Anthony Volpe, Jasson Dominguez, Oswald Peraza. Those are three names that New York Yankees fans have been hearing a lot about lately. They are the top three prospects for the Yankees, and rank number 5, 47, and 52, respectively, in MLB Pipeline’s top 100 prospects. Add in the exciting and versatile Oswaldo Cabrera, and the Yankees have a young core just on the horizon. Peraza, 22, got a small cup of tea in the Majors in 2022, playing in 18 games. Volpe played most of 2022 in Double-A, with a short stint at Triple-A at the end of the season. Jasson Dominguez rose through the ranks quickly in 2022. He started the season in A-ball in Tampa and ended it playing in the Double-A playoffs with Somerset.
No matter who you ask, these four guys have a boatload of potential and can play very real and impactful roles. The future is now for the Yankees.
The Future Is Now For The Yankees
The 21-year-old shortstop was the Yankees’ first-round pick in the 2019 draft. As MLB Pipeline’s no. 5 ranked prospect, Volpe is the Yankees’ highest-ranked prospect since Gleyber Torres in 2018. However, the hype surrounding Volpe reflects that of a generational talent. Between both Single-A levels in 2021, Volpe accumulated 27 home runs, 86 RBI, and 33 stolen bases. This went along with a stunning .294/.423/.604 batting line, good for an elite 1.027 OPS. In 2022, Volpe played 132 games between Double-A and Triple-A. Cumulatively, he hit 21 home runs and stole 50 bases, posting a .249/.342/.460 batting line. What separates Volpe from Torres as a top prospect is that he possesses the speed and defensive prowess that has alluded Torres since he reached the majors.
While Volpe’s 2022 stat line is worse than 2021, he has been arguably New York’s best player in spring training thus far. He has hit two home runs, four doubles, four stolen bases, and six walks compared to just eight strikeouts. His 1.003 OPS is one of the best in the sport. For many young players nowadays, plate discipline is arguably the most important skill set to have. Against both minor and Major League pitchers, Volpe has shown the plate discipline, power, defensive prowess, and high baseball IQ that makes him a top prospect. It has always been the reason why many analysts, fans, and even players believe Volpe should already be on the Yankees’ opening-day roster.
The only issue with Volpe is his 22 games of not-so-great numbers at Triple-A in 2022. The Yankees typically show patience and do not like to rush their prospects, giving them more time at Triple-A to develop and succeed. Volpe’s strong spring has put him in conversation to be the Opening Day shortstop.
It would not be surprising in the least bit if the Yankees sent Volpe down to Triple-A to start the season. However, it would be shocking to see anybody but the 22-year-old Peraza at shortstop come March 30th. In the shortstop competition, Peraza has already supplanted Kiner-Falefa and looks to be a small step ahead of Volpe. He spent the entirety of 2022 in Triple-A, posting a very solid .779 OPS with 19 home runs and 33 stolen bases. As a September call-up, Peraza played 18 games at the major league level, batting .306/.404/.429 with a .833 OPS and his first career home run. Exceeding at Triple-A along with success in a short Major League stint bodes well for Peraza.
When it comes to comparing Peraza to last year’s starting shortstop, Kiner-Falefa, Peraza has already shown elevated power and defense. Per MLB Pipeline, “Peraza has more bat speed and strength than most shortstops” which includes Kiner-Falefa. All signs point to Pereaza as the Opening Day shortstop, regardless of how well Volpe is playing. MLB Pipeline also points to Peraza being the reason Volpe might have to move to second base when he becomes a regular in the Majors.
There is no doubt that Peraza and Volpe are the Yankees’ middle infield duo of the future. However, there is currently an infield logjam. With both Torres and DJ LeMahieu on the team, it means that only one of them will get a real chance as a starter once the season commences.
Yankees phenom Jasson Domínguez is having himself a spring! pic.twitter.com/9P1XQKHNiT
— MLB (@MLB) March 11, 2023
And now on to the prospect who is furthest away, and yet the most talented of them all. “The Martian” as he is nicknamed, Jasson Dominguez hit four home runs in spring training and showed impressive power. A 20-year-old switch-hitter who improved leaps and bounds from 2021 to 2022, Dominguez has all the potential in the world. There is no doubt he is the future center fielder for the New York Yankees. Unlike his counterparts, there is not much standing in the way of Dominguez being a staple in the outfield sometime soon. MLB Pipeline has Dominguez’s estimated Major League debut coming in 2024. While he was just reassigned to minor league camp, there is a real reason to believe we will see him in the Bronx in 2023.
Dominguez’s spring training was even better than Volpe’s. In 11 games, he hit 4 home runs and drove in nine. His batting line was .455/.520/1.046, excelling more than anyone could have imagined in his first Big League spring training. Dominguez signed for $5.1 million as an international amateur free agent from the Dominican Republic. Drawing comparisons to Mike Trout, Mickey Mantle, and Bo Jackson, Dominguez is one of the most hyped international prospects ever. 2022 was his first full minor league season as he played 120 games between three different levels. He batted .273/.376/.461, good for a .837 OPS, along with 16 home runs and 37 stolen bases.
Dominguez will likely start the year at Double-A, a level in which he only played five games (and postseason) in 2022. Double-A is where we see most prospects make big leaps and it would not be surprising to see him excel and be called up to Triple-A within a few months. Combine Dominguez’s raw talent with some health issues surrounding some of New York’s outfielders, and a late-season call-up would make sense.
Much has already been written about Oswaldo Cabrera’s future and his potential to play a big role for the Yankees this year. Cabrera is an inexperienced yet exciting young player worth watching. With Peraza, Volpe, Dominguez, and Cabrera, the future is now. All four players can realistically be plugged into the same lineup at any moment this year. Not only them, but infielder Andres Chaparro is also excelling in spring training so far, with four home runs and a 1.215 OPS. Chaparro is not currently a top-30 prospect in the Yankees system but put up a .849 OPS in 2021 and .962 OPS in 2022 across multiple minor league levels. Even if he starts the season at Triple-A, it will not be surprising to see him in the Bronx this year, too. Even as much of the Yankees’ offensive core is aging or has health issues, the future is bright.
Main photo credits:
Mark J. Rebilas-USA Today Sports
Anthony Volpe, Jasson Dominguez, Oswald Peraza, Oswaldo Cabrera, Gleyber Torres, DJ LeMahieu, Mike Trout, Mickey Mantle, Bo Jackson, Andres Chaparro
I am a sports administration graduate student that has been a passionate sports fan practically my whole life. I started writing about sports four years ago on my own blog. I have mostly written about baseball, the Yankees in particular because they are my favorite team.