While everyone focuses and talks about the cream of the New York Yankees' crop of top prospects -- Anthony Volpe, Oswald Peraza, Austin Wells and Jasson Dominguez -- let us direct your attention to some lesser-known names that have the potential to make an impact this spring training.
Such "impacts" range from getting an expedited bump in the minor leagues to cracking the Opening Day roster. The latter is highly unexpected, but setting the table by making an impression for a midseason callup or a promotion when rosters expand could mean everything for these prospects.
The Yankees have roster needs at this very moment, despite their contender status. Left field isn't solved. Sure, Josh Donaldson will open the season at third base, but are we sure he'll hold onto the job all year? The bullpen still needs a little bit of help. The rotation, as ironclad as it looks, will always need reinforcement (especially with Frankie Montas out to begin the season).
Here's the second-tier of Yankees prospects headed to spring training in Tampa that you should probably be keeping tabs on over the next few weeks.
3 Yankees prospects that could make unexpected impact at spring training
3. Sean Boyle
You might not find Sean Boyle in the Yankees' top 30 prospects, and that's because his career got off to a slow start. The pitcher made just 26 appearances from 2018-2020, never going beyond Low-A. Then came 2021, when he quietly burst onto the scene with a 1.99 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 98 strikeouts across 27 games (10 starts), totaling 86 innings. He pitched in Single-A, High-A, Double-A and Triple-A that year.
In 2022, he started the season at Double-A Somerset and logged 19 starts before returning to Triple-A Scranton. The right-hander finished with a 3.71 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 160 strikeouts in 28 games (27 starts), totaling 155.1 innings.
It wasn't until the end of the 2021 season that Boyle could be properly evaluated and ranked in the Yankees' farm system, but now that he's entering his age-26 season, it still remains difficult for him to crack the top 30, with so many more promising younger players ahead of him.
Nonetheless, the fact that he took part in two no-hitters in 2021 (one all by himself) and surged ahead in 2022 to record the largest workload of his career shows that he has an outside shot to maybe earn a spot in the bullpen. He's emphasized his slider to work alongside his two-seamer and also sports a sinker.
Is it that crazy if he knocks one of Jhony Brito, Jimmy Cordero, Deivi Garcia or Matt Krook out of the mix?