Yankees state of the system: Second Base

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 27: Tyler Wade
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 27: Tyler Wade /
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Ronald Torreyes vs. Tyler Wade

We don’t know how Ronald Torreyes will fare as a major league starter. He did a solid job of filling in for Gregorius last April. Annoyingly, Torreyes will always be overlooked (no pun intended) because of his stature (he’s listed at 5’8″ which is at least three inches too tall).

But he’s silenced detractors wherever he’s gone.

At a minimum, Torreyes will spend a third season as the team’s backup infielder. And if we’re talking bench players, give me Toe over almost anyone else at his position.

The Yankees also have the option of playing Torreyes at third, starting Andujar in Triple-A and rolling with Tyler Wade at second base.

Wade’s tools are intriguing. He’s a speed demon (26 steals in 85 games with Triple-A Scranton last year) and a good contact hitter (.310 AVG). He draws walks (.382 OBP). He’s got 10-15 homer power, and his legs allow him to stretch out extra-base hits.

Like Torres and Torreyes, Wade can play three infield positions. But he can also play the outfield, which sets him apart as a real utility man.

Wade, 23, struggled in sporadic playing time with the Bombers last summer. He received 58 at-bats, scattered across 30 games. There were long stretches when he didn’t play at all. At one point, he went two weeks (from July 9-23) without touching the field.

I know the All-Star break was in there somewhere, but come on. How can you expect Wade to hit if he doesn’t face live pitching for half a month?

MLB ranked Wade as the team’s 15th-best prospect heading into last season. That seems a little low. We don’t yet know what Wade will be in the major leagues. But if he hits his ceiling, he could be an All-Star or at least a versatile starter.

Wade has the potential to be an invaluable all-around contributor who can bat at either the top or the bottom of your order.

It’s possible general manager Brian Cashman acquires another big league infielder before the start of Spring Training. But even if he doesn’t, there are in-house choices. Although they’re mostly untested, the upside with each of them — Torres, Torreyes and Wade — is as apparent as it is significant.