TAMPA — Trey Sweeney is 6-foot-4, quiet, performs within the infield and might hit.
Drafted within the first spherical by the Yankees final June, the 21-year-old is simply beginning his first spring coaching with the group and has already impressed some with similarities to DJ LeMahieu, resulting from his demeanor, physique sort and work ethic.
Now, the Yankees hope he develops into the same sort of participant — though Sweeney hits from the left facet.
“I really like him as a participant,’’ new hitting coach Dillon Lawson mentioned Wednesday on the Yankees’ improvement complicated. “It’s thrilling to consider the shortstop group we’ve got proper now within the group.”
Sweeney is among the many more moderen additions to that group, becoming a member of Anthony Volpe — thought of by many observers to be among the many high prospects within the sport — in addition to Oswald Peraza, who may discover his strategy to The Bronx in some unspecified time in the future late this season.
Sweeney wasn’t closely recruited out of St. Xavier Excessive Faculty in Louisville, Kentucky. He wound up taking part in in faculty at Jap Illinois College, the place he was coached by Jason Anderson.
Anderson was drafted by the Yankees in 2000 as a right-handed pitcher, spent components of 2003 and 2005 in The Bronx, in addition to a part of ’03 with the Mets after being a part of the deal that introduced Armando Benitez to the Yankees.
Anderson didn’t care about who else recruited Sweeney, he was simply glad he acquired him.
“I don’t know what it’s we noticed [in Sweeney], it was extra about what others didn’t see,’’ Anderson mentioned by cellphone. “We beloved every little thing about him and knew after his first observe right here he’d be our beginning shortstop.”
What stood out to Anderson then continues to be the case now.
“He’s acquired the scale, a terrific lefty swing and a superb arm,’’ Anderson mentioned. “I all the time known as him a unicorn. He was too good to be true. He performs the sport the correct manner and with the correct mindset. He’s not going to say a lot, he’s simply going to concentrate on the work.”
Sweeney spent a handful of video games final summer time within the Florida Complicated League earlier than being moved to Low-A Tampa, the place he performed properly in 29 video games.
With Peraza seemingly headed to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (in some unspecified time in the future, since he’s on the 40-man roster and might’t play till the MLB lockout ends) and Volpe (who, like Sweeney, will not be on the 40-man roster and might subsequently play) seemingly sure for Double-A Somerset, Sweeney may find yourself at Tampa or Excessive-A Hudson Valley.
“It was good I acquired somewhat skilled expertise underneath my belt,’’ Sweeney mentioned. “I’m simply trying to continue learning a whole lot of new issues this 12 months. A very powerful factor is to not fear an excessive amount of about outcomes proper now and simply concentrate on bettering my sport.”
As a freshman in faculty, Sweeney mentioned he had no expectations of being picked within the first spherical.
After a strong first season, Sweeney hit properly as a sophomore earlier than that 12 months was minimize quick due to the COVID pandemic. He continued to develop final season as a redshirt sophomore, which put him into a distinct trajectory.
“My first couple years [in college], perhaps the primary spherical wasn’t an possibility, but it surely wasn’t too stunning by the top,’’ Sweeney mentioned of his ’21 season at Jap Illinois, when he was named Ohio Valley Convention Participant of the Yr. “None of it was a considered mine going into faculty.”
As of late, he’s matched up with Volpe, the Yankees’ first-round decide from 2019.
“It’s cool to see that degree of competitors day by day,’’ Sweeney mentioned. “Taking part in alongside somebody like that’s enjoyable. I believe we make one another higher.”
What the Yankees do with their depth on the spot shall be a major query as soon as the lockout ends. Sweeney want to see all of them stick round.
“We’re positively loaded at that place,’’ Sweeney mentioned. “Hopefully we are able to all hold shifting ahead.”