3 Yankees prospects that could make unexpected impact at spring training

2022 New York Yankees Archive
2022 New York Yankees Archive / New York Yankees/GettyImages
3 of 3

1. Elijah Dunham

About that left field situation...

Some optimistic fans figure top prospect Everson Pereira could be the eventual option, but don't forget Elijah Dunham is ahead of him experience-wise at the moment. Dunham got the invite to spring training and just completed a full season at Double-A, while Pereira logged 29 games there in 2022.

Pereria's also played an overwhelming majority of his pro career in center field, whereas Dunham's a corner outfielder, with most of his success coming in left (.988 fielding percentage in 106 games). Additionally, he's an absolute unit (6-foot, 213 pounds) who steals a ton of bases (65 in 203 minor-league games).

Though his OBP and SLG took a slight dip with the full-time promotion to Double-A, Dunham still clubbed 26 doubles and 17 homers at Somerset. He stole 37 bases. He didn't make a single error in 50 games in left. In the Arizona Fall League at the end of the 2021 season, he hit .357 with a 1.037 OPS and 11 stolen bases in 23 games.

A spring training breakout could fast track him to Triple-A and change the midseason discussion around the left field position at the big-league level once we approach the trade deadline. Yes, the preferable option is another above-average MLB player, but you can't predict the market. If the Cubs overachieve, Ian Happ may not be available. Bryan Reynolds isn't going anywhere, unless the Pirates get their way. Gotta control what you can control, and Dunham is here, waiting to take the next step and show off that sweet lefty swing.