Yankees face the Astros on opening day in Houston, prospects are making their final case, and veterans are fine-tuning mechanics.

C – Austin Wells

The week started rough for the team, losing 9-4 to the Red Sox, but Austin Wells continued to make his case to be an everyday player. He sent a sharp line drive into right field for a double in his first at-bat and grounded out in his only other appearance. In the loss to the Tigers, Wells got a break from behind the dish and served as the designated hitter instead. In his two appearances, Wells singled on a line drive to right field and grounded out on a slow roller to the pitcher. Wells struck out and popped out to center field in a close game against Toronto on Friday, but he opened Saturday’s game by sending a two-run homer over the right field wall. He finished the game with a lineout to short and a strikeout. Wells finished the week strong in Monday’s game against Philly, tallying a single to right, popping out to center, and striking out. Austin Wells finished the week with a respectable .300 average, two home runs, eight RBIs, one stolen base, and an OPS of .964.

OF – Spencer Jones

To say Spencer Jones had a productive week would be an understatement. The start of his week was quiet enough, with him hitting a soft grounder to first base and drawing a walk in the loss to Boston. Jones’ next appearance would be in Saturday’s spring breakout game, pitting the baby bombers against Toronto’s top prospects. After the Yankees routed the Blue Jays 10-9 at Steinbrenner Field, Spencer Jones treated the remaining fans to a hitting clinic. The spring breakout game quickly turned into the Spencer Jones show after his first at-bat resulted in a 399-foot blast to right-center, quickly putting the Yankees ahead. Jones showcased his wheels in his next at-bat by turning an infield chopper into a hit, and he finished the day by crushing a fastball from Blue Jays pitcher Fernando Perez 427 feet over the center field wall. Jones has appeared in 11 games this spring and is hitting an impressive 7-17, including a home run, a double, three walks, and no strikeouts—all while carrying a 1.171 OPS. There is a good reason people are comparing the young slugger to Aaron Judge. Jones finished his week on Sunday in the team’s loss to Boston. While not quite as spectacular as his spring breakout performance, Jones chalked up a double and a walk.

OF – Everson Pereira

After a two-day rest, Everson Pereira got his week off to a good start in Friday’s game against the Pirates, singling on a ground ball to right field and later collecting an RBI. Pereira started in Sunday’s game against the Red Sox but struggled to see the zone all day, striking out three times on six total pitches. His spring slash line moved to .188/.206/.281 with 14 strikeouts, which is not encouraging for a Yankees team that needs bench depth heading into the regular season.

INF – Jorbit Vivas

The Yankees front office will likely focus on Jorbit Vivas, with DJ LeMahieu’s injury status “to be determined.” Vivas has taken reps at 3rd base while in the Dodgers system, but reports indicate he is better suited for 2nd base. Those same reports cite his reaction time and arm strength as factors, but with LeMahieu not likely to spend much time on the injured list, Vivas is a viable option. He got his first playing time this week against the Tigers, starting his day with a fly out to left field. His next at-bat ended in a strikeout, and he would finish the day with a pop-out and another strikeout to end the game. He took the field next against Pittsburgh, going 1-2 with a line drive single and a strikeout, and finished his week replacing Gleyber Torres but having no plate appearances. Vivas’ spring line now sits at .217/.419/.478, with four runs, five hits, two home runs, four RBIs, four walks, and ten strikeouts.

P – Will Warren

Will Warren’s start against Boston was, to put it mildly, horrible. Warren surrendered five runs in the first inning before the coaching staff pulled him, but thanks to spring training rules, he returned in the second inning. Warren showed resilience by taking the mound and retiring the side in order. He pitched 2.2 total innings and collected five strikeouts, salvaging a start that showed maturity for a pitcher of his age and experience.

INF – George Lombard Jr.

George Lombard Jr. started his week uneventfully, pinch-running for Oswaldo Cabrera and remaining at shortstop for the remaining inning against the Tigers. Lombard would only play in one additional game this week, striking out in the eighth inning to Boston’s Cody Scroggins.

The Week Ahead

The Yankees play their final spring training games this week, including a split-squad game in Mexico City on Sunday and Monday. The Yankees schedule is:

Wednesday: vs Pittsburgh – 6:35 PM
Thursday: @Atlanta – 1:05 PM
Friday: vs New York Mets – 1:05 PM
Saturday: split-squad @Detroit – 1:05 PM, vs Philadelphia – 1:05 PM
Sunday: split-squad @Pittsburgh – 1:05 PM, @Mexico City Diablos Rojos – 4:00 PM
Monday: split-squad vs New York Mets – 1:05 PM, Mexico City Diablos Rojos – 8:00 PM

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