New York Yankees Dynasty Sleepers, Breakouts, and Busts
Discover sleepers and breakouts from the New York Yankees for dynasty fantasy baseball both on the MLB and prospect side.
With dynasty season ramping up, it is time to talk about some sleepers, breakouts, and busts for each team. You can find our rankings and reports to see how we at the Dynasty Dugout value players for your dynasty leagues, but I also feel like it’s helpful to truly identify whether I believe a player can be a breakout or not. Here is where we call our shots on players, I think, require a call to action in dynasty, whether it be to buy or sell that player.
New York Yankees Dynasty Sleepers, Breakouts, Busts
MLB Sleeper: Carlos Rodón, SP
Rodon was a weird case in 2023. His results were lackluster (putting it nicely) in his 64.1 innings on the mound despite his stuff+ numbers and velocity holding year-over-year. His trouble came with locations that were conceivably worsened by a forearm strain that held him out until July and a hamstring injury that hamstrung him in the second half. He still has five years remaining on his six-year, $162M contract with New York, and they’ll be hungry to get as much out of the deal as possible.
The other part of the equation, obviously, is his health. He’s got a spotty track record, especially in recent years. This is a case for his performance when on the field, and those who roster him should be wary that it may only come to fruition for partial seasons moving forward.
Still, there isn’t much to point toward in terms of performance decline. His HR/FB rate jumped from 6.5% with the Giants to over 15% with the Yankees, and only part of it can be explained by the difference in stadium. His stuff didn’t atrophy – he was getting whiffs – but it’s clear rehabbing from injuries took a toll on his command. With a healthy offseason under his belt and an ADP that places him as the 68th pitcher off the board, there’s room to profit.
MLB Breakout: Clarke Schmidt, SP
Schmidt finally broke into the rotation in his age-27 season last year but pitched to a mediocre 4.64 ERA over 159 innings. He was squarely average in terms of wOBA, xwOBA, and average exit velocity against despite his pitch mix being fairly unoptimized and some serious regression from his sweeper. He only threw his curveball 19% of the time and primarily reserved it for lefties despite it being his most effective pitch throughout the season, and I think he could garner better results should he lean on it more, especially if he’s using it to keep the ball on the ground in an unforgiving fly ballpark. He may also benefit from being a strict five-and-dive arm, especially considering his very limited innings prior to a huge jump in workload last year, as he had a near-7.00 ERA in the 5th inning and later.
MLB Bust: Austin Wells, C
Wells has been an anticipated prospect for some time, and it looks like he’ll be in line for a meaningful number of plate appearances after making his debut last September. He was a first-round pick in 2020 out of Arizona, originally billed as a power hitter with excellent plate skills who may have to move off of catcher eventually, and we’ve seen most of that come to fruition.
Unfortunately, Wells’ plate skills have regressed in a manner that didn’t necessarily show up in his walk rates. He turned his patience (sometimes passivity) into all-out aggression, both in and out of the zone, and his chase rate ballooned to an untenable 37% at the MLB level. Without plus or better power, that dynamic may make his transition to the big leagues a bit rockier. Don’t get me wrong, his average and 90th percentile exit velocities are average for the MLB level, and that’s good from a catcher, and he certainly could poke 20 home runs out to right in a small ballpark, but my contention is that Trevino puts up more of a fight for playing time in 2024 as Austin Wells scuffles.
Prospect Sleeper: Ben Rice, C
Rice flew pretty under the radar until 2023 as he spent 2021 and 2022 beating up on significantly younger competition. After climbing three levels while improving as the year went on and subsequently landing in the back end of my work-in-progress top 100, I don’t think public opinion of him has caught up.
We’re working off a supremely small sample of statcast data, but what Rice flashed in that time rivaled many of the top prospects in the game. He managed a zone contact rate north of 94% while chasing just 22% of pitches outside of the zone and carried a 90th-percentile exit velocity in line with the MLB average. It translated to on-the-field production, too, as he finished with a total season line of .324/.434/.615 with 20 home runs and 11 stolen bases while striking out just 19% of the time. He was featured as the backstop on my MiLB team of the year article in October.
Prospect Breakout: Agustin Ramirez, C
When you get the chance to put three backstops in one article, you take it. Ramirez is perhaps further slept on than Ben Rice but presents as much or more offensive upside. He has superlative bat speed that generates plus exit velocities (107 mph, 90th in 2023). He made contact in the zone at an 85% clip at Single-A, which held relatively steady as he climbed to Double-A. He could stand to chase a bit less out of the zone and found trouble once he arrived at Somerset, but at just 21 years old, he’s showing markers of advanced damage potential at the plate. He’ll fall down real-life rankings because of his deficiencies as a receiver and blocker, but his fantasy value lies with the bat, and thus far, it looks like he may have enough juice to weather a transition to first base if necessary. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yankees deal him at some point given their excess of tweener catcher profiles.
Be sure to check out our Yankees Top Prospects Article Below