Saving Move: Yankees agreed to trade prospect with elite upside…

The New York Yankees significantly upgraded their outfield in the offseason with the addition of Hall of Famer Juan Soto and outstanding hitter Alex Verdugo.

The division, led by Aaron Judge and two new signings, will look very different in 2024, but the team has high hopes for one of its rising prospects. So far, the Yankees have refused to even trade lefty Spencer Jones (22), nicknamed “Lefty Aaron Judge.”After an inconsistent season in the minor leagues, Jones played 100 games for Hudson Valley and 17 for Somerset (AA) in 2023. He hit .268/.337/.450 with 13 home runs, 56 RBI and an impressive 35 stolen bases . Basics for a 6-foot-2 athlete (Hudson Valley numbers). Jones has thrown too many ground balls, and his main focus this season has been to increase the loft of his swing to increase his home runs.In a recent interview with The Athletic, Jones said he is working hard to help the Yankees this season if he doesn’t win the starting job in 2025. The current goal is to improve his pitch angle and focus on the ball, which was somewhat of an issue last year in High-A and Double-A, with a strikeout rate exceeding 28 percent.”It feels a lot more athletic now,” Jones said of his swing. “I can stand up a lot better and see the spin with my eyes. By easing my movement and being in a more athletic trigger position, I can make more reads on the ball. Even if the first read is not good, you can still make a decision a little later with good athleticism. Ultimately, my goal was to get to a position where I could take up the sport, and once there, practice shooting in different directions on different fields. I did a lot of post-step work to get my eyes where they needed to be, get my arms in the shooting position, and then take a few steps in different directions. So this meeting is timely. “Now we can cover more ground.”Jones’ offense is certainly elite, but many overlook the quality of his defense. Jones has the profile to play in midfield in the future given his tremendous pace and reactive nature. The Athletics even said the Yankees allowed Jones to watch film of Kevin Kiermaier to better understand his position as an outfielder. They are making a big investment in his future because there is significant upside on both sides of the ball.“He was always the guy that the staff pointed to me,” Jones said. “If you want to train and become the best, why not find the best?” This year, I got a chance to play center field and hit some balls, and it was really exciting to see that I like the job and that I can get to different spots on the field.With the offensive adjustments in place, Jones should see a significant increase in home runs next season, fewer strikeouts and higher stolen base efficiency. Spencer could be a complete player, and with the Yankees still unsure of the center field position, Jones has a chance to fill that spot.Of course, that means replacing Jason Dominguez, who is struggling through Tommy John rehab. Dominguez is expected to return to the team next summer in 2023, but it is still unclear where he will play defensive back.

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