Yanks' No. 3 prospect ready to roll after injury

May 7th, 2023

ST. PETERSBURG -- After being sidelined for all of Spring Training due to injury, Austin Wells is back on the field with Double-A Somerset, aiming to continue his climb toward the Majors.

The Yankees’ No. 3 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, Wells participated in the first day of workouts at big league camp. He then spent most of the rest of the spring in the trainer’s room with what was initially believed to be a bruised rib, later diagnosed as a fracture.

“It’s hard to not think like, ‘Oh, I missed time, I need to catch up,’” Wells told MyCentralJersey’s Mike Ashmore. “But I think with the amount of games I’ll be able to play this year, I don’t need to do any sort of pressing or anything, so when I get back to feeling like me, it’s just going to be full go.”

Better health should have Wells, 23, back on the fast track toward The Show. The left-handed-hitting catcher hit .277/.385/.512 with 17 doubles, 20 homers and 65 RBIs in 92 games at three levels of the Yankees’ system last year, helping Somerset win the Eastern League title.

After beginning this season with five games at Single-A Tampa, Wells homered on Friday and Saturday for Somerset. A first-round pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, Wells entered play on Sunday batting .286 (4-for-14) against Double-A pitching.

“I’m still trying to get my feet under me at the plate and behind the plate, so I want to take advantage of getting the [at-bats] here to get my timing back,” he said.

Here’s a look at some other top performers in the Yankees system:

Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Andrés Chaparro had a day to remember on Saturday, going 2-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs in the RailRiders’ 7-3 victory over Rochester. The third baseman, who impressed this spring with his big league power, already has nine homers in 113 at-bats for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Also notable has been veteran outfielder , who had two hits Saturday to raise his Triple-A average to .467 (7-for-15). Could he be this year’s version of Matt Carpenter?

Double-A Somerset
Jasson Domínguez entered play on Sunday batting just .167 (11-for-66), though he has worked 24 walks in 92 plate appearances, good for a .391 on-base percentage. He told The Trentonian (N.J.) that while his average “seems pretty slow,” overall, “I feel really good so far.”

The No. 2 prospect in the organization according to MLB Pipeline, Domínguez has stolen 10 bases in 11 attempts. He’s also continuing to get reps in left field, saying that he feels “comfortable” there -- notable, considering the Yankees’ lack of production at the position in the Majors.

High-A Hudson Valley
Spencer Jones has been swinging a potent bat, entering play on Sunday batting .277/.314/.574 with seven doubles, three triples, five homers and 19 RBIs in 22 games. The Yankees’ No. 4 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, Jones hit a pair of homers in a 17-4 loss to Greenville on April 29.

Single-A Tampa
Justin Lange struck out 10 over five hitless innings on Saturday as the Tarpons edged the Bradenton Marauders, 1-0. Lange walked three in the 81-pitch effort, combining with three relievers on a one-hit shutout. The 21-year-old Lange was acquired by the Yankees in a March 2022 trade that shipped first baseman Luke Voit to the Padres.