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Breaking: Yankees acquire LHP James Paxton in exchange for LHP Justus Sheffield, RHP Erik Swanson, and OF Dom Thompson-Williams

The Yankees have made their first splash of the offseason by acquiring the Big Maple, James Paxton, from the Seattle Mariners. Fresh off his second-consecutive season at the top of the Mariner’s rotation, Paxton did not come cheap as the Yankees traded away their top prospect, Justus Sheffield, along with breakout prospects Erik Swanson and Dominic Thompson-Williams.

Prospect Spotlight: Dustin Fowler

The year 2016 was a very good year for Yankees prospects. Not only were top notch prospects acquired, but some prospects took the necessary step forward in their development to reach the Major Leagues. I want to take a closer look at one of those prospects in Dustin Fowler.

Photo Credit: MiLB.com

Fowler, a Georgia native, was an 18th round pick for the Yankees in 2013 out of West Laurens High School in Dexter, Georgia. Fowler is also currently ranked the Yankees 13th prospect on MLB.com.

In 132 games at Double A Trenton, Fowler batted .281 with 12 home runs, 88 RBIs and 25 stolen bases across 541 at bats. Since going pro in 2013, Fowler, across four levels, has accumulated a career .279 average with 26 home runs, 208 RBIs and 61 stolen bases over 351 minor league games. While Fowler does a little bit of everything, his best tool is his speed as he has had two seasons of 25+ stolen bases. Fowler also hit 15 triples in 2016 and has a 60 speed rating on a 20-80 scale on MLB.com’s prospect profile.

Fowler took a huge step forward in 2016, setting career highs in nearly every offensive category. While Fowler has the tools to be an everyday player in the big leagues, the Yankees have a huge logjam with outfielders in the minor leagues, including prospects like Clint Frazier, Mason Williams and Jake Cave in triple-A and guys like Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks and the duo of Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury in the majors. Fowler might have to start 2017 in double-A, but he could very easily move up the ranks and could get a taste of the major leagues sometime in the next year.

Article by: Julian Bussells
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