After making several trades at the deadline last year, the New York Yankees now have one of, if not the best, farm system in baseball. A ton of young prospects now call themselves Yankees, including some of the top prospects in all of baseball. Pitchers were a key part in all of the trades, as well as very talented position players. The biggest name prospect the Yankees received is shortstop Gleyber Torres, from the Chicago Cubs. Torres, the key piece in the Aroldis Chapman trade, has done nothing but give high hopes for all Yankees fans.
Torres also became the Arizona Fall League MVP and continued to shine all throughout Spring Training this year. He is going to begin the year in Double A, Trenton Thunder, in hopes of making his way to the bigs soon. A rather positive sidenote, the man is also 20 years old.
Now as many Yankees fans know, Sir Didi Gregorious is the Yankees starting shortstop. He proved he can fill the show of Derek Jeter well, maybe not up to Jeters standards, but well enough. Didi shined last year, showing that his glove is just as valuable as his bat. He also led the team in batting average and provided a much needed spark in the second half of the season. Many fans and teammates of his have high hopes for this season and the future and has definitely become a fan favorite.
Didi chose to go and play for the Netherlands, his home country, and also led his team to the semifinals before getting a shoulder injury. And this is where the dilemma kicks in.
The Yankees already have a stacked middle infield throughout the organization (Didi, Gleyber, Jorge Mateo, Tyler Wade). Before Didi got hurt, there was already conversation about what the Yankees are gig to do in the future with all these guys at the same position. No one wants to see them traded because they are all so talented so no one knows what they possibly could do. All of them are super young too, (Didi 27, Torres 20, Wade 22, Mateo 21). Wade hasn’t played past Double AA and Mateo and Torres haven’t played passed Single A. Now that Didi is hurt, the Yankees have a lot of figuring out to do for who is going to be the Opening Day starter at shortstop.
Also on the roster able to play shortstop is the utility man Ronald Torreyes and former Met, Ruben Tejada. Torreyes played all season with the Yanks last year and has shown that he is a wild card player. Tejada has started many games at shortstop but might not be the best option going forward.
This past week a lot of talk has been between Tyler Wade and Ronald Torreyes for being the starter coming April 2. It also has been stated that the Yanks are hoping to turn Wade into a Ben Zobrist type player, able to play almost any position dominantly while also having a consistent bat.
The Yankees should give Wade the nod, letting the young guys make their way up to the bigs. Worst case scenario, he does poorly and gets sent down and then you have 3 or 4 other guys to choose from. Its only for about a month, as Brian Cashman said that they expect Didi to miss the entire month of April. Shutting down Didi gives all these other guys the opportunity to how what kind of players they are and if they’re ready to take their game to the next level.
The Yankees have a problem at shortstop, but a good problem. Hard decisions will come in the future for this organization, as there can only be one starting shortstop for the Yankees.
So for now, the question remains in the air for who the starting shortstop will be for the Yankees on Opening Day. Didi’s month long absence will be evident and his return will be one many will be looking forward to. Unless of course whoever starts in his place decides to go off and have an amazing April. Will it be Tyler Wade? Ronald Torreyes? Ruben Tejada? This decision is not only for the month of April, but could be a decision that determines who the starting shortstop is for the Yankees in the ver near future.