Yankees Value Tyler Wade's Versatility
A year ago, the Yankees began to look at shortstop Tyler Wade as a player who could work at multiple positions and offer versatility to a roster.
The 22-year-old Wade impressed in that role during the Arizona Fall League last year and at spring training this year, handling each infield and outfield position smoothly. Summoned to New York from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre twice this year prior to September, he appeared in 14 games at second base, three in left field and two in right field.
In the International League, the lefthanded-batting Wade hit .307/.381/.460 with seven home runs and 26 stolen bases through 84 games. "He has got tools and can play anywhere on the field," Yankees bench coach Rob Thomson said. "He can hit, field, throw and really run. And he can hit lefthanded pitching. He is going to be an everyday player in the big leagues. We don’t know if it will be at one position or multiple positions."
And while Wade hit just .135 in limited big league action, the 2013 fourth-round pick from high school in Murrieta, Calif., didn’t lose support from the organization.
When the Yankees demoted Wade on Aug. 25, the possibility of being included on a possible postseason roster was mentioned because clubs often take a pinch-runner and sacrifice a reliever.
"I have always said I wanted to be consistent," Wade said, "to go about my business the right way and slow the game down."
Wade noticed a difference between minor league and major league pitchers.
"I didn’t get much to hit," Wade said. "I have seen the stuff before, but they locate better (in the big leagues)."
Wade projects to fill a utility role in the majors, focusing his time at the middle infield and in the outfield.
Regular work with the Yankees might be hard to come by with second baseman Starlin Castro around for two more years, 27-year-old Didi Gregorius entrenched at shortstop and top prospect Gleyber Torres on the horizon.
Trevor Stephan Advances Quickly To Double-A
The 2017 third-round pick advanced his time table to New York by reaching Double-A in May of his first full season.
Yet even with a lack of obvious playing-time avenues, the Yankees elected to hold onto Wade at the trade deadline, when eight other prospects were traded to acquire Todd Frazier, Sonny Gray, David Robertson and others.