Yankees: Getting to know newest Bombers prospect, Josh Stowers
Though it appeared the Yankees were trading Sonny Gray to the Reds for a package including No. 7 prospect, Shed Long — the Bombers turned around and shipped him to Seattle for 21-year-old outfielder, Josh Stowers.
Left-handed hitting second baseman, Shed Long, 23, looked to be a solid piece for the Yankees to acquire in return for the much-maligned Sonny Gray.
However, after six seasons of minor league ball, reaching as high as Double-A, Long would have needed to be placed on the Yanks’ 40-man roster, or risk him being selected in the Rule 5 draft.
Therefore, general manager, Brian Cashman quickly pivoted Long to the Mariners for their No. 9 prospect (according to Baseball America) — outfielder, Josh Stowers.
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At 21 years of age, and recently drafted with the 54th pick in the second round of the 2018 draft, Stowers gives the Yanks a promising farmhand that will be allowed to grow without immediate room for worry.
A two-year starter at the University of Louisville, Stowers was named to the 2018 D1Baseball and NCBWA All-America third teams, thanks in large part to his .336 batting average, 72 runs scored, 14 doubles, nine home runs, 60 RBIs, 52 walks and 36 stolen bases in 62 games played.
The speedy center fielder ranked third in the nation in stolen bases, fifth in runs scored, 17th in walks and 23rd in OPB (.477) — to go along with his 2018 All-ACC First-Team and Academic-Team standing.
During his first taste of the minors, Stowers played 58 games in the Low-A Northwest League, slashing .260/.380/.410 with 32 runs scored, 82 total bases, 15 doubles, five homers, 28 RBI, 20 stolen bases and 37 walks in 244 plate appearances.
Stowers’ major league physique (6-foot-1, 205 pounds), has been compared to that of former big leaguer, Marlon Byrd. With his patient approach at the plate, line drive ability and proficiency to steal bases, Stowers has as good a shot as any to climb the ladder to the Bronx.
The only question is Stowers’ below-average throwing arm which could push him towards left field, rather than his customary center, where he has been excellent thus far.