Austin Wells may not be New York Yankees future catcher

Feb 21, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees catcher Austin Wells (62) at Yankees player development complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 21, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees catcher Austin Wells (62) at Yankees player development complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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It is just a matter of time before the New York Yankees move on from Gary Sanchez. They have been frustrated with the powerful, but enigmatic, catcher for years, coming close to non-tendering him last offseason. The problem is that the Yankees have been unable to find a better option either in free agency or the trade market.

But hope springs eternal. The Yankees may well have their catcher of the future in the system already, as Austin Wells has impressed with the bat in his brief career. At least, that is the belief.

New York Yankees may still be searching for catcher of the future

The problem is that Wells may not stay behind the plate. Some teams had considered moving him from behind the plate had they drafted him, something that could still be a possibility. He had spent time in the outfield and at first during his college career, positions that he could see time at as his minor league career progresses.

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Wells may have the type of bat that would allow him to still be productive at other positions. He produced an impressive .264/.390/.476 batting line in his 469 plate appearances across two levels last season, hitting 16 homers and 23 doubles. The problem is that his production came in A-ball, where players can be impressive before running into the meat grinder that is Double-A.

His ability to play at other positions may not matter too much going forward. Wells has been working on his defense behind the plate, showing improvement as it comes to his arm strength and pitch framing. If he continues to show strides defensively, he may be what the Yankees have been searching for.

Even if his time in Double-A and beyond goes smoothly, Wells is still some time away. Chances are, he will not be ready for the majors by the start of the 2023 campaign, leaving the Yankees to find a stopgap. However, there is hope that they have found their long term answer behind the plate – as was said about Sanchez so many years ago.

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The New York Yankees think they have their catcher of the future in Austin Wells. But a lot can happen between now and his ascension to the majors.