If there's one thing the New York Yankees lack for both the immediate and long-term future, it's left-handed power.
If there are two things the New York Yankees lack, it's a thumper behind the plate. And a left fielder. And a rotation behind Gerrit Cole. And a -- Ok, fine, it's a lot of things. Lots of lacks, actually.
But luckily, the team took a large step towards attempting to figure things out on Wednesday evening. A two-step, actually, promoting switch-hitting outfielder/Martian Jasson Dominguez, as well as lefty power bat Austin Wells, who'll be catching at the MLB level (for now).
Dominguez is the headline-grabber; after all, who saw the 20-year-old reaching the big leagues in September after being promoted to Triple-A on Aug. 21, following the elevation of Everson Pereira to the Yankees? Remember when Pereira was the "youth movement" 10 days ago? How quickly things change.
But don't lose Wells' potent and college-experienced bat in the Dominguez headlines. While he's still reportedly a work in progress behind the plate (and working his ass off to prove his detractors wrong at the position), there's something naturally devastating in his lumber, and he has just as much of a chance as Dominguez does to prove himself to be essential this month.
Yankees promote catcher Austin Wells alongside Jasson Dominguez for Friday game vs Astros
It helps to have a catchy nickname and to rise through the minors with Mike Trout comparisons attached, but the more lefty sluggers the Yankees can uncover, the better. If one of those lefty sluggers can catch? Whew.
Unlike Dominguez, who'll be joining an outfield replete with vacancies, Wells will be the team's third catcher down the stretch (or, at least, one of three). It would stand to reason that Ben Rortvedt will catch Gerrit Cole. Wells and Kyle Higashioka will probably split the rest of the duty. The 2020 first-rounder would never have gotten this chance if not for roster expansion rules, but he has as good a chance as Dominguez to make the most of it.
Questions about the total Wells package remain, but questions about the bat have never been very loud. After rehabbing an offseason rib fracture that knocked him out of spring training and delayed his ascent, he found his footing at Double-A, then posted better marks in a 33-game stint at Triple-A SWB, OPSing .801 after reaching .770 in Somerset.
Wells won't be able to answer every question about his long-term positional fit in four weeks, but if there's anyone who deserves your attention, it's the possible unicorn catcher with the first baseman's bat fighting to stay behind the plate and change the Yankees' calculus moving forward.