Fans finally get a hint about the 2024 Yankees’ transformation

Yankees rookies Oswald Peraza, Austin Wells, and Everson Pereira in action at Yankee Stadium on September 25, 2023.

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The Yankees’ 6-4 win over Arizona on Monday provided their fans a glimpse of what would be the upcoming season for them with a pivot to the youthful team. New York’s Baby Bombers went on a show that orchestrated a thrilling comeback and highlighted their capability to take centerstage in 2024.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone remarked that it was an exciting day and he found it thrilling to witness their young players making a significant impact in a game, especially considering that the Diamondbacks were playing with a lot at stake.

Yankees showcase of young guns

Even though the Yankees find themselves outside of postseason contention, a first under manager Aaron Boone as of Sunday, the remaining seven games of the regular season still carry significance for the emerging young talent within the team.

The top prospects from the Yankees’ ranks, currently donning the big-league uniform, are determined to conclude the season on a high note as they strive to establish their positions on the team’s depth chart. Notably, catcher Austin Wells and third baseman Oswald Peraza showcased their power with colossal home runs during the middle innings. Furthermore, the Yankees’ rising stars mounted a spirited rally in the eighth inning, producing three runs that ultimately secured a 6-4 triumph. In doing so, they played the role of spoilers, dashing the hopes of a Wild Card contender for Arizona.

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In the eighth inning, Peraza exhibited remarkable patience at the plate, drawing a bases-loaded walk with just one out, which knotted the score. During this pivotal at-bat, the Yankees rookie demonstrated a discerning eye against the formidable Arizona reliever Kevin Ginkel, known for his prowess on the mound. By then, Austin Wells had already kickstarted the inning with a single, contributing to the team’s offensive momentum.

Following Peraza’s plate appearance, the former top prospect Estevan Florial came through with a sacrifice fly to left field, a precise hit that proved just deep enough to usher Wells home and grant the Yankees a one-run advantage.

And to cap off this productive inning, outfielder Everson Pereira provided an additional cushion by driving an RBI single through the infield, as the ball found its way to the ground, scoring Anthony Volpe.

Oswald Peraza’s performance at the plate has notably improved due to an enhanced sense of comfort. In his most recent 18 games, the infielder has displayed a robust offensive presence, achieving a .290 batting average (20-for-69). During this stretch, he has contributed significantly with six runs, six doubles, eight RBIs, and two home runs.

Yankees manager Boone expressed admiration for Peraza’s remarkable 443-foot home run, which he launched to left-center field. This monumental hit marked the first home run of his budding career at Yankee Stadium, earning recognition as a remarkable feat that typically aligns with the power of a seasoned player.

Boone noted that when Peraza returned the last time, he had experienced some difficulties initially, but he had recently started to find his rhythm. Peraza had begun to produce more hits and obtain better results, even though he wasn’t necessarily hitting the ball exceptionally well. The Yankees skipper admired Peraza for consistently making contact with the ball.

Austin Wells’ second home run

The rookie catcher expressed that despite being out of contention, every at-bat continued to hold significance. He emphasized that for them, as well as for everyone else, each at-bat represented a part of their career, and it offered an opportunity to acquire new learning experiences.

Over the past seven games, Austin Wells has demonstrated an improved batting performance, boasting a .280 batting average (7-for-25). Notably, within his last four games, he has recorded two outings with multiple hits. This noteworthy resurgence follows a challenging start to his MLB career, where he struggled, tallying just three hits in 29 at-bats, resulting in a .103 batting average over his first eight games.

He explained that he had noticed a difference in how pitchers were approaching him compared to his experiences in the minors. This required some adjustment, especially because he was facing pitchers he had never encountered before. However, he mentioned that with more at-bats, he had started to feel much more comfortable. He reiterated the importance of every at-bat as a part of the learning process and stated that his primary goal was to keep improving every day.

Yankees Austin Wells and Gleyber Torres celebrate following their 6-4 win over Arizona on Sept. 25, 2023.
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While Everson Pereira’s recent statistics may still raise eyebrows, as he’s maintained a .162 batting average since his promotion from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, his return from a week-long absence due to a hamstring injury with a two-hit game is undoubtedly an encouraging sign.

All three of these young players remain contenders for playing time in the upcoming spring season. Among them, Austin Wells appears to have the most straightforward path to securing a spot on the Opening Day roster, where he could potentially work in a platoon arrangement with catcher Jose Trevino. Meanwhile, the other two emerging talents are in contention for starting roles if they continue to make strides in their development, positioning themselves to compete for regular opportunities next spring.

Concluding the current Yankees season on a strong note would undoubtedly bolster their self-assurance and leave a positive impression on the organization regarding their summer performances, despite the inevitable ups and downs experienced by these rookie players.

With this victory, the Yankees have reached a record of 79-77. Their record since August 28, standing at 17-9, is the best in Major League Baseball during that period. The team’s next destination is Toronto as they prepare for the final road trip of the season, where they will face the Blue Jays and Royals in a series of three games each.

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