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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 3/16/18

Adams optioned to Triple-A; Sanchez might be “the most gifted hitter”; Bird focused on his timing; Andujar learning 1B; Wade might start at 2B over Walker; Ranking the top prospects

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports | Bryan Hoch: Going into camp, one of the prospects to watch was Chance Adams. The righty had an excellent 2017 but failed to impress in spring training. Though he was never really competing for a roster spot, a strong spring would’ve helped keep him in mind when the Yankees inevitably need pitching help. For now though, Adams was optioned to Triple-A. If he can build his fastball velocity, it’ll go a long way in helping his slider. He’ll still have his Chances though. | Bryan Hoch: Gary Sanchez knows a lot the hype around the Yankees has to do with their big baseball boys, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, who is now a Yankee. Yesterday, Sanchez reminded people of The Kraken’s might with a home run and five RBIs. While Judge and Stanton might steal the show, Sanchez might just be “the most gifted hitter” on the team. Gary is scary.

New York Post | Dan Martin: Greg Bird hasn’t really hit this spring but neither he nor Brian Cashman are too worried. Bird’s just been focused on getting his timing proper and using his legs, which he said he’s been doing better. He says he trying to pace himself so he’s not ready “too early” but rather his main focus is being ready for Opening Day.

New York Post | Ken Davidoff & Dan Martin: When the Yankees signed Neil Walker, one of the unexpected benefits was his ability to back up first base. In turn, the Yankees actually released Adam Lind from his minor league contract. Rather than just relying on Walker and Tyler Austin, though, the Yankees are also giving Miguel Andujar a shot at being more versatile for them. Andujar played first base for the Double-A squad in an intrasquad game against the Triple-A team.

Newsday | Anthony Rieber: Yesterday’s spring lineup might actually resemble the lineup that Aaron Boone sends out on Opening Day. The one surprise on there is that Tyler Wade might start at second base over the presumed new favorite, Neil Walker. While Walker might end up being the starter at second, Boone might be leaning towards Wade for Opening Day at least because of how well Wade is hitting right now. Combine that with how late in the game Walker is joining, Wade starting at second wouldn’t be too surprising.

FanRag Sports | Jon Heyman: With all the graduations and trades the Yankees have made over the past year, one would expect their farm system to take a hit. But the Yankees have so much depth their farm system is still “absolutely loaded.” Here’s a look at their top prospects and how Heyman would rank them. Unsurprisingly, Gleyber Torres headlines the class, followed by Estevan Florial, Miguel Andujar, Justus Sheffield, and Chance Adams.