Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

In-Depth Look At Yankees Prospect Ben Rice

The New York Yankees called up much-anticipated prospect Ben Rice, who showed out in the minors. 

In-Depth Look At Yankees Prospect Ben Rice

The Yankees took a hit as first-baseman Anthony Rizzo went down. The routine play at first base resulted in Rizzo taking a fall and fracturing his right forearm. Rizzo will be sidelined for approximately four to six weeks. 

On a positive and exciting note, the Yankees replace their veteran first baseman spot with a hot topic from the minors. After much anticipation, Yankees prospect Ben Rice was called up to the big leagues. The lefty-hitting catcher and first baseman has been making noise in triple-A with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. He made his big-league debut on Tuesday, June 18th.

Yankees Prospect Ben Rice: Background, College, And Draft

The 25-year-old is originally from Massachusetts. He attended Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, an NCAA division one program. He’s a multi-sport athlete, battling it out on the baseball field and the ice as a hockey player.

His first year brought 72 at-bats and provided a real feel for college baseball. He batted a .278 and had a .346 on-base percentage. Rice continued the repetition of his craft while playing in the summer of 2019 for Worcester in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League.

2020 was a kick in the shin for Rice and baseball personnel worldwide. The pandemic hit and cut short 2020 while entirely canceling 2021. Rice was able to scrape 13 innings for Cotuit in the Cape Cod League. 

Thankfully, summer ball provided Major League clubs a platform to scout talent. The Yankees saw enough interest to pull the trigger. New York drafted Rice in the 12th round of 2021.

Yankees Prospect Ben Rice: Scouting Report and Analytics 

Rice stands 6’1” at 215 lbs and frames up on the slim-build athletic scale. He throws right and bats left, which drew attention to him. He shows tremendous raw power from the left side with proven bat speed.

Rice stays inside the baseball with quick, tight hands. His lengthy limbs cover a ton of ground at the plate, providing a reach of the outside corner for barrels. The lefty makes solid contact, and although his power is pull side, he sprays the ball across the field well. 

He started as more of a ground ball hitter. With the right adjustments, he transitioned slightly to line drives with more airtime and a better launch angle. Rice is not the quickest on the base pads, but he’s aggressive and has proven to be a smart runner. 

The newly appointed big leaguer will be trusted more at first base, where he’s had a better track record than behind the plate. As a catcher, there is a ton of work to do defensively, most of it fundamental. 

Minor League Performance 

The pandemic also affected minor league play, as restrictions affected playing time and innings. Rice flopped between the Florida Complex League and Low-A ball. 

In 2022, he started the year in A-ball, where things elevated for him and his game. He slashed a .267/.368/.442. The lefty banged out nine home runs and 36 RBIs on 55 hits. 

In 2023, he started to climb the ladder of the minor leagues. His first two stints were in A-ball in the Florida State League, and he moved on to high-A in the South Atlantic League. His .341 batting average pushed the hands of player development to move him up the ranks. 

AA-Somerset was Rice’s breakout to being a professional baseball player. He slashed a .327/.401/.648 in just 196 at-bats. On 64 hits, Rice drove in 48 runs, cranked 16 home runs, and scored 40 times while stealing seven bags. 

2024 was the knock on the door and he picked up where he left off. Between double-A and triple-A, Rice slashed .275/.393./.532 with 61 hits, 36 RBIs, and 15 dingers. He also found a way to snag nine bags. 

This performance is undeniable and paid dues at the unfortunate injury of another Yankee. Rice fully deserves the promotion and has many tools and skill sets to offer at the major league level. 

Main Photo Credits: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports



More Posts

Send Us A Message