The New York Yankees have had a disastrous 2023 season.
A franchise prided on winning currently sits in last place in the AL East.
So much has gone wrong for the Bronx Bombers, from Aaron Judge’s toe injury to Anthony Rizzo’s lingering concussion problems and veterans not performing up to standards. New York stood relatively pat at the Trade Deadline, believing their team could turn it around, but all that happened was a further free fall down the American League Wild Card standings.
In the final days of August, the Yankees seemed to have admitted defeat on the roster they created, releasing Josh Donaldson and placing Harrison Bader on waivers (who was later picked up by the Cincinnati Reds, while Donaldson signed with Milwaukee).
There was no other choice for the Yankees than to start taking a look at some of their top prospects, the young studs who are supposed to carry them to championships in a few years.
Early indications show that the new kids in town are going to put on a show for the foreseeable future…
The 2023 youth infusion started on August 22, when INF Oswald Peraza was re-called to the majors, along with OF Everson Pereira, for the first call-up of his career.
Pereira is the Yankees’ number 3 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. Since being called up, he has recorded seven hits in 49 at-bats, with five RBIs and two stolen bases. He had a huge go-ahead RBI single in the Yankees’ September 2nd 5-4 win over Houston.
Peraza has already had some time in the majors between 2022 and 2023 (he even started a playoff game for New York in 2022). He currently has 15 hits in 96 at-bats, with eight RBIs and four stolen bases. He also had a couple of big hits in the series against Houston.
The youth infusion continued on September 1st when MLB rosters expanded to 28 players. CF Jasson Dominguez and C Austin Wells were called up, sparking tons of excitement for Yankees fans.
Dominguez, nicknamed The Martian, is the prospect Yankees fans have waited so long to see. Signed at 16 years old out of the Dominican Republic, Dominguez has garnered comparisons to Bo Jackson, Mickey Mantle, and Mike Trout. The expectations are sky-high for the Yankees’ number 2 prospect (MLB Pipeline). So far, Dominguez has not disappointed. In his first major league at-bat, he homered off of future Hall of Fame pitcher Justin Verlander in Houston. He also hit a go-ahead homer off Cristian Javier on Sunday to help guide New York to a 6-1 victory. He has four hits in 17 at-bats with four RBIs.
Wells is the Yankees’ eighth-best prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. The left-handed hitting catcher has a bat that has been deemed major league-ready for a while, but his catching is what held the Yankees back from bringing him up sooner. In the early going, he has impressed behind the plate, as he has handled the Yankees staff beautifully through three games and is 1 for 1 in throwing out runners thus far. At the plate, he only has two hits in ten at-bats, but he hit a huge double in the 9th inning of New York’s 6-1 over Houston on Sunday to drive in an insurance run.
The Yankees’ infused youth has served them well so far. It has certainly energized the team as they are 9-5 since Peraza and Pereira came up, but more importantly, 4-0 since Dominguez and Wells were called up. This includes a sweep this past weekend of the defending World Series champion Houston Astros (in Houston!!), a franchise that has tormented them since 2015.
Although they still sit 7.5 games back of the third AL Wild Card spot, there is now a reason to get excited again for Yankees games down the stretch this September.