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Didi cool with playing between pair of rookies

Yanks SS assisting prospects Andujar, Torres; Florial on the rise
MLB.com

TAMPA, Fla. -- As touted prospects Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres pursue a place on the Yankees' Opening Day roster, shortstop Didi Gregorius has no concerns about the possibility of being sandwiched between a pair of rookies in the infield.

"I don't think there are going to be any challenges," Gregorius said. "I talk to them all the time and say, 'Just play the same way you played in the Minor Leagues.' That's what got you here. You don't have to change anything. Just be yourself and play the game the right way, and everything will settle out."

TAMPA, Fla. -- As touted prospects Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres pursue a place on the Yankees' Opening Day roster, shortstop Didi Gregorius has no concerns about the possibility of being sandwiched between a pair of rookies in the infield.

"I don't think there are going to be any challenges," Gregorius said. "I talk to them all the time and say, 'Just play the same way you played in the Minor Leagues.' That's what got you here. You don't have to change anything. Just be yourself and play the game the right way, and everything will settle out."

Yankees Spring Training information

The Yankees have vacancies at second and third base, with Andujar, Torres, Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Wade vying for roles, along with non-roster invitees Danny Espinosa and Jace Peterson. Andujar is solely viewed as a third baseman, while the others will move among second base, third base and shortstop. However, the Yanks acquired third baseman Brandon Drury from the D-backs on Tuesday in a three-team trade that also included the Rays.

"I'm trying to contain my excitement, because I'm really excited about them," manager Aaron Boone said of Andujar and Torres. "I think they're both going to be tremendous players. I really do. I love who they are. They come to work and you can tell they enjoy being out on the baseball field. You can tell they're confident in their ability, the way they move around, yet there's a humility about both of them. I think they have a chance to be really, really impact players for a long time in the big leagues."

Andujar, 22, appeared briefly in the Majors last season, going 4-for-7 (.571) with two doubles and four RBIs. While scouts believe that his bat is close to big league-ready, coming off a Minor League campaign in which he hit .315/.352/.498 at Double-A and Triple-A, Andujar has been huddling with infield coach Carlos Mendoza to improve his glove work at the hot corner.

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"Defensive drills, practicing and consistency is the key for me, and working hard like I do every day," Andujar said through an interpreter.

Torres, the Yankees' top prospect and the No. 5 prospect in all of baseball according to MLB Pipeline, is participating in full workouts coming off season-ending Tommy John surgery on his left elbow in June.

General manager Brian Cashman said that the 21-year-old Torres was heading for a big league callup last year, when he hit .287/.383/.480 in 55 games at Double-A and Triple-A.

Though the Yankees could delay Torres' free agency an extra year if they stash him in the Minors for an extra 16 days, Cashman has said that service time will not be part of the equation in evaluating Torres' spring.

Video: Quick Hits: Torres and Andujar

"I just want to help my team, try to play defense and hit," Torres said. "If I get an opportunity to play there the first day, of course I'll put in my 100 percent. If not, I'll stay focused and I'll stay humble, and we'll see what happens after that."

Rising fast

Estevan Florial's name has consistently appeared near the top of the Yankees' Minor League rankings, and the organization is eager to get the five-tool center fielder on the field during big league camp this spring.

"His potential is real," Boone said. "He's one of those guys we view as a very high-ceiling kid. Hopefully, we can get him out there quite a bit and help him to take a step in the process of being comfortable in that clubhouse and being around some impactful big-time stars. I think it's going to go a long way in helping him with his development, and I think you'll see him playing quite a bit early in games."

Video: Top Prospects: Estevan Florial, OF, Yankees

Florial, 20, is the second-highest ranked Yankees prospect on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 list, and the team's top outfield prospect. He hit .297/.373/.483 in 91 games at Class-A Charleston, earning a promotion to Class A Tampa, where he hit .303/.368/.461 in 19 games before participating in the Arizona Fall League.

As he settles into his first big league camp, Florial said that he is looking forward to playing alongside the likes of Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.

"When you hear about those guys, you want to be around them as much as you can so you can learn," Florial said. "It's really good to meet all those guys here, all those great players around here. To try to learn from them, it's a great experience. I'm very happy about it."

Florial said that he is working with the coaching staff to reduce his strikeouts after fanning 148 times in 420 at-bats last season. Florial has been projected to make the big leagues by 2020.

"I'm not going to say I need one year or two years," Florial said. "That decision, I'll leave it to the GM. They'll know when I'm ready for it."

He said it

"How do I think he's going to fit in? Good. ... Have you seen his Instagram?" - Gregorius, on Stanton

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar, Estevan Florial, Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres

Gleyber 'full go' in pursuit of Opening Day roster

Yanks' top prospect completely recovered from left elbow surgery
MLB.com

TAMPA, Fla. -- Gleyber Torres will be a "full go" when Grapefruit League games begin next week, according to Yankees manager Aaron Boone, who plans to utilize the 21-year-old at second base, third base and shortstop while the Yankees evaluate his chances of making the Opening Day roster.

Rated as the Yankees' top prospect and the No. 5 prospect in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline, Torres will have no restrictions following Tommy John surgery on his left (non-throwing) elbow. He sustained a season-ending injury in June while playing for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

TAMPA, Fla. -- Gleyber Torres will be a "full go" when Grapefruit League games begin next week, according to Yankees manager Aaron Boone, who plans to utilize the 21-year-old at second base, third base and shortstop while the Yankees evaluate his chances of making the Opening Day roster.

Rated as the Yankees' top prospect and the No. 5 prospect in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline, Torres will have no restrictions following Tommy John surgery on his left (non-throwing) elbow. He sustained a season-ending injury in June while playing for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

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"I feel like a little kid with a new toy," Torres said. "I'm excited to play again and just enjoy it. I don't think about if I'm going to make Opening Day or go to Scranton or go to the Minor Leagues for two weeks. I don't put in too much [thought] right now. I just want to enjoy and play the game."

Torres has been working out regularly at the team's Minor League complex, where he has resumed live batting practice and defensive drills. While conducting a nine-minute group interview in English, Torres said on Saturday that his arm now feels "100 percent," and Boone is looking forward to seeing Torres in game action.

"He's been down here for a while already," Boone said. "He's been doing everything for a while. He's completely over the injury and recovered and strong and in a good place physically."

Video: Yankees duo ready for Spring Training to begin

Though most of his professional experience has come at shortstop, Torres said he has been working on angles and turning double plays at second base, where he played 10 games last season. Torres also said he feels comfortable at third base, where he played 15 games in 2017, even though he said ground balls seem to come much faster at the hot corner.

A more significant adjustment may come on the basepaths. On June 17 at Buffalo, N.Y., while playing in his 23rd game for the RailRiders, Torres dove headfirst into home plate while attempting to score on a single to right field, colliding with catcher Raffy Lopez. Torres said he has been practicing feet-first slides and will try not to slide headfirst anymore.

"I'm going to take care of my arm," Torres said. "I want to feel comfortable."

The Yankees have two vacancies in their infield, with Miguel Andujar, Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Wade also vying for starting roles. Non-roster invitees Danny Espinosa and Jace Peterson could also have legitimate shots of breaking camp with the big league club, but none have been as celebrated in the Yanks' chain as Torres.

A potential stumbling block to seeing Torres in the Opening Day lineup is that the Yankees could delay his free agency until the offseason of 2024-25 if Torres remains in the Minors an extra 16 days. General manager Brian Cashman has said that service time will not be a consideration in evaluating Torres' roster push, and Torres said he is not concerned about the possibility of being sent down.

"The team knows everything," Torres said. "I don't want to put my mentality in that. I just want to help my team. If I get an opportunity to play the first day, of course, I will put in my 100 percent in the game. If not, I'll stay focused, I'll stay humble and we'll see what happens after that."

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

Yanks prospect Estrada OK after gunshot wound

MLB.com

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees prospect Thairo Estrada is recovering from a gunshot wound to his right hip sustained during an attempted robbery in late January, and while Opening Day is in doubt, manager Aaron Boone said that the infielder is expected to be able to play the bulk of his season.

The 21-year-old Estrada said that he was in his hometown of Bejuma, Venezuela, on Jan. 28, when two teenage boys approached him at a restaurant counter, demanding cash or a cell phone. After telling them that he was carrying neither, Estrada had his pockets searched and heard a loud bang.

TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees prospect Thairo Estrada is recovering from a gunshot wound to his right hip sustained during an attempted robbery in late January, and while Opening Day is in doubt, manager Aaron Boone said that the infielder is expected to be able to play the bulk of his season.

The 21-year-old Estrada said that he was in his hometown of Bejuma, Venezuela, on Jan. 28, when two teenage boys approached him at a restaurant counter, demanding cash or a cell phone. After telling them that he was carrying neither, Estrada had his pockets searched and heard a loud bang.

"In the moment, you can't really believe that something like that is happening to you," Estrada said through an interpreter. "I was getting ready for Spring Training and all of a sudden you realize that you have been shot."

Estrada is New York's 16th-ranked prospect, per MLB Pipeline. The Venezuelan infielder has spent the last five seasons in the Yankees' organization. He hit .301/.353/.392 with six home runs and 48 RBIs through 122 games with Double-A Trenton in 2017, and had been listed as a candidate to grab one of the team's infield vacancies.

"We're just really thankful that he's OK," Boone said. "I've been touching base with him every day. Emotionally and mentally, he's doing well. I think he's in a good spot moving forward and he's one of those infielders that we're really excited about. Nothing changes this year for him."

There was no struggle between Estrada and the attempted robbers, whom Estrada said he did not recognize. Estrada was with his wife, who was unharmed, and he initially did not realize that he had been shot. He sought medical attention after discovering a small wound and had surgery on Jan. 29.

"Right after it happened, I didn't have any feeling," Estrada said. "I was walking around fine. I went to the hospital, they did some tests and that's when they noticed there was a bullet inside. They did an operation and I was in the hospital for a few days."

The bullet remains lodged in Estrada's hip, and he said there are no further procedures scheduled to remove it. He has been doing upper-body workouts in camp and should progress to riding a stationary bicycle next week, saying that he is happy with his recuperation so far.

"I don't think it's going to affect me at all. I feel good," Estrada said. "I don't think it will be a problem."

Venezuela has been plagued by turmoil in recent years, with a climate of political unrest accompanying a significant spike in crime. Food and medical attention have also grown scarce.

"The situation there is not very good, not very safe," Estrada said. "As baseball players, it makes you think about [not] even going back anymore."

New York Yankees, Thairo Estrada

Prospects could fill void in Yankees' infield

An early projection of New York's 25-man Opening Day roster
MLB.com

TAMPA, Fla. -- Spring Training is more entertaining with legitimate battles taking place, and that projects to be the case in Yankees camp, where manager Aaron Boone's depth chart features question marks at a pair of infield spots.

The organization is high on top prospects Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar, and the youngsters could be the answers at second and third base. Boone will also hammer out the back end of his starting rotation and his last bullpen spot, though those decisions typically are not made until the final week of camp.

TAMPA, Fla. -- Spring Training is more entertaining with legitimate battles taking place, and that projects to be the case in Yankees camp, where manager Aaron Boone's depth chart features question marks at a pair of infield spots.

The organization is high on top prospects Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar, and the youngsters could be the answers at second and third base. Boone will also hammer out the back end of his starting rotation and his last bullpen spot, though those decisions typically are not made until the final week of camp.

Yankees Spring Training: Info | Tickets | Schedule

"I view Spring Training as a time where it's about the individual," Boone said. "It's about getting each guy ready for Opening Day. We're going to do things from a team concept. We'll do some team-building things. We'll do things that I think are important in building on camaraderie and our on-the-field focus, but it's about getting individuals on the field ready."

While it is too early to know for sure who needs to pack their passports for Opening Day (March 29, against the Blue Jays in Toronto), here is MLB.com's first educated guess at the Yankees' 25-man roster:

Video: Outlook: Sanchez might be game's best hitting catcher

Catcher (2): Gary Sanchez is set to return as the starter after hitting a career-high 33 homers in 2017, giving him 53 in just 177 big league games. Austin Romine is expected to serve as the backup, with Kyle Higashioka beginning the year at Triple-A.

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First base (2): Greg Bird is locked in as the starter, aiming to play his first full big league season. The Yanks' faith in Bird was rewarded when the lefty-swinging slugger had eight homers and 25 RBIs in 29 games after returning from the disabled list last August. Tyler Austin provides some right-handed thump as a backup.

Second base (1): Ronald Torreyes played well last year when Didi Gregorius missed most of April due to injury. With Torres coming off Tommy John surgery on his left (non-throwing) elbow, expect the Yankees to begin the top prospect in the Minors. Torres should help the 2018 Yankees, but probably not before April 14, a service time quirk which allows his free agency to be delayed a year.

Video: Top Prospects: Gleyber Torres, SS, Yankees

Third base (1): Andujar's bat is believed to be big league-ready, and the 22-year-old prospect has worked hard on polishing his defense. Andujar's promise permitted the Yankees to feel comfortable dealing Chase Headley and not re-signing Todd Frazier during free agency. Andujar can also shift to first base in a pinch.

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

Shortstop (1): Gregorius is coming off a 2017 campaign in which he established career highs in runs (73), homers (25) and RBIs (87), despite missing the first month of the season. "Sir Didi" also led the Yanks in multi-hit games (44) and average with runners in scoring position (45-for-148, .304).

Utility (1): With Torreyes potentially in a starting role to open 2018, Tyler Wade can have an opportunity to show his versatility, filling in at second base, third base, shortstop and the corner outfield spots. He'll be challenged by non-roster invitees Danny Espinosa and Jace Peterson, both of whom struggled in the Majors last year.

Outfield (5): The players appear set, though Boone still needs to decide how to deploy them. Brett Gardner will start in left field, Aaron Hicks is the front-runner to start over Jacoby Ellsbury in center field, while Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are sharing duties in right field. Judge and Stanton will also be at designated hitter on a semi-regular basis, as will Sanchez.

Power surge: Stanton, Judge set for spring

Starting pitchers (5): The first four slots will go to Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray and CC Sabathia, leaving only the No. 5 spot up for grabs. Jordan Montgomery is the likely choice, after the 25-year-old lefty had a 3.88 ERA in 29 starts last season, leading American League rookies in starts, strikeouts (144) and innings (155 1/3).

Bullpen (7): The relief locks behind closer Aroldis Chapman are Dellin Betances, Chad Green, Tommy Kahnle, David Robertson and Adam Warren, though Green and Warren are competing as starters this spring. Expect to see both land in the bullpen, with Chasen Shreve likely to snag the final roster spot, holding off non-roster challenger Wade LeBlanc.

Video: Yankees boast elite bullpen heading into 2018

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees

Torres to get crack at Opening Day roster

Yankees' top prospect will try to prove himself this Spring Training
MLB.com

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees are planning to give Gleyber Torres a legitimate crack at their Opening Day roster, and the 20-year-old top prospect has vowed to hit the ground running this spring.

Torres is among the earliest-arriving players at Yankees camp, working out on Monday morning at the George M. Steinbrenner Field complex. Tyler Austin, Greg Bird, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Judge, Ronald Torreyes, Luis Severino and Tyler Wade were also spotted on site.

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees are planning to give Gleyber Torres a legitimate crack at their Opening Day roster, and the 20-year-old top prospect has vowed to hit the ground running this spring.

Torres is among the earliest-arriving players at Yankees camp, working out on Monday morning at the George M. Steinbrenner Field complex. Tyler Austin, Greg Bird, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Judge, Ronald Torreyes, Luis Severino and Tyler Wade were also spotted on site.

"There's a lot of questions and everything," Torres said, when asked about his chances of going north with the team. "I don't put my mentality in that. It's just, I want to work hard and enjoy every opportunity. I'll play hard and we'll see what happens in the future."

Following Gregorius' injury last March, there were several coaches who lobbied for Torres to begin the year as the Yankees' Opening Day shortstop. General manager Brian Cashman opted to keep Torres in the Minors, saying that he didn't want Torres "drinking from a fire hose in April."

Torres advanced quickly, batting .273/.367/.496 in 32 games at Double-A Trenton before joining Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He played 23 games for the RailRiders, hitting .309/.406/.457 before sustaining a season-ending injury to his non-throwing elbow in June.

Cashman has said that service time considerations will not be a factor in evaluating if Torres should make the big league roster out of camp, but the Yankees would have incentive to have him begin at Triple-A. An extra 16 days in the Minors (not being promoted before April 14) would keep Torres from accumulating a full year of service time in 2018, thus delaying his potential free agency.

Following Monday's workout, Torres said that his left elbow has returned to feeling "100 percent" and that he has not been limited in workouts. Torres even asked the Yankees if he could play winter ball, but he was instructed to focus upon being ready for the spring.

"I'm super excited," Torres said. "Right now I feel pretty good; 100 percent and I'm working hard. Last year I missed a lot of months, I lost almost my season. Now it's time to work and make sure my arm and everything feel right."

A shortstop by trade, the Yankees moved Torres around the diamond last season, giving him 10 starts at second base, 15 starts at third base and 28 starts at shortstop. Had Torres been healthy, Cashman has speculated that the Yanks might not have traded for third baseman Todd Frazier in July.

"I feel pretty good in all positions," Torres said. "I just play hard and help my team, everything the team needs that I can do. … I don't know what will happen right now. Spring is coming and I'll make sure to play pretty good in the spring. We'll see what happens."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and onFacebook.

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

Top prospects lead Yankees' list of 20 NRIs

MLB.com

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees' promising farm system will be on display during Spring Training. The club announced on Friday that 20 additional players are set to attend camp as non-roster invitees, including their Nos. 2 through 4 prospects as rated by MLB Pipeline: right-hander Chance Adams, outfielder Estevan Florial and left-hander Justus Sheffield.

That trio is set to join several other touted talents, including infielders Gleyber Torres (No. 1), Miguel Andujar (No. 5) and Thairo Estrada (No. 16), plus right-handers Domingo Acevedo (No. 6) and Albert Abreu (No. 7), who are listed on the 40-man roster.

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees' promising farm system will be on display during Spring Training. The club announced on Friday that 20 additional players are set to attend camp as non-roster invitees, including their Nos. 2 through 4 prospects as rated by MLB Pipeline: right-hander Chance Adams, outfielder Estevan Florial and left-hander Justus Sheffield.

That trio is set to join several other touted talents, including infielders Gleyber Torres (No. 1), Miguel Andujar (No. 5) and Thairo Estrada (No. 16), plus right-handers Domingo Acevedo (No. 6) and Albert Abreu (No. 7), who are listed on the 40-man roster.

Yankees Spring Training: Info | Tickets | Schedule

Video: Top Prospects: Justus Sheffield, LHP, Yankees

Infielder Nick Solak (No. 8), right-hander Dillon Tate (No. 12), right-hander Taylor Widener (No. 14) and right-hander Cody Carroll (No. 24) -- also listed on MLB Pipeline's Yankees Top 30 -- also received non-roster invitations and will have opportunities to impress the big league staff.

Other non-roster invitees include: right-hander Cale Coshow, right-hander Raynel Espinal, right-hander J.P. Feyereisen, infielder Kyle Holder, right-hander Brady Lail and catcher Jorge Saez.

"We feel like we're in pretty good shape from an organizational standpoint, in that the cupboard is pretty full," manager Aaron Boone said. "We have a couple of guys that we feel very good about that have a chance to be real contributors at some point this year and will provide depth."

Video: Boone on expectations for 2018, Yankees' roster

Seven players were signed to Minor League contracts with invitations to big league camp: catcher Francisco Diaz, infielder Danny Espinosa, right-hander David Hale, catcher Erik Kratz, left-hander Wade LeBlanc, catcher Chace Numata and infielder Jace Peterson.

Boone has said that he expects Espinosa and Peterson to compete for the starting jobs at second and third base, competing against Andujar, Estrada, Torres, Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Wade. LeBlanc, who pitched briefly for the Yankees in 2014, will challenge for a bullpen role.

There are 60 players scheduled to report to camp, with pitchers and catchers due to arrive in Tampa, Fla., on Feb. 13. The team's first workout is Feb. 14.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees

Torres among 6 Yanks in Top 100 Prospects

Infielder joined by Florial, Sheffield, Andujar, Abreu, Adams on MLB Pipeline's annual list
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- The Yankees' reloaded farm system has become the envy of many, now boasting six of the Top 100 Prospects in Major League Baseball -- including infielder Gleyber Torres, who is rated No. 5 overall -- as announced on Saturday evening by MLB Pipeline.

Torres is joined in the Top 100 by outfielder Estevan Florial (No. 44), left-hander Justus Sheffield (No. 48), third baseman Miguel Andujar (No. 65), right-hander Albert Abreu (No. 74) and right-hander Chance Adams (No. 75).

NEW YORK -- The Yankees' reloaded farm system has become the envy of many, now boasting six of the Top 100 Prospects in Major League Baseball -- including infielder Gleyber Torres, who is rated No. 5 overall -- as announced on Saturday evening by MLB Pipeline.

Torres is joined in the Top 100 by outfielder Estevan Florial (No. 44), left-hander Justus Sheffield (No. 48), third baseman Miguel Andujar (No. 65), right-hander Albert Abreu (No. 74) and right-hander Chance Adams (No. 75).

MLB Pipeline's 2018 Top 100 Prospects list

:: Complete 2018 Top Prospects coverage ::

The annual ranking of MLB's Top 100 prospects is assembled by MLBPipeline.com Draft and prospect experts Jonathan Mayo, Jim Callis and Mike Rosenbaum, who compile input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams.

Only players with rookie status entering the 2018 season are eligible for the list. Players who were at least 25 years old when they signed and played in leagues deemed to be professional (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Cuba) are not eligible.

Torres, 21, might have already made his Major League debut had he not sustained a season-ending left elbow injury last June. Torres will report to camp in competition for the Opening Day roster after hitting a combined .287/.383/.480 with 14 doubles, two triples, seven homers and 34 RBIs in 55 games for Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Florial, 20, has been consistently rated as one of the Yankees' more exciting prospects. He hit .298/.372/.479 with 23 doubles, seven triples, 13 home runs, 57 RBIs and 23 stolen bases in 110 games for Class A Charleston and Class A Advanced Tampa, participating in both the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and the Arizona Fall League.

Video: Top Prospects: Estevan Florial, OF, Yankees

Sheffield, who turns 22 in May, impressed despite missing two months with an oblique injury. A touted piece of the July 2016 trade with the Indians, Sheffield spent most of the '17 season with Double-A Trenton, where he was 7-6 with a 3.18 ERA in 17 starts. In 93 1/3 innings, he permitted 94 hits and 33 walks with 82 strikeouts, then had five solid outings in the Arizona Fall League.

Video: Top Prospects: Justus Sheffield, LHP, Yankees

Andujar, who turns 23 in March, is being considered to open the season in New York. He hit a combined .315/.352/.498 with 36 doubles, two triples, 16 homers and 82 RBIs in 125 games between Trenton and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. His bat is considered big league ready; he was 4-for-7 (.571) in his first five games with the Yanks.

Video: Top Prospects: Miguel Andujar, 3B, Yankees

Abreu, 22, came from the Astros in the November 2016 Brian McCann trade and spent time at three levels last year, going 2-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 14 games (13 starts) among Charleston, Tampa and in the Gulf Coast League. Wielding a sinking fastball that sits between 93-98 mph and has touched 100 mph, Abreu struck out 61 in 53 1/3 innings, permitting 45 hits with 18 walks.

Video: Top Prospects: Albert Abreu, RHP, Yankees

Adams might be the closest big league ready pitcher of the bunch. Regarded as a bulldog-type competitor who converted from relief to starting, the 23-year-old was 15-5 with a 2.45 ERA in 27 starts for Trenton and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, permitting 104 hits with 58 walks and 135 strikeouts in 150 1/3 innings.

Video: Top Prospects: Chance Adams, RHP, Yankees

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Justus Sheffield, Gleyber Torres

Versatile Torres No. 1 among SS prospects

21-year-old could also play 2nd, 3rd as Yanks look to accelerate his progression to bigs
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- In a matter of weeks, Gleyber Torres will report to the Yankees' Spring Training facility with a legitimate chance of being named the Opening Day second or third baseman. As far as MLB Pipeline is concerned, there is no better prospect at shortstop.

With Didi Gregorius locked in at that position, the Yanks have expanded Torres' versatility since his July 2016 acquisition from the Cubs, hoping to accelerate the 21-year-old's progression to The Show. It is a jump that Torres is expected to make as soon as this season.

NEW YORK -- In a matter of weeks, Gleyber Torres will report to the Yankees' Spring Training facility with a legitimate chance of being named the Opening Day second or third baseman. As far as MLB Pipeline is concerned, there is no better prospect at shortstop.

With Didi Gregorius locked in at that position, the Yanks have expanded Torres' versatility since his July 2016 acquisition from the Cubs, hoping to accelerate the 21-year-old's progression to The Show. It is a jump that Torres is expected to make as soon as this season.

"Obviously, we all think Gleyber Torres is going to be a really special player," manager Aaron Boone said. "The question is, can he be that guy and will he be that guy from the start? We know he's going to impact us for a number of years to come, and … Gleyber is certainly going to have every opportunity to be in that mix."

:: Top 10 Prospects by Position ::

Rated as the Yankees' top prospect and the No. 2 prospect in all of baseball, behind only Shohei Ohtani of the Angels, Torres might have been promoted to the big leagues in 2017 had he not sustained a season-ending injury to his left (non-throwing) elbow in June that required Tommy John surgery.

"He conquered the Eastern League for the period of time he was there, and then he was starting to conquer the International League, and then he got hurt," Yanks general manager Brian Cashman said. "The way his trajectory was going, I think you would have seen him in the big leagues at some point in the end."

Cashman said that Torres' potential played a large factor in the Yankees' willingness to trade second baseman Starlin Castro to the Marlins and third baseman Chase Headley to the Padres this offseason.

"We have some hungry, talented, inexperienced kids ready to prove that they can take that next step," Cashman said.

After being named the youngest Most Valuable Player in Arizona Fall League history, batting .403 with a 1.158 OPS in 18 games for Scottsdale in 2016, Torres opened his '17 campaign at Double-A Trenton.

Video: Boone on Torres's opportunity to make impact in 2018

In 32 games, he compiled a .273/.367/.496 slash line, stroking 10 doubles, a triple, five homers and 18 RBIs with five stolen bases. In May, Yankees vice president of baseball operations Tim Naehring reported to Cashman that Torres had shown enough to earn a promotion.

Torres continued to impress after joining Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, hitting .309/.406/.457 with four doubles, a triple, two homers and 16 RBIs in 23 games before he sustained the injury diving head-first into home plate during a June 17 game at Buffalo, N.Y. Cashman said that Torres has recovered well.

"He's healthy right now," Cashman said. "He wanted to play winter ball; we wouldn't let him. He'd just gone through a successful rehabilitation, and he wants to get at-bats. We said, 'Patience is a virtue.'"

Behind Torres, MLB Pipeline's top shortstops were: Fernando Tatis Jr. (Padres), Bo Bichette (Blue Jays), Brendan Rogers (Rockies), Royce Lewis (Twins), Willy Adames (Rays), J.P. Crawford (Phillies), Franklin Barreto and Jorge Mateo (Athletics), and Nick Gordon (Twins).

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

Andujar ranked third among top 3B prospects

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Nearly every trade proposal that has crossed Brian Cashman's desk this winter mentioned Miguel Andujar's name, with competitors interested in prying the right-handed-hitting third baseman from the Yankees' clutches.

Thus far, Cashman has resisted any temptation to include the promising slugger in negotiations, including spiking a proposal from the Pirates that could have shipped right-hander Gerrit Cole to New York. If the season were to begin today, Andujar very likely would be in the Opening Day lineup.

NEW YORK -- Nearly every trade proposal that has crossed Brian Cashman's desk this winter mentioned Miguel Andujar's name, with competitors interested in prying the right-handed-hitting third baseman from the Yankees' clutches.

Thus far, Cashman has resisted any temptation to include the promising slugger in negotiations, including spiking a proposal from the Pirates that could have shipped right-hander Gerrit Cole to New York. If the season were to begin today, Andujar very likely would be in the Opening Day lineup.

:: Top 10 Prospects by Position ::

"It's going to be interesting," Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said recently. "We've got a situation [where] we'll see what happens at third base. One of the possibilities in my mind somewhere in the infield is Andujar. He had a really good August in Scranton offensively and defensively was much improved."

Andujar, 23, has been named as the No. 3 third base prospect in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline. Playing last season for Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Andujar batted a combined .315/.352/.498 with 36 doubles, two triples, 16 homers and 82 RBIs in 125 games.

The Yanks' highest-priced signee in the 2011-12 international class at $750,000, Andujar led all Yankees Minor Leaguers in batting average and doubles, ranked third in RBIs and set a career high in homers.

He has displayed the ability to make consistent contact, striking out in just 13.6 percent (71) of his 522 plate appearances in 2017. Though Andujar's defense has been described as a work in progress, he boasts an impressively strong arm and has improved his hands and range.

"The bat is not a question mark," Cashman said recently. "It's just, is he finished off defensively yet? He's a very exciting talent; one that's being insisted upon, it seems like, in every conversation I'm having with anything that's high-end out there."

Andujar also played in five games at the big league level, including a memorable debut on June 28 against the White Sox in Chicago. Starting at designated hitter, Andujar went 3-for-4 with a double, four RBIs, a walk and a stolen base, setting a franchise record for RBIs in a Major League debut.

"What an amazing day. I'm never going to forget this day," Andujar said that night through an interpreter. "Super happy to be here, to play with these guys here and have the opportunity to contribute and then get a victory."

MLB Pipeline's third base prospects ahead of Andujar were Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays) and Nick Senzel (Reds). After Andujar, Michael Chavis (Red Sox), Christian Arroyo (Rays), Austin Riley (Braves), Ryan Mountcastle (Orioles), Colton Welker (Rockies), Brian Anderson (Marlins) and Jake Burger (White Sox) earned recognition.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees

Yanks' Solak thriving in march through Minors

Former second-round pick named Majors' No. 5 2B prospect by MLB Pipeline
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- As he ascends to the higher levels of the Minor Leagues, Nick Solak has merited praise as a "winning-type player who can hit and has real attributes that are clutch," as Yankees director of amateur scouting Damon Oppenheimer recently said.

MLB Pipeline has agreed, announcing on Monday that they rate Solak as the No. 5 second-base prospect in all of baseball. The 23-year-old Solak played well at two levels of the Yanks' system last year, and though he is pegged to begin 2018 in the Double-A Eastern League, a big league promotion may not be far off.

NEW YORK -- As he ascends to the higher levels of the Minor Leagues, Nick Solak has merited praise as a "winning-type player who can hit and has real attributes that are clutch," as Yankees director of amateur scouting Damon Oppenheimer recently said.

MLB Pipeline has agreed, announcing on Monday that they rate Solak as the No. 5 second-base prospect in all of baseball. The 23-year-old Solak played well at two levels of the Yanks' system last year, and though he is pegged to begin 2018 in the Double-A Eastern League, a big league promotion may not be far off.

:: Top 10 Prospects by Position ::

"Being a young player in the organization, that's the goal," Solak told the New York Post. "You want to do everything you can to put yourself in a position to keep improving, to keep developing as a player so you can help the team win up in the big leagues."

A second-round selection in the 2016 MLB Draft out of the University of Louisville, Solak was among the hottest collegiate players that spring, batting .455 through his first 22 games. However, he missed a month of the season after being hit in the right hand by a pitch.

Yankees' Top 30 Prospects

Signing with the Yankees for a slightly below slot $950,000, Solak immediately impressed at Class A Staten Island, ranking third in the New York-Penn League in batting average (.321) and on-base percentage (.412). That ability to hit and get on base came as no surprise to Yanks personnel, who have watched his right-handed swing for years.

"Solak just barrels up a ball really well," former Trenton manager Bobby Mitchell told NJ.com. "He has that knack that is hard to teach sometimes. It really is. He obviously sees the ball really well, barreling up the ball consistently."

Solak played his first 100 games of 2017 for Class A Tampa, where the converted corner outfielder compiled a .301/.397/.460 slash line with 17 doubles, four triples, 10 homers, 44 RBIs and 13 stolen bases.

Solak played solidly after being promoted to Double-A Trenton, batting .286/.344/.429 with nine doubles, a triple, two homers and nine RBIs in 30 games. There is room for improvement, as the Yankees would like to see him cut down on his strikeouts (100 in 465 at-bats) and errors (17).

MLB Pipeline's second-base prospects ahead of Solak are Scott Kingery (Phillies), Luis Urias (Padres), Keston Hiura (Brewers) and Isan Diaz (Brewers). After Solak, Shed Long (Reds), Garrett Hampson (Rockies), Max Schrock (Cardinals), Brandon Lowe (Rays) and Kevin Kramer (Pirates) earned recognition.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees

Justus league: Sheffield could see MLB in 2018

Young starter named No. 3 left-handed-pitching prospect in Minors
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- The Yankees believe that Justus Sheffield will be part of the next wave of "Baby Bombers" to force their way to the Bronx. That viewpoint is shared by many, which is part of the reason why the 21-year-old has been consistently ranked among the game's top pitching prospects.

MLB Pipeline has rated Sheffield as the No. 3 left-hander in all of baseball, behind only the Padres' MacKenzie Gore and the Athletics' A.J. Puk, as announced on Wednesday. Sheffield recently told MLB.com that he was "very pleased" with his 2017 campaign, and he is aiming for more success in 2018.

NEW YORK -- The Yankees believe that Justus Sheffield will be part of the next wave of "Baby Bombers" to force their way to the Bronx. That viewpoint is shared by many, which is part of the reason why the 21-year-old has been consistently ranked among the game's top pitching prospects.

MLB Pipeline has rated Sheffield as the No. 3 left-hander in all of baseball, behind only the Padres' MacKenzie Gore and the Athletics' A.J. Puk, as announced on Wednesday. Sheffield recently told MLB.com that he was "very pleased" with his 2017 campaign, and he is aiming for more success in 2018.

:: Top 10 Prospects by Position ::

"I saw a lot of positives. It seems like the Yankees saw a lot of positives out of me this year also," Sheffield said. "I definitely had a great time going out to the [Arizona] Fall League. That was big for me, just getting to go back out there and get my innings back under me, facing those higher-type guys and actually get out there and compete."

Sheffield, who was acquired from the Indians as part of the July 2016 Andrew Miller trade, was 7-6 with a 3.18 ERA in 17 starts for Double-A Trenton. In 93 1/3 innings, Sheffield permitted 94 hits, striking out 82 against 33 walks.

Though he missed time with an oblique injury, Sheffield recovered in time to go 2-2 with a 3.10 ERA with the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League. That success has Sheffield excited for what he can do in 2018, a season that could feature his first promotion to the Majors.

Video: Yanks prospect Sheffield on growth, overcoming injury

"I think I was just hungry to get back on the field, missing those two months," Sheffield said. "I thought I was going to get a few innings in before the playoffs; it ended up not working out that way. I think going to the Fall League [helped], just being hungry and getting to go out on the field and compete again, against those top guys. It's time to play ball."

Behind Gore, Puk and Sheffield, the rest of MLB Pipeline's top 10 left-handed pitchers are as follows: Luiz Gohara (Braves), Brendan McKay (Rays), Adrian Morejon (Padres), Kolby Allard (Braves), Jesus Luzardo (Athletics), Stephen Gonsalves (Twins) and Max Fried (Braves).

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Justus Sheffield

Prospect Sheffield eager for shot at bigs

Left-hander focused on letting results continue to speak for themselves
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Justus Sheffield knows that the Yankees are actively seeking another starting pitcher, and while the touted left-hander might be one jump away from beginning 2018 in the rotation, he is moving closer to making a big league impact in the very near future.

"The way I look at is, I've just got to go out there and do my thing," Sheffield said. "Let the front office handle where they're going to put me, or where I'll end up. The only thing I can do is just go out there and do what I do best, and that's get outs and give my team a chance to win."

NEW YORK -- Justus Sheffield knows that the Yankees are actively seeking another starting pitcher, and while the touted left-hander might be one jump away from beginning 2018 in the rotation, he is moving closer to making a big league impact in the very near future.

"The way I look at is, I've just got to go out there and do my thing," Sheffield said. "Let the front office handle where they're going to put me, or where I'll end up. The only thing I can do is just go out there and do what I do best, and that's get outs and give my team a chance to win."

Rated as the Yankees' No. 4 prospect and the No. 7 left-handed-pitching prospect in the game by MLB Pipeline, Sheffield recently participated in Major League Baseball's Rookie Career Development Program, which was held in Washington.

Video: Yanks prospect Sheffield on growth, overcoming injury

The 21-year-old is coming off a campaign in which he went 7-6 with a 3.18 ERA in 17 starts for Double-A Trenton, permitting 94 hits in 93 1/3 innings while striking out 82 against 33 walks. Though he missed time with an oblique injury, Sheffield was able to participate in the Arizona Fall League and said that he was "very pleased" with his season.

"I saw a lot of positives. It seems like the Yankees saw a lot of positives out of me this year also," Sheffield said. "I definitely had a great time going out to the Fall League. That was big for me, just getting to go back out there and get my innings back under me, facing those higher-type guys and actually get out there and compete.

"I love to compete. Overall, I thought I had a great year, other than the injury."

Video: 2017 Arizona Fall League: Sheffield

In 20 1/3 innings for the Scottsdale Scorpions, Sheffield was 2-2 with a 3.10 ERA, permitting 14 hits and three walks against 22 strikeouts. He was removed from his final start after being hit in the left thigh with a line drive, but the pitching change was for precautionary reasons.

Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner and general manager Brian Cashman have spoken highly of Sheffield's performance, listing him with No. 2 prospect Chance Adams and No. 7 prospect Albert Abreu among the exciting arms who are expected to help the team in the future.

"I think we have a great young crew, and we have more coming," Cashman said. "It's up to us to keep them healthy, to put them in a position to perform up to their ceiling, but we have more coming, we feel."

Sheffield said that the time off with Double-A Trenton served as a learning experience, teaching him how to handle the first significant injury of his career. The Fall League success has Sheffield excited for what he can do in 2018, a season that could include his first promotion to the Majors.

"I think I was just hungry to get back on the field, missing those two months," Sheffield said. "I thought I was going to get a few innings in before the playoffs; it ended up not working out that way. I think going to the Fall League, just being hungry and getting to go out on the field and compete again, against those top guys. It's time to play ball."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.

New York Yankees, Justus Sheffield

Gleyber has good shot at Opening Day roster

Yankees being patient with top prospect over offseason following Tommy John surgery
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- There were two weeks remaining until Opening Day 2017 when bad news forced the Yankees to adjust one of their stars' travel itineraries. Didi Gregorius was boarding a flight in Los Angeles, where he'd injured his right shoulder playing in a World Baseball Classic exhibition.

Ronald Torreyes would fill in admirably while the Yankees waited for their starting shortstop, but behind closed doors, there were members of the coaching staff who lobbied for Gleyber Torres to leap from Class A Advanced ball to the Majors.

NEW YORK -- There were two weeks remaining until Opening Day 2017 when bad news forced the Yankees to adjust one of their stars' travel itineraries. Didi Gregorius was boarding a flight in Los Angeles, where he'd injured his right shoulder playing in a World Baseball Classic exhibition.

Ronald Torreyes would fill in admirably while the Yankees waited for their starting shortstop, but behind closed doors, there were members of the coaching staff who lobbied for Gleyber Torres to leap from Class A Advanced ball to the Majors.

General manager Brian Cashman resisted the temptation to make such an aggressive promotion then, but as the Yankees look to plug vacancies at both second and third base for this upcoming season, there is a legitimate chance that they begin 2018 with the 21-year-old Torres -- currently rated as the game's No. 2 prospect by MLB Pipeline -- playing a key role.

• Yankees' Top 30 Prospects

"They wanted him," Cashman said. "I can understand why, but you take careful steps when you have that type of ceiling. At that age, he had never played in cold weather in his career. I didn't want him drinking out of a fire hose in April."

Coming off a stellar showing in the Arizona Fall League, where Torres was named the youngest MVP in the circuit's history, he posted a strong .273/.367/.496 slash line in 32 games at Double-A Trenton. At that time, Yankees vice president of baseball operations Tim Naehring passed through Trenton and told Cashman, "This guy is ready to go from my perspective, any time you want."

Video: NYY@WSH: Torres knocks in two with a double to center

Naehring's assessment was spot-on. Promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Torres hit .309/.406/.457 in 23 games before his season ended on June 17 in Buffalo, when he injured his left (non-throwing) elbow on a head-first slide into home plate. Tommy John surgery was required.

Had Torres not attempted to score from second base on that Mark Payton single to right field, he likely would have made his Major League debut in a matter of weeks.

"You may very well have seen him as the third baseman or the DH," Cashman said. "It may have prevented us from trading for Todd Frazier, who knows? We never did find out, because he didn't get more time."

With Torres expected to make a full recovery in time for Spring Training, his arrival in the Bronx appears inevitable.

Video: Boone discusses Gleyber Torres, top prospects

"He's healthy right now," Cashman said. "He wanted to play winter ball. We wouldn't let him. He could go play winter ball right now, but we said, 'No way.' He'd just gone through a successful rehabilitation, and he wants to get at-bats. We said, 'Patience is a virtue.'"

Playing time figures to be available, as the Yankees shipped second baseman Starlin Castro to the Marlins in the Giancarlo Stanton trade and unloaded third baseman Chase Headley's salary to the Padres days later. At the time, Cashman mentioned Torres, Miguel Andujar, Thairo Estrada, Torreyes and Tyler Wade as internal candidates to plug their infield voids.

Hot Stove Tracker

The Yankees have since checked in on more experienced options; the Pirates' Josh Harrison has been mentioned, while former Yankee Eduardo Nunez is a free agent. Yet manager Aaron Boone recently said that he would be comfortable beginning the year with Torres in his infield.

"These are real high character guys, guys you want to be around, guys that are going to impact our clubhouse in a positive way," Boone said. "All accounts on Gleyber is he's that guy. Whether he's impacting our club from Jump Street, again, remains to be seen. But I'm really excited about his long-term future with us."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.