Wednesday, March 8, 2017
TAMPA — If you happen upon Cadwell, Ga., a tiny town located 137 miles south of Atlanta, please don’t mention that homegrown product Dustin Fowler is a highly touted baseball prospect.
The Yankees’ center fielder wants to keep it a secret.
“They probably don’t know [of his prospect ranking],” Fowler, whom Baseball America identified as the Yankees’ ninth-best youngster, said of his family. “No one probably knows.”
Down here in George M. Steinbrenner Field, people know. On Tuesday, the 22-year-old anchored an all-rookie, all-hyped outfield, with Clint Frazier in left field and Aaron Judge in right field, and enjoyed the best day of the trio. He contributed two singles in two at-bats to the Yankees’ 10-inning (yeesh), 7-6 Grapefruit League victory over the Rays while recording a pair of putouts.
“He’s swung the bat well,” manager Joe Girardi said of the Yankees’ 18th-round selection in the 2013 amateur draft. “He’s played good defense. He’s run the bases well. You kind of see a young man growing up in front of you, is what we’re seeing.”
“He flies under the radar in a lot of ways. I don’t think he gets the credit that he deserves,” Frazier, who struck out in all three of his at-bats, said of Fowler. “But he’s the most polished player I’ve seen as a position player since I’ve been here. It’s exciting to play alongside of him.”
If only the Yankees had an opening in CF. Maybe in five years.