Top Yankees prospects invited to MLB camp
Torres, Frazier, Kaprielian, Sheffield among Spring Training invitees
By Chris Tripodi / MiLB.com
At the start of last season, Gleyber Torres and Clint Frazier were part of organizations that would eventually reach the World Series. A year later, they head to Spring Training with the New York Yankees as the team's top two prospects.
Torres and Frazier are among 23 non-roster players who will get a look with the Yankees this spring, the club announced Tuesday. Torres, recently named MLB.com's third-ranked prospect, was signed by the Cubs as an international free agent in July 2013 and sent to the Yankees as part of this summer's Aroldis Chapman trade. Frazier, who checks in at No. 24 overall, was a 2013 first-round pick (fifth overall) by the Indians before joining the Yankees at the trade deadline as part of the return for Andrew Miller.
Torres hit .270/.354/.421 while splitting time between Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach and Class A Advanced Tampa in 2016. His 11 home runs nearly quadrupled his previous career high of three set in 2015, and he stole 21 bases in 34 attempts. He also became the youngest player to be named Arizona Fall League MVP after leading the circuit in batting average (.403), on-base percentage (.513) and OPS (1.158) at the age of 19.
Frazier posted a .263/.335/.447 line with 16 homers and 13 steals in 17 attempts between Double-A Akron, Triple-A Columbus and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Strikeouts have been an issue for Frazier, and he struggled in his first taste of Triple-A, batting .228/.278/.396 with 30 whiffs and seven walks in 25 games for the RailRiders after a five-game stint with the Clippers.
Torres and Frazier weren't the team's only top prospects to receive Spring Training invites. The team's No. 5 prospect, James Kaprielian, was also asked to attend, along with Justus Sheffield (No. 7), Chance Adams (No. 8) and Dustin Fowler (No. 9).
Kaprielian, ranked No. 58 by MLB.com, missed most of 2016 with a flexor tendon sprain but made his return in the AFL with mixed results. Sheffield, a left-hander ranked 79th overall, was also part of the Chapman deal and posted a 1.73 ERA and 3-1 record in five starts with Tampa after going 7-5 with a 3.59 ERA in 19 starts at Class A Advanced Lynchburg.
Adams enjoyed a breakout 2016 season after being drafted in the fifth round in 2015, earning a midseason promotion from Tampa to Double-A Trenton and improving his numbers at the higher level, going 8-1 with a 2.07 ERA and a 71-to-24 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 13 appearances (12 starts). Fowler enjoyed a solid season in his Double-A debut, batting .281/.311/.458 with 12 homers, 88 RBIs, 25 steals and 15 triples.
Others invited to camp include left-handers Daniel Camarena, Jordan Montgomery and Evan Rutckyj, right-hander Nick Rumbelow, infielder Tyler Wade and catcher Jorge Saez. All were originally drafted by the Yankees except for Saez, who was claimed off waivers in December.