Within the Yankees’ organization, the fondness for catching prospect Austin Wells is high.
So high, in fact, that they didn’t end their pursuit of Wells after the first time they drafted him.
After selecting Wells out of Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman High School in the 35th round of the 2018 MLB Draft, the Yankees watched him opt to play at the University of Arizona. After Wells made strides with the Wildcats and reentered the draft in 2020, the Yankees chose him again, this time with the 28th overall pick.
MLB Pipeline currently ranks Wells as the No. 6 prospect in their minor-league system and third-best position player.
While many believe Wells’ future may include a position change because of inconsistent play behind the plate at times, his offensive potential has made him one of the organization’s most promising prospects.
A lefthanded hitter who is 6-1 and 220 pounds, Wells has shown plenty of flashes with the bat as a member of the Low-A Tampa Tarpons this season. Through 61 games entering Friday, he had hit .270 with nine home runs, 53 RBIs and 60 runs scored. He also had 16 doubles, four triples and 11 stolen bases, was slugging .500 and had an OPS of .914.
Another Class A player who has opened plenty of eyes this season is Hudson Valley Renegades shortstop Anthony Volpe, who recently moved up to No. 10 on MLB Pipeline’s rankings for Yankees prospects.
The 30th pick in the 2019 draft out of The Delbarton School in Morristown, New Jersey, Volpe has been on a tear since being promoted from Tampa on July 13th.
Although he is 5-11 and 180 pounds, the righthanded-hitting Volpe has displayed significant power with the High-A Renegades. Entering Friday’s action, he was hitting .345 with four home runs, 10 RBIs and 17 runs in 14 games. He also had an on-base percentage of .426 and was slugging .672 for an OPS of 1.099.
Volpe possesses plenty of quickness and athleticism at short, which he demonstrated to end Thursday night’s game against the Wilmington Blue Rocks. With the Renegades leading 3-2, two outs and a runner on first in the top of the ninth inning, Volpe made a diving stop in short leftfield before quickly throwing to second for the game-ending forceout.