Don't look now, but Yankees top prospect left fielder is heating up at Triple-A

2022 New York Yankees Archive
2022 New York Yankees Archive / New York Yankees/GettyImages

In case you're still not tired of reading about minor-league outfielders who are outperforming the players on the Yankees' major league roster (shoutout Estevan Florial), it looks like Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's got another one for you (and not a moment too soon).

Just a few short days ago, when The Athletic's Chris Kirschner evaluated the Yankees' left field situation, he noted that Dunham's OPS was still under .700 (.698 entering Wednesday), and his slow start should prevent the Yanks from pulling that particular lever too soon.

That's still true. Dunham, unlike Florial, is still viewed as an important piece of this franchise's long-term future. Florial was discarded several weeks ago, and somehow bounced back to the Yankees after the rest of the league deemed him unworthy of a claim. Dunham is a top-30 prospect (No. 17 onMLB Pipeline's list), which is the reason his development is prioritized. Instead, the Yankees prefer to play short-term fixes like Jake Bauers (injured quickly) and Willie Calhoun (not...great).

But ... maybe Dunham is closer than we thought? He, at least, appears to be a lesson in the joys of small sample sizes.

Since Kirschner's writing, he's elevated his OPS over 50 points to .749 in a matter of days. He's now hitting .247 with a .373 OBP after going 3-for-5 with 3 walks over the weekend. Add in his elite speed and hustle gene, and you have a player who could potentially make some second-half noise in the Bronx.

Yankees Top Prospect Elijah Dunham Almost Ready for MLB

Truth be told, we'd still like to see more. We'd also like to see what Bauers' reworked swing can do before we pull the plug on that experiment -- a first inning injury on an extra-effort catch was the cruelest way for it to start, though.

But Dunham's stat line has ascended quickly, since Kirschner's assessment, and he's also shown off a flair for the dramatic.

If that hustle double in the gloopy rain didn't impress you, perhaps you'd prefer Saturday's display, when he broke a tie in extra innings with a RBI double, then sent the game to the 11th (after it'd been re-tied) with a stunning full-on dive/double play to retire Bobby Dalbec.

Wait ... this guy makes spectacular catches AND survives?! Where do I sign up?

It's not quite time yet to hit the Dunham Button, but the Yankees clearly should be getting closer, based on both his pedigree and performance.