Yankees’ T.J. Rumfield Works To Make Higher-Quality Contact

A little-known piece of an under-the-radar trade made his presence felt for the Yankees in the Arizona Fall League.

First baseman T.J. Rumfield absolutely raked through his first 13 games for Mesa, hitting .432 with a home run and five doubles. Yankees minor league hitting coordinator Joe Migliaccio credits the work Rumfield put into honing his powerful lefthanded stroke.

“Hopefully this is just setting him up to have a really, really strong 2023 because we’re really excited about him,” Migliaccio said.

The Yankees acquired the 22-year-old Rumfield from the Phillies alongside lefthander Joel Valdez in November 2021, sending catcher Donny Sands and reliever Nick Nelson to Philadelphia.

At the time, the Yankees made the move while aiming to clear 40-man roster space, but it turned out to be a little more.

The Yankees were particularly excited about adding Rumfield, whom the Phillies had drafted in the 12th round in 2021 out of Virginia Tech and was already a “big, strong guy who made a lot of contact (and) made relatively good swing decisions,” Migliaccio said.

“But the contact quality itself wasn’t there.”

So instructors and Rumfield worked on putting his 6-foot-5, 225-pound frame in a better position to make harder contact.

It paid off.

At High-A Hudson Valley this season, Rumfield hit .284/.381/.411 with four homers in 52 games. He struck out 45 times and had 29 walks. A midseason injury cut his season short, so the Yankees sent him to the AFL.

“I think there’s much more in the tank that we could get out of him,” Migliaccio said. “He’s a really smart kid.”

With the Phillies, Rumfield’s top exit velocity was 104 mph. At Hudson Valley, he topped out at 110 mph. The Yankees are excited by his progress and the promise of future production.

“It’s been cool to see him go out into the Fall League and have the success that we thought he would have,” Migliaccio said.

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