Though prospect expert Keith Law is worried about New York Yankees slugger Andres Chaparro holding up at his current frame over the course of his career, even he has to admit that when it's all working for the slugging third baseman ... the package is very impressive.
So far this spring, Chaparro and his advanced exit velocity are making significant noise, as the 23-year-old works his hardest not to be overshadowed by the exploits of Anthony Volpe and Jasson Dominguez.
Not everyone can be a 20-year-old Martian who's leading the league's most storied team in hitting or a 21-year-old shortstop earning comparisons to Derek Jeter (plus Bo Jackson, Mike Trout and Mickey Mantle for good measure, just so he can fit in with Dominguez). But Chaparro -- who we'd wager is younger than you thought, too -- has been making the most of big-league camp.
Wonder if the teams that bypassed him in the Rule 5 Draft are starting to regret it yet? Especially the Mets, who already returned reliever Zach Greene to the Yankees on Tuesday afternoon?
Yankees top prospect Andres Chaparro slugging in 2023 MLB spring training
In 27 at-bats through the action of March 14, Chaparro was hitting .333 with a 1.197 OPS and now four hard-hit homers.
Considering the team's infield glut and the ever-present Giancarlo Stanton in the DH spot, you'd be inclined to say that a player like Chaparro wouldn't have a clear path to playing time in the Bronx. That said, the third base portion of the Yankees' infield picture doesn't exactly have a fan-favorite atop the depth chart at the moment.
Chaparro isn't a clear defensive standout, but every team can use a bench bat who can deliver a bomb at a moment's notice while filling in at first and third; ironically, his fourth spring homer came Tuesday in his first at-bat of relief in place of Anthony Rizzo. There's a chance all he's doing this spring is opening up the eyes of the rest of the league, but the Yankees value exit velocity enough to know that bats like Chaparro's don't come around often (he peaked at a top-tier 117 MPH in the minors in 2022). Forget the Keith Law "50-pound" weight digs for a minute. He's 6-1, 200 pounds, not 5-8, 240.
Considering that raw data is now translating into production at some approximation of the big-league level, it could be viable to view Chaparro as a potential midseason talent infusion this year in the mold of Oswald and Oswaldo last summer.
Who knows? Maybe he and Dominguez become this year's midseason package.