Jesus Bastidas, INF
Though Talkin' Yanks' was being firmly sarcastic when they asked Yankee fans where they were when Jesus Bastidas "saved the season" with a spring training game-winning hit Monday night, the infielder -- who began camp completely off the radar -- has clearly popped in early action.
His "heroics" in primetime against the Tigers were impressive, but his thunderous home run in Dunedin on Sunday afternoon was the first moment he arrived as a name to watch moving forward.
Firmly lost in the mid-minors middle infield shuffle, Bastidas spent the entire 2022 season (his age-24 campaign) playing second base for Double-A Somerset and turning double plays with Anthony Volpe. Somehow, he didn't pick up any of Volpe's residual shine despite hitting 18 bombs and OPS'ing .750.
Hell, he didn't even pick up as much buzz as Andres Chaparro, the Somerset third baseman (who also went bombs away in Sunday's action against a Blue Jays pitching staff that CLEARLY wasn't ready for the Patriots' blitz).
The raw power is clearly there, based on Sunday's showcase, but you won't find Bastidas on any top prospect list or as the fourth piece in any trade discussions. Perhaps this year's spring training will serve as his coming out party -- especially if he's able to save the season. That'd be huge.