New York Yankees catcher Austin Wells responded to calls for a position change, the Athletic Yankees staff writer Chris Kirschner wrote in a Thursday article.
“It’s basically been that (way) since before I got drafted,” Wells told the Athletic. “There’s always been that doubt and there’s still that doubt. I feel like continuing to prove that I can play the position at a higher level is the goal, and not necessarily because of what other people say but because I want to be the catcher of the New York Yankees.
“I want to be an All-Star catcher. I want to be known for not just being able to hit. I want to do both, and I want to do both extremely well. The more that people say I can’t, it definitely fires me up to work harder and be in a better spot each day.”
Austin Wells was drafted by the Yankees in the 35th round of the 2018 MLB June Amateur draft and with the 28th pick two years later, according to Baseball Reference. In 195 minor league games, Wells earned 194 hits and 142 runs in 871 plate appearances, switching between the Hudson Valley Renegades, Tampa Tarpons and Somerset Patriots between 2021 and 2022.
The Yankees drafted right fielder Spencer Jones out of Vanderbilt with the 25th overall pick in the 2022 June Amateur draft. The 6-foot-7-inch left-hander drew comparisons to New York teammate Aaron Judge by Yankees twitter nearly the moment after he was drafted.
Being catcher was a priority for the 23-year-old prospect because he “loved the grind” that came with the position, Kirschner wrote.
“Getting beat up and coming back the next day and going out there like nothing happened the night before,” Wells said. “I love that and it drives me to play the game of baseball, because being back there is a different feeling.
“Arguably the highest priority of my game is to be a catcher.”