Yankees' fast-rising prospect with tremendous power has already made Double-A leap

Those are top-tier exit velocities from an unknown quantity.
Arkansas batter Jared Wegner celebrates after hitting a grand slam homer against Arkansas during the
Arkansas batter Jared Wegner celebrates after hitting a grand slam homer against Arkansas during the / Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News / USA

You might've missed the Yankees selecting Arkansas senior Jared Wegner in the ninth round in 2023, but the outfield walls in Somerset sure haven't.

While catcher Agustin Ramirez has stolen a good deal of the exit-velocity-related headlines at Double-A thus far this season -- and for good reason, considering he's somehow slammed nine homers, each one whipped harder than the last -- Wegner has been doing his fair share of powering Somerset's impressive offense, too.

Of course, it's not just noteworthy what he's doing. It's how he's doing it.

After signing with the Yankees last summer, Wegner was rocketed up the early portion of the team's minor-league ladder, spending two games in Rookie Ball, three games in Tampa, and 19 season-wrappers with the Hudson Valley Renegades. To start 2024, he was immediately bumped to Double-A -- Trystan Vrieling style -- and has mashed a trio of homers with an .870 OPS in his first 17 games. Two of those home runs were downright Stantonian in exit velocity.

Yankees have prospect Jared Wegner tearing cover off baseball at Double-A in first full professional season

The more infielders, the better, and the Yankees are currently collecting intriguing bats across the infield. Their hoarding could pay off soon, with Gleyber Torres set to hit free agency at the end of 2024 and DJ LeMahieu becoming less of a sure participant in MLB action by the hour.

At Triple-A, Caleb Durbin has used his versatility (and surprisingly potent bat) to take advantage of Oswald Peraza's absence and the high minors spotlight. Ditto TJ Rumfield, whose exit velocity numbers mirror Wegner's. Ben Cowles in Somerset has also improved his quality of contact, and top-tier shortstops like George Lombard Jr. and Roderick Arias lurk beneath (and could always change positions).

Wegner's name has gotten lost in the shuffle, but the offseason exodus of Trey Sweeney has opened up additional opportunities for him at the Double-A level, and it appears the Yankees' logjam may be even greater in size than initially anticipated.