The New York Yankees may not need help on offense, but prospect Tyler Wade is tearing it up in Triple-A — and that may warrant a promotion.
But as the sun set in Tampa, it was Tyler Wade who became the newest prospect to turn into a household name.
The team’s fourth-round pick in 2013 was a threat in the box, as evidenced by his batting line of .357/.400/.452. His defensive versatility was also on display on a daily basis, as he played second base, third base, shortstop and center field.
Many believed the California native deserved the Yankees’ vacant shortstop job due to a shoulder injury to Didi Gregorius. The organization’s Vice President of Player Development, Gary Denbo, said he could be the pinstripes version of Ben Zobrist or Brock Holt. His strong preseason was rewarded, as MLB Pipeline considered him the eleventh best prospect in a star-studded farm system.
Fortunately for the Yankees and Wade, his success wasn’t an anomaly — it has continued into the regular season.
Despite getting his first action of Triple-A baseball in his career, Wade continues to be an asset in all facets of the game. Playing in a team-high 34 games, the 22-year-old has been as consistent as they come; not only is he hitting an impressive .319 through 141 at-bats, but his on-base percentage of .394 stands out as well. Over that same span, Wade has eight doubles, two triples, two home runs and 12 RBI, all the while also stealing 12 bases in 15 attempts.
But it’s not only his offense that has made Wade a standout performer in 2017, as his defense, too, has been impressive. He does lead the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders with four errors but he’s also played every position except first base and catcher.
When looking at the big league roster, there isn’t a set spot for Wade. Gregorius is fully entrenched as the shortstop and it could be argued that Starlin Castro has been the best hitter on the Yankees thus far. All four outfielders have exceeded expectations early on and Ronald Torreyes has been great in the utility role.
But it’s hard to deny that Wade is forcing his way to the Bronx.
The Yankees and manager Joe Girardi could make it work. Chase Headley — who has seen a decline in play at third base and also has played 13 games at first — could supplant Chris Carter, which would open up a spot for the youngster.
Will Wade drive up I-95 from Pennsylvania to New York anytime soon? Probably not. After all, he’s not on the 40-man roster, there are no obvious holes, and Torreyes plays the same position.
But that doesn’t change the fact that Wade is tearing it up one stop away from the big leagues.
And if that continues, the Yankees will have to consider bringing up their next Baby Bomber.