Austin Wells entered Scranton/Wilkes-Barre’s latest five-game set with no home runs in his first 20 Triple-A games. He left with four, in just a quarter of the time.
The Yankees’ No. 8 prospect capped off a dominant series at the plate by delivering his first professional multihomer game and a career-high seven RBIs in the RailRiders’ 13-1 win over the Worcester Red Sox on Sunday at Polar Park.
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Wells’ first jack of the game came in the sixth inning. With two on, one out and left-hander Oddanier Mosquedo on the mound, Wells sent a deep flyball into center field beyond the reach of No. 3 Red Sox prospect Ceddanne Rafaela and into the crowd.
If the first big fly barely snuck out, the second was the complete opposite. With the bases juiced and right-hander Andrew Politi on the bump, Wells cleared the bases with a 401-foot grand slam, his second of the season.
Since getting promoted to the International League on July 21, Wells has compiled a slash line of .260/.351/.479. The 2020 first-round pick also left the yard on Tuesday and Saturday — the latter was a 416-foot rocket, his furthest homer of the weekend.
Combined, Wells went 6-for-22 in the series, boosting his average by seven points. Much like some of the Yankees catchers of the past, Wells projects to be a bat-first option behind the dish. He has home run potential with a 55-grade power tool and 50-grade hit tool, putting him on par with Gary Sánchez when he was a prospect. The Padres backstop possessed a 45-grade hit tool – a tick under Wells – and a 60-grade power tool – a tick above Wells – at the time of his MLB debut.
While his defense remains a work in progress, Wells’ bat seems to have already acclimated to the International League.