Yankees’ top prospect Ben Rice moves up to Triple-A, one step from MLB

Yankees promote top prospect Ben Rice to triple-a
Amanda Paula
Wednesday June 5, 2024

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Ben Rice, a highly regarded prospect in the Yankees organization, has been promoted from Double-A Somerset Patriots to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. The 25-year-old catcher, who has also been playing first base, has earned this promotion following a strong performance in Double-A.

Yankees promote highly touted catching prospect to Triple-A

Yankees promote top prospect Ben Rice from triple-a

Ben Rice impressed Yankees ace Gerrit Cole with his pre-game preparation and composure during a recent outing behind the plate. Cole, the reigning Cy Young Award winner, praised Rice’s ability to manage the game effectively. This promotion places Rice just one step away from the Major Leagues.

In Double-A, Rice has posted a .893 OPS with 12 home runs, 26 RBIs, and nine doubles in 49 games this season. His overall performance in Double-A includes a .974 OPS, 28 home runs, and 22 doubles over 97 games. The Yankees will decide whether to continue using Rice primarily as a catcher or to take advantage of his versatility at first base.

Ben Rice’s promotion comes as the Yankees face challenges at first base, with Anthony Rizzo struggling to regain form following a concussion last May. Rizzo has recorded a 90 wRC+ and a .354 slugging percentage through 60 games this season, prompting the need for potential reinforcements at the position.

Historically, the Yankees have quickly promoted their top prospects, such as Austin Wells, Jasson Dominguez, Anthony Volpe, and Everson Pereira, all of whom played fewer than 40 games with the RailRiders before advancing to the Major Leagues. Oswald Peraza is an exception, having spent nearly an entire season in Triple-A before his Major League debut in late 2022.

Within the Yankees organization, Rice is regarded for his offensive potential. His swing is well-suited for Yankee Stadium, and projections, such as Steamer, suggest he could achieve a 107 wRC+ without having played a game in Triple-A.

Rice’s promotion follows the trade of catcher Luis Torrens to the New York Mets, which left the RailRiders needing to fill a vacancy. Additionally, the RailRiders are dealing with injuries to key players, including Caleb Durbin, Everson Pereira, and Clayton Beeter.

As Rice transitions to Triple-A, he will face more MLB-ready pitchers and players with big-league experience. This step will allow him to refine his skills further, working with various arms in the Yankees’ organization who have been or will be on the Major League roster.

Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner has suggested a potential youth movement in 2025, considering the wave of free agents and the focus on acquiring Juan Soto. For Ben Rice, a strong performance in Scranton could accelerate his progression to the Major Leagues.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

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One thought on “Yankees’ top prospect Ben Rice moves up to Triple-A, one step from MLB

  1. Thank you Gerrit. You got Rice the promotion, and I would not be surprised if Rice is catching you again in SWB on Sunday.

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