Last week, I highlighted three Cincinnati Reds prospects who I believe deserve more attention. I like how the article came out, so I figured I would do another system spotlight, and perhaps even turn this into a series. That leads us to the 2022 Dynasty Baseball New York Yankees Prospects Spotlight article!
I had multiple live looks at the Tampa Tarpons in the summer of 2021, so I will be writing about some of the most outstanding players I saw, all of whom I recommend you stash/acquire in your Dynasty leagues.
The Yankees’ system is simply loaded. Even with some trades in 2021 to thin out the system, like the Joey Gallo, Jameson Taillon, and Clay Holmes deals, this system still remains one of the strongest in all of baseball.
The headliner on the farm is top 10 overall prospect Anthony Volpe, who had a monster season. Oswald Peraza took a big step forward in 2021 as well, and Luis Gil was impressive in his MLB debut. The system features several other intriguing pitchers, such as Clarke Schmidt, Randy Vasquez, Ken Waldichuk, as well as many exciting young bats, like Alexander Vargas and Oswaldo Cabrera.
In this article, I will be highlighting six compelling hitting prospects in the Yankees’ system, whom I got a live look at. This is not meant to be a ranking, but instead just a spotlight on a few players who had successful seasons in 2021 and made strong impressions on me.
2022 Dynasty Baseball New York Yankees Prospects Spotlight
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Jasson Dominguez, Outfielder
Ok, let’s get the big one out of the way first. Jasson Dominguez is easily the most polarizing prospect in all of baseball. Depending on who you ask, he can be “the second coming of Mickey Mantle,” or he is “a complete bust who will never see the Majors.” The public opinion is skewed on “The Martian,” and his 2021 season only added to it.
Dominguez signed a huge contract with the Yankees in the summer of 2019 when the team emptied nearly all of their international bonus pool to ink Dominguez to a $5.1 million deal.
In January of 2021, @MLB posted a graphic on Twitter comparing Dominguez to Bo Jackson, Mickey Mantle, and Mike Trout. This was posted when Dominguez was a 17-year-old who had not made his professional debut yet. Lofty expectations to put on the kid, to say the least.
It was not until June of 2021 when Dominguez would debut, due to the pandemic. He played 7 games in the Florida Complex League at the end of June, before receiving a promotion to the Low-A Southeast League, where he would finish out 49 games with the Tarpons.
In a 214 PA stint, Dominguez hit five home runs, stole 7 bases, put up a slash line of .258/.346/.398, and a 105 wRC+. On the surface, these are not “amazing” numbers, especially for a player who is supposed to be a superstar. However, Dominguez is also only 18, while the average age of his competition is 21. With that in mind, it is quite impressive that he put above-average stats, especially considering he did not have any professional experience before this season.
The major thing Dominguez will need to work on going forward is perhaps his plate discipline, as he struck out 31.3% of the time. His walk rate of 9.8% is a good sign, and shows the potential for him to better hone the strike zone going forward.
Across four games where I saw Dominguez start, I did not see him record a single hit. Talk about bad luck. And yet, I am still a believer. The bat speed he displayed was beyond impressive, plus he switch-hits. The power is real, as he put up 110+ MPH exit velocities. And his athleticism in the outfield is notable.
While I do not think it is by any means a guarantee he will become a bonafide superstar, I also think the negativity surrounding him is far overblown. In my estimate, a reasonable expectation to hold for The Martian would be an everyday corner outfielder who can hit 25+ home runs, with a healthy on-base percentage.
If he can continue to improve, then that “superstar” status is within his reach, and he can legitimately be one of the league’s best players in the future.
Everson Pereira, Outfielder
It seems as though the hype is finally catching up to Pereira, as fans are starting to recognize just how good he was in 2021.
Pereira originally signed with the Yankees in 2017. He debuted in 2018 and put up an 88 wRC+ in Pulaski at Rookie Ball. In 2019, he played in Low-A Staten Island, where he had a 35.1 K%, .171/.216/.257 slash line, and 46 wRC+. Not exactly ideal, to say the least.
Come 2021, Pereira broke out in a big way. He played across three levels and launched 20 total home runs. Everson only played in 49 games, but the stats were straight out of a video game. He had a .361/.446/.667 slash line with a 195 wRC+ in Low-A Ball. Pereira had a .259/.354/.676 and 159 wRC+ in High-A Ball. These are numbers that some people may have expected Jasson Dominguez to produce coming into 2021, but not necessarily Pereira. And yet, here we are.
Pereira also kept his strikeout rate below 30% every step of the way and posted insane exit velocities. The sky is truly the limit for the 21-year-old, and he will be among the top prospects in baseball if he keeps on hitting.
Austin Wells, Catcher
Austin Wells was drafted by the Yankees in the 35th round of the 2018 MLB Draft. He did not sign and instead played for the Arizona Wildcats, where he put up strong numbers. The Yankees remained interested in him, as they then drafted him in the first round (28th overall) of the 2020 MLB Draft.
Wells performed very well in his pro debut. He played in 65 games for Low-A Tampa, where his stats simply demanded he get promoted to the next level. Austin had an .877 OPS with a 139 wRC+. He then got promoted to High-A Hudson Valley, where he just kept hitting. Wells had an .849 OPS and 130 wRC+ for the Renegades.
His strikeout rate jumped from 20.7% to 32.4% after the promotion, but all other signs were extremely positive.
After launching 16 HR across Tampa and Hudson Valley, the Yankees sent Wells to the Arizona Fall League, where he just kept hitting. Wells put up a .344/.456/.578 slash line for the Surprise Saguaros, leading them to a division title.
The key factor for Wells going forward will be where he ends up defensively. Although he is a catcher now, it would not be surprising if he gets shifted to first base, as Antonio Gomez lurks behind him on the depth chart.
Either way, Wells is slick with the bat and is firmly a prospect who will continue to be on the rise.
Trey Sweeney, Shortstop
Speaking of first-rounders, here is Trey Sweeney. He was drafted in the first round (20th overall) of the 2021 MLB Draft, out of Eastern Illinois University. In his final collegiate season, Sweeney knocked 14 homers with a .522 OBP, so it is no wonder why the Yankees drafted him where they did.
Sweeney was as good as advertised in his pro debut, as in 29 games with the Tarpons, he hit six home runs, stole three bases, had a .245/.357/.518 slash line, and a 133 wRC+. Not to mention that his plate discipline was stellar as well, as he had a 14.0 BB% and 22.5 K%.
It was a tremendously impressive and encouraging debut for Sweeney and gives me confidence in what to expect from him in the future.
Similar to Wells, the question mark for Sweeney is also his defensive home, as some scouts suggest he may be better suited for a corner infield role, or even in the outfield.
The bottom line is that his bat should play anywhere, and he is a player who should be highly targeted in all upcoming Dynasty league First-Year Player Drafts. Hop on the Sweeney hype train before it is too late.
Cooper Bowman, Second Baseman
Speaking of FYPD-eligible Yankee prospects who had good pro debuts, here is Cooper Bowman.
He was drafted in the fourth round out of Louisville, where he hit in front of “Mr 1.01” Henry Davis. Bowman’s 60+ grade speed is intriguing, as he stole 20 bases in his final season with the Cardinals.
In his pro debut with the Tarpons, he stole 11 bases, while posting a .789 OPS and 115 wRC+. Bowman possesses solid raw power and could become an impact bat in the future.
The Yankees’ system is loaded with middle-infielders, but if Bowman hits the ground running in 2022, he could start to separate himself from the pack.
He is one to keep an eye on going forward, and one to target in the mid-to-late rounds of your FYPDs.
Anthony Garcia, Outfielder
We finish off with a player who put himself on the map in 2021. Do you like hitters who possess 80-grade raw power while also walking at a high clip? Yeah, me too.
Garcia signed with the Yankees on the same day as teammate Everson Pereira in 2017. That J2 Class could end up being historic for New York.
Garcia and his power feasted on the GCL in 2018, though he did run a 41.7 K%, which is a little concerning. He then played in A-Ball in 2018 and 2019, where he struggled.
2021 was a different story, however. In 39 games between Rookie Ball and Low-A, he posted a .306/.444/.678 slash line, launching 14 home runs and stealing 15 bases. The power is legit, and it is intriguing, as he has posted exit velocities north of 115 MPH.
Similar to Dominguez, Garcia will likely need to cut down on his strikeouts, as he ran a 36.8 K% in 16 games with the Tarpons. Even still, that is by no means a dealbreaker when you are also able to put up a 19.1 BB%, as Garcia did.
Garcia has the potential to be a truly special player. His power is his calling card, and if he can hone the rest of his skills, he has a shot to be elite. I would recommend stashing him in your Dynasty leagues if he is available. 2022 will be an exciting and telling year for him.
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