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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 2/24/23

Domínguez following veterans’ example this spring; Bombers place three on FanGraphs’ Top 100; Cole loves what he’s seeing from Severino; Judge amenable to position change; Krook could earn spot in ‘pen

Surprise Saguaros v Mesa Solar Sox Photo by Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images | Pete Caldera: Yankees top prospect Jasson Domínguez earned an invitation to big league camp this spring and he’s determined to learn everything he can. He’s made a point to observe the veterans around him, absorbing the routines that helped them reach and stick at the major league level. He rose across three different levels last season, finishing the year at Double-A Somerset, where he led their Eastern League championship charge. His goal this year is to finish at a higher level than he starts at, though a strong Arizona Fall League created enough confidence that we may see him in the lineup for the upcoming Grapefruit League exhibition against the Phillies.

FanGraphs | Eric Logenhagen and Tess Taruskin: FanGraphs has released its preseason list of the Top 100 prospects for 2023 and three Yankees make the grade. Anthony Volpe is ranked highest at 11 while Oswald Peraza and Domínguez clock in at 40 and 50 respectively. The authors liken Volpe’s redesigned high-loft swing as a righty-handed version of Juan Soto, though they worry the bulk he’s added to his lower-half could compromise his defensive flexibility and range. They regard Peraza on the other hand as “quite comfortably the best defensive shortstop on the Yankees’ 40-man entering the 2023 season,” while wondering how Domínguez’s unprecedented raw power for his age will eventually translate at the major-league level. | Bryan Hoch: Hoch provides an update from the first week of activities at Yankees spring camp, first catching up with Gerrit Cole after a round of live BP. The Yankees’ ace was particularly impressed by what he’s seen from Luis Severino, saying “Sevy looks fresh. He’s got some wild horse characteristics to him right now; he’s got a lot of horsepower right now.”

Elsewhere around camp, the Bomber brought in a Triple-A umpire to call pitches as everyone adjusts to the new pitch clock rules. Michael King faced hitters for the third time since recovering from a season-ending broken elbow and has quickly rediscovered his confidence, while Giancarlo Stanton shared advice with Aaron Judge on how to approach a new season a year after his record-breaking feats.

CBS Sports | Matt Snyder: We relayed earlier in the week that the Yankees may try to get creative in the outfield to give reps to Stanton in right, including the possibility of Judge moving over to left. To his credit, the new Yankee captain sounded amenable to the position change, stating “I don’t mind switching around so we can have (Harrison) Bader, me, and Big G out there. So, we’ll get some reps in spring training and (get) comfortable out there.”

It’s an intriguing alternative solution to the uncertainty surrounding the left field starter, considering that Brian Cashman has said he expects Aaron Hicks to win the starting role out of camp.

Newsday | Erik Boland (subscription required): Scranton/Wilkes-Barre starter Matt Krook almost earned a call-up to the postseason roster last fall, and he has a chance to break camp with the big league team coming out of the bullpen. The 28-year-old southpaw made 29 appearances (22 starts) for the RailRiders, going 10-7 with a 4.09 ERA in 138.2 innings, striking out over a quarter of the batters he faced albeit with an elevated walk rate. Given that Wandy Peralta is the only lefty in the Yankees’ bullpen, Krook could earn a role as a lefty specialist, against whom he allowed a measly .499 OPS in 186 plate appearances.