Thank the GOOD BASEBALL LORD for non-40-man roster Spring Training workout footage, which allows us to watch Yankees rookies from Anthony Volpe to Jasson Dominguez to lower-tiered prospects during what might otherwise be the darkest possible timeline.
Typically in mid-February, we’re being treated to videos shot by beat writers on Blackberry Curves, somehow simultaneously recorded from behind a chain-link fence and while being dropped from a small plane.
This year? Not so much.
The big-leaguers have all been legally mandated to sit at home, and the veteran beat writers have all moved onto live-Tweeting their alma mater’s college basketball games.
Thanks to some intrepid prospect writers like John Brophy down in Tampa, we have eyes on the scene and have been treated to important footage, like Roderick Arias taking his first steps in uniform and Dominguez working on his oppo pop and altered stance.
On Friday, Brophy tweeted out a video of Arizona Fall League breakout outfielder Elijah Dunham ripping baseballs from the left side of the plate.
In case this is the first time you’ve actually seen Dunham instead of just reading about him, we hope you joined us in the shared experience of realizing he is an absolute tank who should do very well with the whole “Hit Strikes Hard” thing.
Yankees top prospect Elijah Dunham looks like a tank in BP session
When you talk about lefty-swinging outfielders who could help the Yankees sometime soon, it’s time to start talking about Dunham, who went undrafted in the five-round 2020 MLB Draft, falling directly into the Yanks’ lap.
Without the pandemic-induced shortening of the process, the Yankees certainly couldn’t have guaranteed themselves a shot at Dunham in quite the same way.
A masher out of Indiana in the Kyle Schwarber mold (Cashman’s dream man), the Dunham Breakout Process really began following the 2021 season in the Arizona Fall League; he hit .357 with a 1.037 OPS and 11 steals in just 23 games, emerging as one of the notables in a sea full of top names.
Oh, and while we’re here, keep an eye on switch-hitting top pick Ryder Green, too, who reportedly looked pretty great.
Farm system depth issues? What farm system depth issues?
Dunham looks like the player the Yankees dreamed they were obtaining after Year 1, and fills an immediate need in the Bronx whenever he’s ready. Hard to argue with that late-round (read: no-round) steal.
For a few, fleeting minutes, we’re glad we’ve received this reminder of Dunham’s talent instead of a Luis Severino bullpen video taken from across the Alabama border on a Motorola RAZR.