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Yankees Farm Report: Top prospects are getting hot

The Yankees' farm hands haven’t played to their potential this year. Sound familiar? But as July has gotten hotter, so have some of the Yankees' best minor leaguers.


True minor leaguers

The Yankees' top prospects have been having a helluva July. Everywhere you look, you see base hits and big home runs.


Of course, any player can get hot. But when highly touted prospects with well-established bona fides do it, it takes on more significance. That list certainly includes Roderick Arias down at the Florida Complex League, which is where we start.


Rocking Roderick


Roderick’s numbers for the year are already promising, hitting .267/.423/.505. Add in his six home runs, two doubles, and two triples, and Arias has a robust OPS of .928.


Those numbers are fine on their own. But they look a lot better compared to how he did in his first year with the Yankees: he ended his 2022 season in the Dominican League at .194/.379/.370.


His high on-base percentage and low OPS suggested a player with a good eye at the plate but with low power potential. This year, he’s showing he’s able to keep his plate discipline while adding more raw power.


Through the month of July, however, he’s really shown his potential. Roderick has slashed .314/.510/.657 in the last 28 days while blasting three home runs to go with a triple and a double. That’s how the man earned a 1.167 OPS.


Now that’s promising. Especially for a shortstop. Yankees fans have been praying for the next Derek Jeter; they might be getting the next A-Rod (without the drama, we hope).


The Yankees will be sending Arias to Low-A Tampa and soon, if not High-A Hudson Valley. Get your tickets now to see this young and likely rapidly rising prospect. But you don’t have to wait at all to see another highly-thought of player who’s also been putting on a show this July, Spencer Jones.


Spencer For Hire


Jones, like Arias, is having a good year. There’s nothing wrong with hitting .271/.340/.477. Especially not with his power. Spencer’s hit twelve home runs, a whopping 23 doubles, and four triples. That’s why the outfielder is rocking an OPS of .817.


Those numbers are more than enough to offset his striking out in a third of his at-bats, but there’s plenty of room for improvement.


And improve he has.


Jones has spent July bettering all his numbers, including strikeouts. His line of .318/.411/.476 and OPS of .887 might be a sign of him elevating his game. That’s especially true since he’s controlling the strike zone better, striking out in but a fourth of his ABs.


The only question now is whether Arias and Jones will play together or if Jones will already be gone by the time Roderick arrives.


We don’t have to wait for either of them, however, as we’re going to Somerset right now to take a peek at Jasson Dominguez.


The Yankees Double Down


Dominguez hasn’t had as good of a year as Jones and Arias. If he didn’t have the history and pedigree he does, his line of .223/.351/.368 would suggest a player of little to no note. A bit more promising is that he’s hit twelve home runs, eight doubles, and two triples. Those pushed his OPS to a respectable .718 for the season.


But we know what this kid can do. He showed that late last season when he led the Patriots to their championship, then put on a power display in Spring Training.


Here in July, he seems to be rounding into a much more complete hitter. His slash of .296/.367/.398 shows a young man learning how to control the strike zone against better pitching. That’s why his OPS for the month sits at .765, even though his power numbers are a bit down with two home runs, a double, and a triple.


Some of you might be thinking that his numbers aren’t nearly as impressive as the first two men we’ve looked at. And they’re certainly not as great as the next man on our list.


What makes them actually more impressive, however, is his age. Dominguez is only 20 years old and will be through the season. Yet he’s doing his work at Double-A, where the average age is 23. Plus, he’s hitting at a time when the age of the pitchers in that league has gone up–according to Baseball America–while those of the batters have stayed the same.


Arias, on the other hand, is just about to turn 19, and he’s three levels below Dominguez. Jones is doing his work at the age of 22. And he’s at the level below Jasson.


That makes what Dominguez is doing much more impressive. But no one at any age or level has been showing his skills more this month than the soon-to-be Yankees centerfielder Everson Pereira.


Coming Soon to Yankees' Stadium


Everson started the season alongside his younger teammate Dominguez, where he spent the season outshining him. The 22-year-old hit .291/.362/.546 with ten home runs, ten doubles, and a triple. The Yankees took one look at his OPS of .908 at the start of the month and decided he was ready to move to Scranton.


They probably hoped he could get enough at-bats to be ready for a tryout on the big club by next year.


Instead, he’s shown he’s ready right now.


Pereira only got better with his promotion on July 4th. In fifteen games at Triple-A, he’s hitting .323/.373/.565 with a mouth-watering .938 OPS. That’s what happens when you hit four home runs and three doubles. He’s also doing a great job controlling the strike zone, whiffing at only a 27% rate.


Rumors run rampant at this time of year. Most of them are just talk. But there is one floating around right now that makes perfect sense, that the Yankees are going to trade Harrison Bader and Isiah Kiner-Falefa.


This makes sense for financial reasons. The Yankees are 1.1 million over the Cohen tax threshold, meaning they have to pay 90% extra for every dollar. Trading two guys who are not under contract for next year would get them back below that mark.


The move makes little sense from a baseball perspective, however. IKF is the team's best utility player, but the Yankees will be okay without him.


But they are dangerously thin at centerfield.


Billy McKinney can play the position, but he’s not a superstar out there. And Judge, who’s played a lot at centerfield, will be nursing his toe injury at least through the end of the season. It’s unlikely he logs anytime in centerfield from here on out.


The move makes a lot more sense, though, if the Yankees are going to promote Pereira. It’s true he’s only played fifteen games at Scranton, but needs must as the devil drives. Besides, they already promoted Anthony Volpe and he logged a very similar twenty-two games at Triple-A.


Yankees fans should expect that move any day now.


They should also expect both Jones and Arias to move up, and soon. And as they get closer to the Bronx, they can expect their excitement to rise as well. It’s possible the Yankees are on the verge of producing another round of Baby Bombers.


But that’s a story for another day.


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