Boston Red Sox prospect Nick Yorke should not be part of your fantasy trades
The Boston Red Sox are in a place it feels like they haven’t been in a long time.
They need to acquire quite a bit of pitching, hitting, and fielding help this offseason (okay, that doesn’t feel all that new). What is new though, is the talent they have to acquire that veteran help.
The Sox finally have an influx of prospects, which has led to fans constantly fantasy-booking trades on social media. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s some good harmless fun. I do feel like something needs to be mentioned though.
One prospect who seems to be constantly brought up in these trade rumors is second baseman, Nick Yorke. The logic is solid: if the Sox want to acquire a legitimate player via trade, they’ll have to give up some of their top prospects in return.
Just not Yorke.
‘Oh wow, what a surprise, Hunter thinks Boston shouldn’t trade a prospect.’ Yes, I’m extra sentimental about prospects, but in this case, there’s a good reason.
Yorke is being named so much by fans because he had a down year; that feels incredibly obvious at this point. The right-handed hitter slashed .231/.303/.365 with 10 doubles, one triple, and 11 home runs in 80 games (337 at-bats) this season. He drove in 45 runs, scored 48 more, and stole eight bases as well.
Not great numbers, but let me toss a few other facts into the mix. Yorke spent the entire season battling injuries (including a wrist ailment that clearly hurt his hitting). He was also a 20-year-old in High-A; an absurdly hefty majority of his at-bats came against pitchers older than him. And while the offense wasn’t great, he only committed one error in 297 total chances (over 593 1/3 innings) at second base in 2022.
Let’s go back to the injuries, though. Yorke went to the Arizona Fall League after the 2022 MiLB season ended. How’s that going?
Yorke was getting healthy at the end of the season, so it’s great that he got a chance to go somewhere to get work in now that he’s feeling 100%.
Also, a quick reminder that in 2021, his first season in the minors, Yorke slashed .325/.412/.516 with 20 doubles, five triples, and 14 home runs in 97 games (378 at-bats) between Low- and High-A. The Sox could certainly use that bat and glove in a few years.
But with the 2022 season fresh in everyone’s minds, Yorke’s trade value probably seems lower than it’s ever been. But this isn’t just my way of saying the Sox shouldn’t trade Yorke because he’s got potential. The reason he shouldn’t be in trade rumors right now is actually because of his 2022 season. Yorke was dealing with injuries and wasn’t himself, but he’s still extremely young and has a frankly ridiculous bat, as evidenced by his performance in the AFL.
The Sox should keep Yorke around and see if he’s their future second baseman. But since this is a business, if they are going to trade Yorke, they should wait until next year. He’s poised for a major bounce-back year, so when he hits .300 with a nice mix of extra-base hits and impeccable defense, that trade value will shoot right back up.
Instead of using Yorke as a piece to get a “solid veteran” starter this offseason, use him to get a top-tier guy down the road.
Or, you know, keep him and let me be happy.