Yankees putting major stock in these three prospects

February 26th, 2024

This story was excerpted from Bryan Hoch's Yankees Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

There have been more potential moves crossing Hal Steinbrenner’s desk in recent weeks, as general manager Brian Cashman continues to scan the marketplace for additional talent. Cashman has said that he does not consider himself to be “pencils down” by any means.

Pitching has been the focus, but thus far, the Yankees have been busy saying no. That’s because Cashman continues to be asked about the club’s top prospects, including outfielder , right-hander and righty .

“A lot of the other trades we were looking at there, everybody seemed to want guys like Warren and Hampton,” Steinbrenner said. “I just wasn’t willing to part with them.”

Jones showed a glimpse of his potential on Saturday during the Yankees’ spring opener against the Tigers in Lakeland, Fla., coming off the bench to blast a 470-foot pinch-hit home run. Jones finished that contest 3-for-3 with four RBIs and a hit-by-pitch.

“I just want to play baseball and do what I do,” Jones said. “Hit the ball hard, run fast, play the outfield. So I’m just going to do it day after day, and however it goes, it goes.”

Here is a closer look at the top prospects Steinbrenner mentioned:

OF Spencer Jones, 22

MLB Pipeline ranking: Yankees’ No. 1 prospect (No. 84 overall)

How he was acquired: First-round selection (25th overall) in the 2022 MLB Draft from Vanderbilt University. Received a $2.88 million signing bonus.

2023 stats: .267/.336/.444, 29 doubles, four triples, 16 home runs, 66 RBIs, 43 stolen bases in 117 games at High-A Hudson Valley and Double-A Somerset.

Scouting report: Touted as a left-handed Aaron Judge, Jones offers an intriguing combination of power and uncommon athleticism for a 6-foot-6, 235-pounder. His bat speed, strength and leverage produce well-above-average raw power and exit velocities. Aggressive on the bases, Jones covers ground with long strides in center field.

2024 outlook: Expected to begin the season at Double-A Somerset.

Quote to note: “The first thing that stands out is how fast he is. He’s obviously a big man, but he can fly. He’s a guy that I could legitimately see as a really good defender in center field, the way he goes and gets the ball and moves.” -- Yankees manager Aaron Boone

RHP Chase Hampton, 22

MLB Pipeline ranking: Yankees’ No. 4 prospect (No. 92 overall)

How he was acquired: Sixth-round selection (190th overall) from Texas Tech University in the 2022 MLB Draft. Received a $497,500 signing bonus.

2023 stats: 4-3 record, 3.63 ERA in 20 starts for High-A Hudson Valley and Double-A Somerset. In 106 2/3 innings, he permitted 85 hits, walking 37 while striking out 145.

Scouting report: Hampton features a fastball that sits at 92-94 mph and peaks around 97 mph with a high spin rate. His tight low-80s slider gives him a second plus pitch, and he has added an upper-80s cutter. He has the upside of a No. 3 starter and should be able to help the Yankees as soon as he fine tunes his command.

2024 outlook: Expected to begin the season at Double-A Somerset. Could see Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre during the second half.

Quote to note: “I’m just going out there trying to win as much as possible, and honestly, trying to punch everybody out.” -- Hampton

RHP Will Warren, 24

MLB Pipeline ranking: Yankees’ No. 8 prospect

How he was acquired: Eighth-round selection (243rd overall) from Southeastern Louisiana University in the 2021 MLB Draft, Received a $150,000 signing bonus.

2023 stats: 10-4 record, 3.35 ERA in 27 games (25 starts) for Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In 129 innings, he permitted 109 hits with 59 walks, striking out 149.

Scouting report: Warren’s best weapon is a slider that ranges from 84-88 mph with sweep. He generates groundouts with a two-seamer that sits 91-93 mph and is more reliable than his four-seam, which touched 97 mph last year. He also has an upper-70s curveball with high spin rates and a mid-80s changeup with some fade.

2024 outlook: Expected to begin the season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he’d be on the short list for a big league promotion.

Quote to note: “My goal is to just show them what I’ve got and give myself a chance to break camp with the team. Whether it’s at the end of camp or midway through the season, I’m going to show them that I’m here to help them win a championship.” -- Warren