What are the chances Andres Chaparro forces the issue at third base for Yankees?

Feb 22, 2023; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson (28) during photo day at
Feb 22, 2023; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson (28) during photo day at / Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees fans have been keeping a close eye on prospect Andres Chaparro, who wasn't protected from the Rule 5 Draft but somehow remained with the organization when no team scooped him up. Seems like an oversight if you ask us!

Chaparro might be entering his age-24 season after just 64 total games at Double-A (the highest level he's reached), but the numbers are undeniable. His career with the Yankees got off to a rocky start from 2016-2020, when he put together parts of four very uninspiring seasons before 2020 was canceled.

But then came 2021 when he found his power stroke. Over the last two campaigns across Single-A Tampa, High-A Hudson Valley, Double-A Somerset and the Arizona Fall League, Chaparro has completely flipped the narrative. He has 38 home runs and 143 RBI across 192 games. He's hit .279 and maintained an OPS in the .900s.

He received a non-roster invite to spring training this year alongside top prospects Anthony Volpe, Jasson Dominguez, Austin Wells and Elijah Dunham. On Thursday, he absolutely demolished a home run while facing live pitching.

Though the excitement makes it seem like some are encouraged he could make an impact at the MLB level sooner than later, let's start with what needs to happen first: Chaparro needs an impressive spring to start the year at Triple-A Scranton, which would expedite his eventual arrival to the bigs.

Could Andres Chaparro eventually take over at third base for the Yankees?

The Yankees are going to wait it out with Josh Donaldson until they absolutely cannot do so any longer. Fans are familiar with how these situations go. Aaron Hicks is still getting reps and could start in left field. They rarely pull the plug when situations reach a boiling point. So thinking Chaparro could make any sort of big-league impact before July is wishful thinking.

There's also the complication with the 40-man roster. Chaparro isn't on it, so if he were to make to the majors, the Yankees would need to clear space for him. That wouldn't necessarily be difficult (guys like Deivi Garcia, Ben Rortvedt and Estevan Florial are occupying spots at the moment and figure to contribute nothing or very little), but Brian Cashman won't be making a big decision like that unless he's absolutely sure the trade-off will bring some sort of results.

There's also his defense, which isn't the greatest. He has a .917 fielding percentage at third base in 291 minor-league games and has since started logging more games at first base the last couple seasons (where he was much better). The Yankees don't need a first baseman, but could use a backup on the bench. Either way, not an immediate need at the moment.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Venezuelan has come a long way, but a few practice highlights in spring training won't allow him to supplant a $25 million player on the MLB roster at a position where he isn't adept defensively. The Yankees will need to see results in spring games and then at least a few months at the highest level of the minor leagues before even considering such a drastic move.

It's not that we aren't hoping for it (we are, because any move that gets Donaldson off the roster is of universal support among fans), it's just that there are a few more hoops to jump through before Chaparro sniffs MLB action.