Name: Tyler Wade
DOB: November 23, 1994
Batting and Power. Wade gets overlooked by many prospect analysts and it's because of his below average power potential, power which may never really ever tick near average either. However, while it will never be a big part of his game, the recently turned 22-year old [who played all of last year as a 21-year old] is really only just now starting to gain his man strength and therefore has a bit more power beginning to emerge than most critics realize, power that may be relegated more to the gap variety but useful power nevertheless. Most likely capping out in the low double-digits home run-wise in his prime, his combination of above average plate patience, pitch recognition, and quick and compact swing could still wind up generating a good number of extra-base hits. One of the more relaxed hitters around, he consistently takes what pitchers give him, uses the whole field when he can, and he's also willing to lay down a bunt for a base hit when needed. He draws an above average amount of walks too so he not only is a solid average hitter but he's one who can get on base rather consistently as well.
Base Running and Speed. Despite relying more on his legs than his power, Wade is actually more an above average runner speed-wise than a plus one. He is rather heady though, showing good base running instincts, especially station to station, and his quick first-step allows him to get good jumps on opposing pitchers too. Still quite young, he can run his team into outs when his aggression gets the best of him but he has noticeably matured in his decision making and cut down on the not-so-smart gaffes that affected him from time to time at the lower minor league levels. He's a solid 30-or-so stolen base threat each year, especially with his ability to get on base so consistently, with perhaps the chance for slightly more as he continues to mature mentally.
Defense. Another aspect of his game that is more steady than standout is defensively. None of his defensive tools really grade out as plus. He has average to slightly above average arm strength, above average range, and good hands. Where he might be plus defensively, however, is makeup-wise. Like any shortstop he will make the occasional mistake but with almost a closer-like mentality he's able to quickly forget about previous mistakes and focus on the play at hand. He has one of the quicker releases too. He is able to get rid of the ball very quickly and he is very steady making accurate throws. Not exactly flashy, he makes all the routine plays and can make some more difficult ones look pretty easy too. He has shifted over to second base to get some reps there the past couple of years and the returns are very, very similar; reliable and steady. The speed is good enough too that he could be tried out in centerfield if the Yankees wanted to increase his versatility as a potential super-sub.
Projection. Now with defensive versatility, being able to play both shortstop and second base in very reliable fashion, and with his above average speed and ability to get on base so consistently, Wade already safely projects as a potential middle infield reserve player down the road, at minimum. Some critics point to that not only as his floor but as his ceiling too since his power potential is clearly below average. While it's true that his moderate at best power potential does limit his ceiling somewhat as a potential big league starting middle infielder someday, it does overlook the other intangibles he brings to the field, the kind that could be very helpful in a starting capacity. His natural leadership skills, enormous mental makeup and off the charts intangibles allow him to be a more complete player than the physical tools merely reveal and he simply has a knack for being extremely consistent on both sides of the ball. That consistency trait is the seldom talked about sixth [albeit] immeasurable tool and Wade has it in spades. The starting ceiling is most likely limited to an eventual bottom-third placement in a big league lineup, most likely eighth or ninth, but if he can continue to improve on his still very projectable frame and add a bit more useful power there's a Brian Roberts-like ceiling that can't be ignored, especially as he continues to refine the other areas of his game and physically mature.
ETA. 2018. Wade has nothing to prove in Double-A anymore after a solid season there last year. He should get ample playing time in Triple-A Scranton at both middle infield spots.