Should Yankees replace Hicks with this red-hot minor leaguer hitter?

Jake Bauers is seen hitting for the RailRiders and in the spring training.

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If Aaron Hicks‘s tongue and bat don’t give the Yankees a good reason to trade or let him go (even though he owes them a lot of money), maybe Jake Bauers, who used to play in the major leagues, will.

Jake Bauers hit his third home run in four games at Scranton-Wilkes Barre on Tuesday night. It was a huge 441-foot shot in the top of the fourth inning against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs that went over the stands and onto a terrace in right center. Later in the game, the 27-year-old hit a double. This season, he has hit nine balls into play, and five of them have reached at least 105.5 mph.

Jake Bauers is a big hitter

Conor Foley, a reporter for the Scranton Times, has mapped out Jake Bauers’ contact in 2023:

  • 109.6-mph double
  • 107.8-mph homer
  • 107.8-mph single
  • 105.8-mph homer
  • 105.5-mph homer
  • 96.6-mph double
  • 92.5-mph fly out
  • 86.5-mph pop out
  • 46.8-mph lineout
  • Two Ks/Three walks

“That’s not normal this time of year,” manager Shelley Duncan told about these hits. “Extremely, extremely impressive.”

Jake Bauers’ Yankees career

The Yankees got Jake Bauers from Cincinnati in exchange for cash in a trade in June of last year. He spent the rest of the 2022 season with the RailRiders, where he hit five home runs, walked 20 times, and scored 14 runs in 32 games. His batting line was .226/.352/.406. Even though New York is looking for a left-handed hitter to start in left field, keeping Bauers is a move to add depth.

Jake Bauers’s first home run with the RailRiders was a sky-high drive in the second inning that landed on the grass in the center for the game’s first run. The 107.8 mph, 446-foot blast was followed by an invitation to the 27-year-old to join the Yankees’ 2023 spring training camp.

The start

The first baseman and outfielder was picked by the San Diego Padres in the seventh round of the 2013 MLB draft. He was the 208th player taken overall. Jake Bauers has had a hard time in the major leagues. In 328 appearances with the Rays, the Indians, and the Mariners, he has hit .213/.307/.348 with 27 home runs and 110 RBI. The Yankees picked him up because he can hit for power and play multiple positions in the outfield. He used to be one of the top five Rays prospects.

Jake Bauers
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The potential

Jake Bauers finished the 2022 season with New York in the minor leagues. In December, he re-signed as a Yankees player who wasn’t on the roster. He played for Triple-A RailRiders and had an OPS of .758. He went to start the new season with the same team.

Jake Bauers has a lot of potential, especially with his left-handed pop and ability to play different positions. In 2021, which was the last time he played in the big leagues, he had plus-4 DRS in the outfield and plus-2 DRS at first base.

With Hicks in a slump and hitless mode and unproven Oswaldo Cabrera at .250, Jake Bauers might get a look in left field if he continues to hit well.

What do you think? leave your comment below.

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