On top of all that, players said they felt a certain aura about suddenly being part of a storied team like the Yankees.
“I’m pretty settled in right now, but the first time I came into this clubhouse — it’s eye-opening,” infielder Tyler Wade, also 22, told SN less than two weeks after his first game. “Not many people can say they came in this clubhouse as a player.”
Transitioning to the major leagues comes with its inherent challenges, but many of these young Yankees had an advantage: they all knew each other.
People tend to be nervous when they show up at a new job — or in a new locker room — but seeing familiar faces on the first day helps. Just ask Ji-Man Choi, who broke into the majors as an Angel in 2016 before making his Yankees debut earlier this month.
“For me it was a quick adjustment because I played with a lot of these guys in Scranton earlier in the year,” the Korean first baseman told SN through an interpreter. “I feel like I know the guys well. It was comfortable and was a quick adjustment coming up to the big leagues.”
Question: Ever hit one and wonder how it got over the fence?
Answer: “Maybe a couple. But usually when you’re rounding the bases, you’re not thinking ‘How’d that go out?’ You’re like, ‘Yeah, that just went out. I wish I was a free agent!’”
(Calm down, Reds fans. He was kidding with that last part.)
That said, the Bombers did not have to part with other top-echelon prospects such as Jorge Mateo, Miguel Andujar or Chance Adams. That’s why the White Sox’s grade took a hit.
Diamondbacks get J.D. Martinez from Tigers
Players involved: J.D. Martinez (to Diamondbacks); Dawel Lugo, Sergio Alcantara and Jose King (to Tigers)