Yankees committed to keeping prospect Austin Wells at catcher


TAMPA — The Yankees’ main league roster is in flux proper now, with no true shortstop, two second basemen and questions surrounding first base, middle discipline and catcher. 

The franchise is also making an attempt to kind out issues within the minors, the place there are various extremely ranked prospects at shortstop and a number of other at catcher. 

That has left a number of scouts questioning the place a few of these minor leaguers would possibly find yourself, together with shortstop Anthony Volpe and catcher Austin Wells. 

For now, although, the Yankees are decided to maintain Volpe at brief and Wells behind the plate — however they’re open to being versatile with Wells. 

“Relying the place different guys are, he can compete at Double-A with [Josh] Breaux,’’ Yankees VP of participant improvement Kevin Reese mentioned of the group’s plans for Wells and one other of their finest backstop prospects. “Then we’d get slightly inventive to maintain his bat within the lineup. None of that’s [because] of concern about his catching skill.” 

Wells was drafted as a catcher within the first spherical of the 2020 draft out of the College of Arizona. 

Austin Wells
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Publish

The 22-year-old hung out at first base and performed all three outfield positions in faculty, however he insists he considers himself solely a catcher proper now. 

“I do love catching,’’ Wells mentioned. “It’s undoubtedly probably the most demanding place, which I like.” 

He has been engaged on his arm energy, which was a crimson flag for some scouts when he was drafted. 

Austin Wells
Austin Wells views himself solely as a catcher.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Publish

And he believes he has improved considerably in sure areas, one above all. 

“Undoubtedly in receiving,’’ Wells mentioned. “That’s [been] the largest soar. It was night time and day from after I acquired right here til now.” 

He performed nicely at Low-A Tampa and Excessive-A Hudson Valley final yr, hitting 16 homers with an .867 OPS in his first season within the professionals, and adopted it up with a stellar efficiency within the Arizona Fall League, posting a 1.034 OPS in 18 video games. 

Alex Wells
Alex Wells’ offensive sport is forward of his protection.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Publish

His calling card stays his offense, with a strong bat from the left facet, which is perhaps prepared for the majors earlier than the identical may be mentioned for his protection. 

So far as the shortstop depth is anxious, Oswald Peraza figures to be ticketed for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, with Volpe at Somerset and Trey Sweeney at Excessive-A Hudson Valley. 

“We wish to get them as many reps there as attainable,” Reese mentioned of the shortstops. 

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