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New York Yankees @ Pittsburgh Pirates: Hayden Wesneski vs. Wil Crowe

The Yankees take the diamond for the first time in 2022

Brooklyn Cyclones vs Hudson Valley Renegades Set Number: X163621 TK1

Yankees baseball is back! After a disappointing end to a frustrating 2021, followed by an owner-imposed lockout that sucked the joy out of the offseason, capped off by a second free agency that left some fans feeling distinctly underwhelmed, the Bronx Bombers are back. And hope springs eternal! So let’s go win a championship.

Throwing out the first pitch for the Yankees this spring is 24-year-old right-hander Hayden Wesneski, our No. 8-ranked pitching prospect. The young hurler pitched across three levels of minor league ball in 2021, ascending all the way to Triple-A, where he threw 11 innings. All told, he threw 130.1 innings in his age-23 season and looks primed to rack up starts and innings at Triple-A in 2022.

Wesneski features four-seam and two-seam fastballs that sit between 92 and 95 mph, topping out at 96. He augments those with what FanGraphs describes as a cutter, a slider they list as his best pitch (a present and future 60 on the 20-80 scale), and a changeup. Listed at 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds, FanGraphs projects Wesneski as at least a fifth starter, with the potential to ascend further as he progresses.

As for the Yankees’ lineup, Joey Gallo, Gleyber Torres, and Isiah Kiner-Falefa headline the regulars scheduled to make the trip. (Luke Voit was originally in the lineup but was scratched after being traded to the Padres.) But some Baby Bombers are along for the ride… exciting ones, too. Austin Wells is with the big club, fresh off his 1.034 OPS appearance in the Arizona Fall League appearance. So too is wunderkind shortstop Anthony Volpe, MLB.com’s No. 8-ranked prospect in all of baseball, who has fans salivating after his meteoric 2021 season.

Welcome back, baseball! Time to get 2022 off on the right foot. Win some spring training games, stay healthy, and get ready for the 162-game marathon that begins in mere weeks.

How to watch

Location: LECOM Park — Bradenton, FL

First pitch: 1:05 p.m. ET

TV broadcast: AT&T SportsNet – PIT

Radio broadcast: 1001.1FM / KDKA-AM 1020

Online stream: MLB.tv

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