Thanks to international signings and the draft, the New York Yankees possess a treasure trove of shortstops at the minor-league level.
This is excellent news, even though they also seem to have a treasure at the big-league level in Anthony Volpe.
Just because there's an infield logjam brewing does not mean stockpiling shortstops loses value, though. Gleyber Torres' future in the Bronx isn't secure long-term. Josh Donaldson is only under contract through the end of 2023. Oswald Peraza didn't stick this spring, and it's unclear whether the Yankees are sold on his potential.
The Bronx Bombers need plenty of infield options moving forward, and they also need trade pieces, if they intend to keep Jasson Dominguez, Austin Wells and Spencer Jones (and they should!). That would leave Peraza, Trey Sweeney and Roderick Arias atop the list of potentially tradeable middle infield assets.
And The Athletic would like to make sure that Alexander Vargas doesn't get lost in the scrum. Now 21 years old, the 5-10, 148-pound Cuban import has found his defensive footing at High-A Hudson Valley, and is also exploding offensively, on pace for a "30 homer/30 stolen base type season," per Jim Bowden's estimation. He ranked as the lone Yankee to watch on The Athletic's recently-published list of under-discussed prospects you, the reader, should know.
Yankees shortstop Alexander Vargas makes Athletic's list of notable prospects
Vargas comes with a hit tool grade of 55 (with 80 being maxed out) and a run grade of 70. His power still lags behind at 40, but that hasn't stopped him from logging 6 bombs in 166 High-A at-bats this season.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman seems sold on Vargas' potential, admitting that he's finally living up to the pressure of his signing bonus this season.
"We gave Alexander a $2.5 million signing bonus and he floundered at first until (maturing physically). He can fly like the wind and is a true shortstop."- Brian Cashman, on Vargas
Now, does Cashman envision Vargas as a Yankee, or as another Jorge Mateo? That's for the Chicago White Sox to find out in this summer's Luis Robert deal.
Either way, when discussing the Yankees' bright future up the middle, don't forget Vargas, who's bearing fruit for New York's scouting department after many years stuck in the mud.