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New York Yankees 2024 Outfield Outlook

BRONX, NY — As the world prepares for October Baseball and another World Series Championship, the New York Yankees get to prepare for offseason changes. Yankees were officially eliminated from playoff contention September 24th, the earliest the Yankees have been eliminated since  Bill Clinton was elected as the 42nd President of the United States.

Aaron Judge, who was appointed Captain this last season was not satisfied with the results of the Yankees 2023 season who will go down as one of the most infamous seasons to date. Judge had words with media last week, where he hinted on a lot of “changes” and things that need to be “fixed”, But above all, he called the season a "failure". He was not wrong. 

“If I’m not standing here talking to you guys after a championship, it’s a failure,” Aaron Judge said. “After all of the work you’ve put in the offseason, training, preparation, coming out here on a daily basis, rain or shine, to play a game – it’s about bringing a championship back. That’s why we play. That’s why I’m here.”

Yankees have two of the greatest players of the league with Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole. Cole lead the AL in ERA and will win the Cy Young. Time is of the essence and Yankees need to win another Championship with both Judge and Cole while they are at their prime.

“We gotta have faith, but as a player, I gotta do what I gotta do here on the field. I gotta get these guys in this room prepared. I gotta get them ready on a daily basis. If we get the right guys, we’ll take care of the rest.”

If we get the right guys. When Spring Training started, the Yankees went in with no star left fielder and weakness in the outfield. Yankees were running out Aaron Hicks, Oswaldo Cabrera, Billy McKinney, Jake Bauers and Franchy Cordero. This was a huge hole and no one was able to step up and provide consistency in left field. The left field struggles contributed to the Yankees poor offensive play.  Yankees need to address two issues this offseason. (1) Lefty Bats in the lineup (2) Outfield. They need Lefty bats and it's important that the Yankees address the holes in Outfield especially now with Dominguez being out the first half of the season.

Outfield Outlook: Is Spencer Jones in the Yankees 2024 future plans?

Spencer Jones is the Yankees top ranked prospect and 73rd in MLB Pipeline's top 100. Jasson Dominguez and Everson Pereira are right behind him at 74th and 75th, respectively. The major difference with Jones and the other prospect outfielders is that Jones is the only one that was drafted by the Yankees. Dominguez, Pereira, Estevan Florial and Oswaldo Cabrera, were all international signings.

When Jones makes his Yankees debut, he will be the top outfield prospect the Yankees have started since Aaron Judge in 2017. Trey Amburgey was the only other Yankee outfielder drafted to start for them. He played two games in 2021.

Spencer Jones spent most of the 2023 season with High-A Hudson Valley Renegades. In 100 games this season, he slashed .268/.337/.450/.787, hitting 12 home runs and collecting 54 RBI, and 35 SB in Hudson. Somerset stats: .261/.333/.406/.739, with 3 HR, 10 RBI, and 8 SB over 17 games.

Spencer Jones talks about his adjustments from High-A to Double-A pitching velocity:

“I mean it’s just reps it’s just seeing it. You might not get that same velocity you’re getting at the lower levels, but just getting used to it and seeing it every day has made a huge change for me" -Spencer Jones

He is essentially replicating the path and going through each level of the minor league system and being called up as the others before him, Pereira, Dominguez, Wells. Jones will most likely start his third minor league season with the Patriots just like Dominguez did last year.

Outfield Options  for 2024:

Jasson Domínguez - Tommy John surgery and likely recovering until July/August. With the loss of Dominguez, there are two openings the Yankees need to fill. (MLB): In just 8 Games and 31 AB .258/.303/.677/.980. (AAA): 9 Games and 31 AB-- Jasson slashed .419/.514/.581/1.095. (AA) 15 HR, 66 RBI, 37 SB, .781 OPS

Estevan Florial  - (MLB): .230/.324/.311, 14 Hits, 8 RBI, across 19 games. (AAA): .284/.380/.565/.945, with 28 HR, 79 RBI, 66 BB

Everson Pereira - (MLB): .151/.233/.194, 14 H, 10 RBI, 27 games.  (AAA): .312/.386/.551/.937  8 HR, 33 RBI across 35 games. (AA) 10 HR, 31 RBI, .907 OPS

Oswaldo Cabrera - (MLB): .211/.275/.299, 63 H, 29 RBI, 115 games. (AAA): .225/.326/.400/.726 over 10 games and 40 PA's when he was sent down for a short period.

Outfield Free Agent Options:

Will the Yankees shop for a stopgap this offseason while Jasson Dominguez heals from TJ. He is expected to return by July or August and could eventually have the DH role. And how will Stanton fit into the picture? Here are some Free Agents that can fit the Yankee mold in the outfield.

Cody Bellinger - 2023 stats: 26 HR, 97 RBI, 20 SB, .307 AVG, .881 OPS | Career (7 seasons): 178 HR, 519 RBI, 82 SB, .258 BA, .829 OPS

Shohei Ohtani -  2023 stats: Hitting: 44 HR, 95 RBI, 20 SB, .304 AVG, 1.066 OPS | Career (6 seasons): 171 HR, 437 RBI, 86 SB, .274 AVG, .922 OPS

Kevin Kiermaier - 2023 stats: 8 HR, 36 RBI, 14 SB, .265 AVG .741 OPS | Career (11 seasons): 90 HR, 352 RBI, .249 AVG, .719 OPS

Jung-hoo Lee (Korea) KBO stats: 2022: 23 HR, 113 RBI, 5 SB .349 AVG .996 OPS (KBO MVP) | 2023: 6 HR, 45 RBI, 6 SB, .319 AVG, .863 OPS, 329 AB (Fractured ankle)

Last week, Yankees announced, Owner Hal Steinbrenner, and managing partners, Brian Cashman, and Aaron Boone along with high-ranking officials were scheduled to meet in Tampa to discuss the state of the Yankees and plan for future. Aaron Judge was also included in the discussion. "We're going to take a very deep dive into everything we're doing and looking to bring in possibly an outside company to really take a look at the analytics side of what we do." Steinbrenner said, as reported by Andy Martino. We expect more news to come as the Yankees prepare for the offseason.

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