The Yankees have little over a week left of spring training, and while not all decisions have been made, the team has already seen what it needs to see. Spring training is a time for prospects to come into big league camp and impress those with decision-making power. This year, the Yankees saw some good things out of their prospects, but they also saw some bad. Now, as the veterans start getting more playing time, it’s time to look at the winners and losers from spring training 2018.
Miguel Andujar: It would be easy to think that Andujar came out of spring training as a loser, considering he went into it as the de facto starting third baseman. However, the deal for Brandon Drury should have told us all that the Yankees were just not ready to hand him the keys to the castle just yet. Still, Andujar went out there and showed them what he can do. Four home runs and nine RBI, and some solid defense, put him in the spotlight in the early goings of spring. His production eventually fell off, but he definitely did a great job keeping himself in the conversation.
Estevan Florial: At just 20 years old, and without any experience at the upper levels of the minor league system, Estevan Florial had no chance at making this team. However, he did manage to get people talking, and that’s a victory all by itself. So far he’s hit .286/.400/.571 with three triples, setting up his season to start on a high note. Florial is bound to be the best prospect in the system before long, so it’s good that he showed he can stick with the big boys.
Billy McKinney: After seeing his value bottom out in 2016, the Yankees have done a fantastic job giving him an opportunity to bring himself back into relevancy. After an impressive 2017 season, McKinney came out swinging this spring, and it’s landed him in arm’s reach of a big league job. He has socked four home runs and drove in 11 RBI this spring, and even if he doesn’t make the team, he’s done incredible work making himself relevant again. If he can carry this play into the regular season, we are certain to see him in the event of an injury.
Domingo German: German already looked good in the small amount of big league innings he got in 2017, but he’s really turned it up this spring. He may still need to work on limiting walks, but he’s more than proven his ability to strike out batters with the best of them. German has maintained an 0.84 ERA in 10.2 innings, and he’s struck out 13 batters so far. He’s one of the finalists to make the big league team, but either way we should be seeing more from him in 2018 as a long reliever.
Tyler Wade: After Gleyber Torres was cut from camp, it looked like Wade was in the clear to get the starting second base role until Neil Walker was brought in. Despite this unfortunate turn of events, Wade should not be disappointed with anything he has done so far. After a disappointing first taste of the big leagues, he came into camp and hit. Batting .310/.447/.379 while offering versatile defense will turn heads, and he’s still in the running for a roster spot. Whether he makes it now or later on down the line, he should be happy with what he has accomplished here.
Chance Adams: Adams came into the spring hoping to make an impression, but he did nothing to show the Yankees that he is ready to make the jump. His roster status already put him at a disadvantage, though allowing six runs in just 4.2 innings is not going to do you any favors. Thankfully he has an entire season to get back to doing what he has been able to do best, but his ability to pitch against big league talent will remain in question.
Luis Cessa: It feels like Cessa is running out of time to solidify his role in this organization. A 6.75 ERA in 5.1 innings isn’t going to do him any favors, and the success of German this spring could push him further down in the pecking order. It doesn’t seem like Cessa is a guy to rely on, and his performance really just accentuates that fact at this point.
Clint Frazier: This one is really unfortunate, because given Jacoby Ellsbury’s status, Frazier might have made this team out of spring training. Dealing with a concussion is never fun, but it’s even scarier when it is someone this young. Hopefully he can recover before too long and be on his way to a productive minor league season.
Gleyber Torres: Everyone thought that Gleyber Torres was going to be the Opening Day second baseman, but even if he hit well, it would have been a very unlikely call for the Yankees to make. It just made too much sense to keep Torres down a few weeks, but on top of that he didn’t hit. It’s not really his fault, considering he lost so much time last year, but even a decent batting line would have been nice to see. Now he just needs to go back down and do the work. He’s still likely to see the majors this year.
Justus Sheffield: Big things are expected from Sheffield this year, but he didn’t show any of it in spring training. He allowed seven runs in 5.1 innings, and never seemed to be able to get the outs he needed. It’s a good thing the Yankees didn’t keep him around very long because it might have gotten even worse with time. Now, all he has to do is pick up where he left off from last year. Hopefully he can do that because the Yankees will likely need him before too long.
Who have you been impressed by, and who has disappointed you? Let us know!