The New York Yankees are building themselves quite the prospect system.
With a heavy emphasis on international scouting, the Yankees have grabbed some quality prospects from the international scouting pool, including current prospect Jasson Dominguez in 2019. These international names only add to their current farm system, headlined by up-and-coming shortstop Anthony Volpe.
The Bronx Bombers just added a new weapon to their farm system for $4 million. That weapon is a 17-year-old Dominican shortstop named Roderick Arias.
You read that correctly. Arias is just 17 years old. But, he is not your average 17 year old, and he has quite the skillset to show why he was the consensus #1 overall pick, according to MLB.com.
Arias has drawn comparisons to current Rays shortstop Wander Franco, and given how recent Franco’s rise and success in the major league game has been, that’s certainly promising news.
Arias stands at 6’ 2” and weighs 178 pounds. Along with this, he can bat from either side of the plate. That ability to switch-hit is extremely attractive, especially for the Yankees, who have a plethora of right-handed bats in their lineup.
Arias is quite the catch for New York and with how empty baseball news has been due to the ongoing MLB lockout, it’s fairly surprising that his name has not been talked about more. In fact, his skillset may just be good enough that if Arias can speed through the farm system just like Volpe, he could very well soon be a major league option for New York. However, the Yankees are not in a rush to get Arias to Yankee Stadium and are certainly looking to develop his skills even more.
His defensive skills are impressive with plus arm potential, strong throws, solid footwork and above-average range. Arias’ arm currently outranks Volpe’s, an impressive accomplishment at his age. Once fine-tuned with major-league level trainers, Arias could easily have the tools to be an effective defensive option for New York once fully trained.
However, the best statistic that Arias brings to the table is his bat. As stated previously, Arias is not only a switch-hitter with a tall frame, but he also brings in many veteran skills at such a young age. Whether that’s good strike zone awareness, good plate discipline or above-average bat-to-bat skills, Arias certainly has the traits to give pitchers trouble at the plate. You can’t forget about his power, though, especially from the left side. With the short porches in Yankee Stadium allowing for easy home runs, Arias can take advantage of the ballpark’s hitter-friendly assets.
He’s also fast on the bases. Arias can run the 60-yard dash in 6.5 seconds, which is an above-average time. The young prospect shows good awareness when going from first base to second base with a combination of this awareness and solid anticipation.
With such a quality five-tool skill set, it’s no wonder that scouts and teams could easily see the potential of Arias. While the young prospect may not stick at shortstop with his great skillset around the infield, there’s no doubt in scout’s minds that New York picked up a quality piece with Arias. The young infielder will most likely plan to start in the Dominican Summer League as he develops his game to Major League levels.