The Yankees may have ended August with an extra-inning loss, but they’ll begin September with an influx of young prospects that has the team buzzing.
While the moves have not been made official, outfielder Jasson Dominguez and catcher Austin Wells are expected to be promoted to the Yankees once the rosters are expanded on Friday. Both players have done well this year in the minors, and will likely see a lot of playing time in the big leagues in the final month of the season.
“For me personally, it’s awesome,” Anthony Volpe said of the youth movement prior to Thursday’s game. “These are guys I’ve played with my whole career, really. Just what it means to them, and kind of what I got to experience is amazing, so for these guys to be able to go through it and just get a taste of everything, I’m super happy for them.”
The Yankees got started with the call ups this week when Oswald Peraza returned to the team and Everson Pereira made his MLB debut, but now the organization will see their No. 2 overall prospect in Dominguez and their No. 8 prospect in Wells starting this weekend.
Yankees fans may recognize Wells’ name as Volpe’s former teammate who met with the rookie in New Jersey when the shortstop was struggling. In the now-infamous “chicken parmigiana dinner,” Wells and Volpe figured out a batting stance correction that has seemingly saved his season.
This season, Wells is slashing .240/.333/.775 with 17 home runs and 72 RBI. That includes his 33-game stint at Triple-A where he smashed five homers and drove in 20 runs.
Volpe spoke with Wells over the phone when they got the news and said, “He’s super, super excited. It’s just amazing. He earned it.”
As for Dominguez, the outfielder has made his way up the ranks very quickly this season. He started the year in Double-A where he hit .254 with 15 home runs and 66 RBI in 109 games. He was then promoted to Triple-A where he went 13-for-31 (.419) with 10 RBI in just nine games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and now is about to don pinstripes.
Manager Aaron Boone spoke about Dominguez’s ability at the plate prior to Thursday’s game and how it can translate to the majors.
“He’s got power, bat speed and strike-zone discipline. He’s had that from a young age, the ability to understand the strike zone. We saw that in spring training. You just saw a lot of real quality at-bats.” Boone said. “He has all the physical and raw tools you need coupled with the DNA to control the strike zone and now it’s to see if you can take that to the highest level in the land and do it consistently there. That’s where we’ll start to see.”
We’ll see how much both Dominguez and Wells play this weekend when they go up against the defending World Series champion Houston Astros. If they are both in the lineup Friday, they’ll go up against Justin Verlander.
“They’re getting thrown into the fire but I think that’s the best way to go about it,” Clarke Schmidt said after the game. “It’s good to get the youth in here and the young blood in here. It makes for exciting times and adds some energy into the clubhouse. It’s fun to have younger guys in here, guys we can take under our wing and help get acclimated as much as we can and be able to help us this year and obviously in the future.
“These guys are top prospects for a reason. The organization has put a lot of effort into them so it’ll be fun to see how that process works out.”
The Yankees start a three-game series against the Astros in Houston on Friday night at 8:10 p.m.