On Thursday, January 31, the New York Yankees announced the group of 44 players who have been extended invitations to the big-league camp commencing in a mere 11 days. Looking at the list, the level of players vary from experienced veterans to up-and-coming prospects.
Some of the veteran names that stand out include former Atlanta Braves outfielder Matt Diaz, who enters camp with a legitimate shot at solidifying a role on the Yankees bench, former Tampa Bay Ray infielder/DH Dan Johnson, and former Los Angeles Angels catcher Bobby Wilson, who should enter the fray for the somewhat vacant starting catcher role. Additionally, recently signed Juan Rivera, returning for a potential second stint as a Yankee, could compete for a right-handed role with Diaz in a currently predominate left-handed outfield.
Further delving into the list, and one of the true pleasures of spring training, is seeing the "Yankees of tomorrow" if you will, and this year's group of prospects invited to camp have no shortage of promise. In addition to highly-rated catcher Gary Sanchez and outfielder Tyler Austin, both who recently cracked MLB.com's Top-100 Prospect list as well as received high ratings from Baseball America, another pair of highly-touted prospects in outfielder Slade Heathcott and pitcher Mark Montgomery will also be at the big-league camp.
Needless to say, in addition to watching veterans compete for an opportunity with the Major League ball club, it will be also fun to watch a highly-touted class of prospects and perhaps show the Yankees what's in store for the future.
- Be sure to "Like" Yankees 101 on Facebook and follow Yankees_101 on Twitter.