Where do Yankees' Spencer Jones, underrated top prospects start 2023 season?
By Adam Weinrib
This season, New York Yankees fans experienced a rarity: Anthony Volpe, perhaps the team's most exciting prospect, was brought north with the team for Opening Day instead of being banished to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Usually, tracking Yankees top prospects is a waiting game. In this instance, the team followed their hearts (and heads) and put an early stop to all that trademark waiting.
But what about the team's other top prospects and breakout candidates? The landing spots for the team's top three most buzzed-about names were fairly obvious; Jasson Dominguez headed to Double-A to continue his ascent, while Oswald Peraza unfortunately ended up at Triple-A after losing a head-to-head competition.
But what about 2022 first-rounder Spencer Jones, the 6-7 outfielder out of Vanderbilt who's been widely assumed to be "next up" in the Yankees' system? And what about Austin Wells, who departed spring training early with an ill-timed fractured rib?
Yankees Top Prospects: Where does Spencer Jones begin 2023 season?
MLB Pipeline has culled the complete list of where their Yankees' Top 30 prospects will land to start 2023, with Wells on the Double-A Somerset IL and Jones at High-A Hudson Valley. 22 games at Tampa last season (3 homers, .325 average, .905 OPS) apparently represented a large enough sample size.
Other intriguing Yankees landing spots include No. 10 prospect and breakout pitcher Richard Fitts joining Will Warren and his sweeper at Double-A Somerset, while No. 8 prospect Drew Thorpe looks to continue to add velocity and further differentiate his fastball from his ridiculous changeup at Hudson Valley.
No. 11 prospect Yoendrys Gomez raised early alarms when he didn't show up on anyone's roster, and he finally surfaced on Tuesday, when it was revealed he was battling right shoulder stiffness at extended spring training. Joining him in Florida will be righties Brendan Beck (completing his Tommy John rehab), Trystan Vrieling (battling something in his right elbow), and Matt Sauer (who, yet again, has a forearm strain).
Jones may be the Yankees' biggest-ticket item in the minors this season (non-Martian division), but the team's pitching development remains equally important, with so many names threatening to break out. Hopefully, New York's braintrust picks the right arms to deploy at the deadline this season.