Tyler Wade

Position: SS
Level: Triple-A
Affiliate: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders
League: International League
Born: 11/23/1994 (Age: 28)
Height: 185
Weight: 6'1"
B/T: Left / Right
Acquired: 4th Rd., 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft (NYY)

Prospect Spotlight

While the Bronx will need to wait a while before highly touted, uber-prospect Gleyber Torres (SS, Yankees) makes his debut, the bombers have another potential impact prospect in the making who could be the Swiss-army knife they need in the second half. Drafted as a shortstop out of high school, Wade’s profile has always been one that boasts great athleticism that pairs well with a solid glove up the middle, but it’s also a profile that falls short on impact with the bat, and has limited projection with the body. After a middling performance in the Arizona Fall League last year, Wade apparently found the gym this past offseason, and he’s already matched his 2016 power numbers in roughly half the 2017 at-bats, while also upping his running game at a similar pace, with 23 stolen bases in 27 attempts.

Wade’s compact stroke and quick-twitch athleticism are conducive to high contact rates (17.4% K rate in 2016; 16.7% in 2017), however until recently the damage hasn’t been there, which severely limited his upside and put a tremendous amount of pressure on the hit tool to carry the profile. After posting a miniscule .091 ISO in 2016 over 505 at-bats, Wade already has .137 ISO through 270 at-bats, with 24 extra-base hits and five home runs. His over-the-fence pop is primarily to the pull side, however the fact that he is now stinging the ball makes him a threat to the gaps and on the bases, and both tools bring additional depth to his game that make him a factor at the plate. In addition, Wade is now hanging in versus left-handed pitching with a solid .789 OPS over 83 at-bats, a positive trend that began in 2016.

From a defensive standpoint, the Yanks have already begun moving him around the field – a lot. He will make the routine plays, but is just average at his natural shortstop position, as his 60-grade run tool and quick actions haven’t translated to great range. However, he has solid instincts with a good game clock, and he does enough to still be a consideration there. His 55-grade arm make him a factor in the outfield as well; in fact in the AFL in 2016 he spent a great deal of time in center field, something that has continued so far this season, as well as booking time on both corner-outfield spots (5 games in the outfield to-date), and second (12) and third base (10). Like 2080’s resident scout Ted Lekas mentioned last month, Wade’s progression is looking more and more like that of Ben Zobrist (2B/OF, Cubs). So while the Torres party has been postponed until mid-2018, an under-the-radar Tyler Wade could soon step into the limelight of the Bronx and play an important role for the A.L. East contenders.