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  • Tim Kabel

About Spring Training: The Suspencer is Killing Me

About Spring Training: The Suspencer is Killing Me

By Tim Kabel

March 7, 2024

***

Spencer Jones is clearly one of the Yankees’ top prospects. He is built from the same mold as Aaron Judge. He is reportedly extremely fast and an excellent outfielder. The difference between Jones and Judge is that Jones is a left-handed hitter, which is a nice thing to have in Yankee Stadium. He came into Spring Training and did very well. He didn't do as well as Jasson Dominguez did last year but, nonetheless, he did well enough for people to notice. 


Jones was reassigned to minor league camp a few days ago. This should come as a surprise to no one. It is not a knock on Jones. It is not a sign that he has deficiencies or anything else that could be construed as negative. It's like when you bake a cake. You can run into a lot of problems if you pull it out of the oven too early. 


Spencer Jones needs a lot more seasoning. He only played a handful of games above A ball last year. In addition, the Yankees have multiple solid outfield options at the Major League level. Besides that, Jasson Dominguez seems to be recovering very quickly and could be back in the Major Leagues before too long. 


It is the absolute correct move to send Jones back to the minor leagues to continue his development and progression. There are a lot of things he needs to work on. That is the case with almost any young player. Jones will turn 23 this season. He needs to start off the year at AA and progress naturally. It is entirely possible that he can make the Major League team next season. Maybe, he will even get a little taste of the Bronx later this season, depending on the circumstances. At that time. If Jones is setting the world on fire and the Yankees have a need for him, it could happen. 


The point is that no one, repeat, no one, should be surprised or disappointed that Spencer Jones was sent to the minor leagues. That is where he belongs. You could take the greatest minds in our country in any particular field. At some point, they were all in grade school. Ernest Hemingway did not write novels when he was eight years old. It takes time for people to develop into who they will be. It is a process. 


It is also in the realm of possibility that Jones will never pan out. He might never make it to the Major Leagues or if he does, he might not be a player of any great significance. As Doris Day used to sing, “Que Sera, Sera”. At this point, we have no way of knowing what type of career Jones will have. All we have is promise and potential. Those are good things to have with a young player. 


As fans, we need to concentrate on the Major League level. There is enough to occupy us there. If we want to, we can dream about Jasson Dominguez’s return from the IL. At least, that is more realistic and likely than expecting Spencer Jones to make major contributions to the Yankees this season. 


We can certainly pay attention to what Jones is doing at AA and possibly AAA. There's nothing wrong with that. If he has a tremendous season in the minor leagues, that is what he is supposed to do. Even if he struggles a bit, there is still nothing wrong with that. He will get here when he gets here. Actually, he will get here if he gets here. 


Having someone with Jones’ talent and potential is wonderful. Hopefully, this season, Yankees’ fans can enjoy the best of both worlds: watching the Major League team push toward a Championship Season while waiting for Spencer Jones to develop into the Major Leaguer we all hope he will be. 

22 Comments


Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Mar 07

Regarding Juan Soto.......


FUN FACT: When he was with the Washington Nationals, the team made a bobblehead of Juan Soto. When Soto saw it, he rejected his bobblehead design because it wasn't smiling.


FUN FACT: Juan Soto learned English by going to McDonalds and immersing himself in English speaking.

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Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Mar 07

One thing I observed with Jasson Dominguez last season, and it could possibly happen to Spencer Jones this season, is that he started off poor the first few months of the season in AA before finally heating up, specifically because he needed to be promoted to the AAA level at the start of the season instead of starting off at the AA level.....because......what happened was, because Dominguez was so dominantly better in the lineup than all of his teammates, all of the AA teams were pitching around him and barely ever giving him anything good to hit. They were "unintentionally intentionally" walking him, and not throwing anything right down the middle because they didn't want to the big guy (bes…

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Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Mar 07
Replying to

It would have been SO much better to have the Yankees best home-grown prospects in AAA, just a phone call away, when the Yankees big league players went down with injuries instead of all those players with big league experience who were not that successful with other big league teams, or HAD been successful, but then started a downward trend. The Yankees successfully did that ONE season when they had players like Cameron Maybin and others successfully fill in for injured regulars, but they just caught lightning in a bottle that season, and it hasn't been successful since then. At least with the top prospects, it would give them a taste of big league pitching, big league crowds, and b…

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Alan B.
Alan B.
Mar 07

Because of the lack of OFs in Camp last year, Dominguez got a bit more playing time than Jones did this Spring.


Now, I look at Spring when it comes to the kids, is if they should skip a level, or determine just how much time does the prospect need at the minor league level they have him ticketed for, before being promoted. But this is where the Yankees are different from almost every other MLB organization. Positional players have almost no shot at skipping a level, while the pitchers have a shot at being promoted after the first 4-6 GS. In past years, guys like Nick Nelson got promoted that way, and even Will Warren & Clayton Beeter …


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fuster
Mar 07

Spencer Jones is an imposing figure who seems to offer all-around talent.

people around the game seem to be noticing his ability and talking of it

some might say that he's being hyped

and think that the Yankee organization might be encouraging, if not actively participating, in talking up Jones

some might think that the organization is seeking to prepare the fans for Soto's exit after 2024

by offering the idea that a Judge-Dominguez-Jones outfield will be an excellent one and that it can get along pretty well without a Juan outfielder.

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Paul Semendinger
Paul Semendinger
Mar 07

Think about this...


Spencer Jones will turn 23 in May. He needs time in Double-A

Juan Soto is 25. He's been in the MLB since 2018.


Juan Soto is a very very special player.

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Jeff Korell
Jeff Korell
Mar 07
Replying to

Paul, what is even more incredible is Soto's meteoric rise through the Nats farm system. The reason he debuted in the majors at such a young age, is that he was SO dominant at each level of the minors, that he kept getting promoted after only a few games in each of the lowest levels of the minors. Then, when he reached AA, he only played 8 games at the AA level and he was promoted straight to the majors, completely skipping AAA! (Never got sent back to AAA, he was in the majors to stay!) To show you how unbelievably astronomical his numbers were during his extremely short time in the Nats minor league system, check out this vid…

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