AUSTIN Kenneth WELLS
Image of
Nickname:   N/A Position:   C
Home: N/A Team:   YANKEES
Height: 6' 2" Bats:   L
Weight: 210 Throws:   R
DOB: 7/12/1999 Agent: Scott Boras
Uniform #: 28  
Birth City: Las Vegas, NV
Draft: Yankees #1 - 2020 - Out of Univ. of Arizona
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO OBP SLG AVG
2021 HAE HUDSON VALLEY   38 146 21 40 6 1 7 22 5 0 20 55 .376 .473 .274
2021 LAS TAMPA   65 236 61 61 17 4 9 54 11 0 51 62 .398 .479 .258
2022 EL PORTLAND   1 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
2022 EL SOMERSET   55 211 34 55 8 1 12 43 7 0 29 58 .360 .479 .261
2022 FSL TAMPA   9 26 5 6 2 0 2 6 0 0 8 5 .412 .538 .231
2022 SAL HUDSON VALLEY   28 99 21 32 7 0 6 16 9 0 19 27 .429 .576 .323
2023 AL YANKEES   19 70 8 16 6 0 4 13 0 0 3 14 .257 .486 .229
2024 AL YANKEES   13 33 4 3 0 0 0 2 1 0 8 7 .256 .091 .091
Personal
  • In 2017, Wells committed to the Univ. of Arizona before his senior year at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas.

    There are scouts who say that Austin may be the next star to come out of Vegas, following Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant. Wells is above average in about every part of the game.

    “From a purely baseball talent standpoint, Austin was one of the best players that I saw all season,” said Mike O’Rourke, head coach at Bryant’s alma mater, Bonanza High, in the player of the year announcement. “He plays the game the right way on the field.

    Off the diamond, Wells maintained a 3.71 grade point average and was a volunteer, assisting youth baseball programs. He was named Gatorade Nevada Player of the Year as a junior after batting .500 with eight home runs, 47 RBI, a .596 on-base pct. and a .936 slugging percentage while helping Bishop Gorman to a 30-7 record in 2017.

  • Austin has played baseball as far back as he can remember.  “Since I could walk, I’ve been swinging the bat and throwing the ball,” he said. “I like that it’s not about who’s the best athlete on the field, it’s about who’s got the most fundamentals, who’s got the skill and the knowledge of baseball.”

  • In 2018, the Yankees chose Wells in the 35th round, out of high school. But Austin chose the Univ. of Arizona instead.

  • During the summer of 2019, Austin played for Yarmouth-Dennis in the Cape Cod League where he hit .308/.389/.526 with seven home runs and eight stolen bases.

  • June 2020: The Yankees chose Wells in the first round (#28 overall), out of the Univ. of Arizona.
  • Austin's father Greg was also a baseball player and his mother Michelle, a gymnast.
  • Here are 10 facts you should know about Austin:

    • Wells became the first first-round Draft pick out of the University of Arizona since Kevin Newman in 2015 (taken 19th overall by the Pirates).

    • Before attending Arizona, Wells was a baseball star at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. The school has produced 10 Major Leaguers, including 1995 AL Rookie of the Year Marty Cordova and Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo.

    • Wells was previously selected in the 35th round of the 2018 Draft by the Yankees, but he honored his commitment to Arizona.

    • Wells’ parents were both athletes at the University of Arizona; his father played baseball while his mother was a gymnast.

    • Wells didn’t take long to adjust to the collegiate level. In fact, he homered in his very first trip to the plate with Arizona. 

    • Wells was named the Pac-12 Conference Freshman of the Year in 2019, after hitting .353/.462/.552 in 56 games. He started every game for the Wildcats, becoming the first freshman to do so since Newman in 2013.

    • Prior to his sophomore season, Wells was included on the Buster Posey Award watch list along with some of the other top catchers in the nation. Adley Rutschman, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 Draft, and Joey Bart, who went second overall in ’18, were the last two recipients of the award, which won’t be handed out this year, after the season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. Wells was building a strong case for the honor before then, slashing .375/.527/.589 with two homers, six doubles and 17 walks over his first 15 games.

    • For his strong showing as a sophomore, Wells was selected to the All-America second team by the "Collegiate Baseball" publication.

    • According to MLB Pipeline, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Wells can generate power to all fields with his simple, left-handed stroke. The catcher also draws a lot of walks, counterbalancing his propensity to strike out.

    • While Wells’ bat could carry him to the Majors, it’s questionable whether he will remain behind the plate on a long-term basis. Per MLB Pipeline, he’s an adequate defender, but his throws are inconsistent. He could end up moving to first base or left field, a la Kyle Schwarber, who was initially a catcher when the Cubs picked him fourth overall in 2014.  (Harrigan - mlb.com - 6/10/2020)

  • June 11, 2020: The Yankees have been keeping tabs on Austin Wells for years, envisioning how his left-handed stroke could translate to the hitter-friendly dimensions of Yankee Stadium. That could soon become reality, as the organization selected the slugging University of Arizona catcher in the 2020 MLB Draft.

    This marked the second time in three years that the Yankees have called Wells' name, having tabbed him in the 35th round out of high school in 2018. Wells opted to honor his collegiate commitment and, after refining his game with the Wildcats, the 20-year-old was rated among the nation's top prospects as he reentered the mix as a Draft-eligible sophomore. He said that he anticipates signing quickly.

    June 26, 2020: Regarded as one of the best all-around offensive talents in this year’s class, the University of Arizona product agreed to a $2.5 million contract, via scout Troy Afenir.

    “The Yankees and I always had a very good relationship, and leading up to [the Draft], we had a lot of great conversations,” Wells said. “Going throughout that day, I had a good range of where I felt was going in the back half of that first round. I'm super pumped that it was the Yankees, because of how great our relationship had been before."

    Ranked as this year's No. 27 Draft prospect by MLB Pipeline, Wells was torching opposing pitching when the coronavirus pandemic halted play in mid-March. He followed a standout Cape Cod League campaign by batting .375/.527/.589 with 12 runs scored, six doubles, two homers and 14 RBIs in 15 games as a sophomore, working more walks (17) than strikeouts (14) while earning Second Team All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball.

    “We are very happy to get Austin Wells today,” said Damon Oppenheimer, the Yankees’ vice president of domestic amateur scouting. “We thought he was one of the top hit and power combinations in the Draft. We love his desire and makeup, along with his athleticism. We have known him for years and seen him progress quite a bit behind the plate to allow us to believe he can be an impact guy.”

    "Austin is a special player, has all the tools to be an impact Major League player, and has an intense desire to help his team win," Arizona head coach Jay Johnson said. "His ability is matched with an elite work ethic and capability to prepare that rivals any player in the country."

    Wells, who said that he grew up a Red Sox fan but has already shed those allegiances in favor of the pinstripes, was eligible for this Draft because he will turn 21 within 45 days of the MLB Draft. 

  • Though Wells was identified as a catcher when the Yankees' selection was announced, it is possible that his future could involve a position switch. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Wells has been compared to the Cubs' Kyle Schwarber, who started his career behind the plate but has played most of his big league career in the outfield.

    “I'm a catcher, and I want to be a catcher,” Wells said. “I know I'm definitely willing to do whatever it takes to get to the big leagues. If that's at another position, then I'll just hit home runs at Yankee Stadium and play wherever they need me to.”

    This past season at Arizona, Wells played 12 games at catcher and once in left field, serving as the designated hitter twice. After permitting 10 passed balls in 262 innings as a freshman, Wells maintained a 1.000 fielding percentage while permitting only one passed ball in 100 innings this year.

    It is notable that Wells is listed at almost the same height and weight as the Yankees' current starting catcher, Gary Sánchez.

    “I’m definitely continuing to improve every day, even though this tough time that we're going through,” Wells said. “I think that's definitely been one of my main focuses and will continue to be one of my main focuses going forward, especially if I want to get through the Minor Leagues quickly and make an impact on the big league club.”

    Ultimately, Wells' bat is what appeals most to the Yanks' scouts. The club selected him in 2018 despite a right elbow injury that prevented him from catching during his senior season at Bishop Gorman High in Nevada — a school that counts All-Star Joey Gallo and 1995 AL Rookie of the Year Marty Cordova among its alumni.

    “When the Yankees drafted me out of high school, I had a very good feeling that I was going to college,” Wells said. “I wanted to honor that commitment to go to Arizona and play for coach [Jay] Johnson. It was honestly the best decision that I could have made. I grew as a player, grew as a leader, grew as a person off the field, and got bigger, stronger, faster. I developed into the player I am now.”  (B Hoch - MLB.com - June 11, 2020)

  • In 2021, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Austin as the 5th-best prospect in the Yankees organization. He was #4 in 2022 and then back at #5 in the spring of 2023. In 2024, Wells was at #6 in the Yankees organization.

  • 2021 Season: Wells received relatively little hype despite being one of the best all-around college offensive talents available in the 2020 Draft, and he has flown a bit under the radar since the Yankees made him a first-round pick out of the University of Arizona.

    With a quick left-handed stroke, a mature approach and the ability to recognize pitches, he batted
    .264/.390/.476 with 16 homers and as many steals in 103 games between Low-A and High-A during his pro debut before tearing up the Arizona Fall League. In the AFL, Wells produced a .344/.456/.578 slash line with a 1.034 OPS, ranking top 10 in all four categories.

  • Feb 17, 2022: Yankees best prospect drafted out of college - Austin Wells, C (No. 6)

    In 2019, Wells won the Pacific-12 Conference Freshman of the Year and Cape Cod League Prospect of the Year awards, then went 28th overall in the 2020 Draft
    . He lived up to his reputation as one of the best all-around offensive prospects in his class with an .867 OPS, 16 homers and as many steals in his 103-game pro debut last summer between Low-A and High-A. (Mayo, Callis, Dykstra - MLB.com - Feb 17, 2022)

  • In 195 games over two minor league seasons in the Yankees organization (2021-22), Wells has hit .270 (194-for-718) with 142 R, 40 doubles, 6 triples, 36 HR, 141 RBI, 127 BB and 32 SB.

    He combined with High-A Hudson Valley, Single-A Tampa and Double-A Somerset to hit
    .277/.385/.512 (93-for-336) with 60 R, 17 doubles, 20 HR, 65 RBI, 56 BB and 16 SB in 92 games in 2022.

    Among Yankees farmhands, Wells ranked second in slugging percentage, was tied for second in RBI, tied for third in homers and ranked fifth in OPS (
    .897). Following the season, the catcher was tabbed by Baseball America as the No. 5 prospect in the Yankees organization and the No. 94 overall prospect in baseball. Additionally, the publication labeled him as the “Best Power Hitter” among Yankees farmhands. He was also named an Organization All-Star by MiLB.com.  (Mark Healey - February 7, 2023) 

  • Wells was called up. Wells, 24, has long been a bat-first prospect, but pitchers talked up how much they enjoyed game planning with him.

    “He’s phenomenal (at) adjusting and a great communicator,” said Michael King, who gave up one run over five innings. “We have a ton of conversations between innings.

    Austin caught three games in a row over the weekend, his first in the majors
    . Only two other times this season has a Yankees catcher caught a least three games in a row (Trevino and Higgy). The running game had been a problem in the minors for Wells, who had a weak arm when he was drafted but has worked to make it approximately league-average, catching coach Tanner Swanson said. But Sunday, he threw out the first runner who tried to steal on him in the majors, getting Mauricio Dubon with a near-perfect throw to second base in the fifth inning. Whether Wells remains in the position long-term is still a question, but he’s determined to make it work. 

    “Hitting is definitely important,” Wells said, “but being able to go out there and get outs and control the pitching staff, that’s my No. 1 goal.”

    “He’s got a really good presence to him,“ Boone said. “He’s got the joy of preparing, of all that goes into getting ready for a game. He likes that part of the game. That serves him well. I think he’s done a great job with our staff and behind the plate.” (Kuty - Sep 4, 2023 - The Athletic)

  • 2023 Season: Stats: .229 average, 70 AB, 8 runs, 16 hits, 6 doubles, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 3 BB, 14 K, .742 OPS, 19 games.

    Analysis: Wells’ catching still is a work in progress and his throwing is a problem, but his overall receiving was better than the Yankees anticipated following his September call-up. The 2020 first-round pick’s left-handed bat is his calling card and it played up, especially in his last eight games when he hit .355 with four homers and nine RBI.

    Wells’ bat is such a threat that he’ll probably go to spring training with a job to lose
    . Wells’ presence is another reason the Yankees need to find a way to move on from Stanton to free up DH at-bats. (Randy Miller - Oct. 8, 2023)

Batting
  • Wells has a nice approach to the plate. He has excellent strike zone awareness and a quick, powerful left-handed stroke (which the Yankees covet) that does damage to any mistakes. He has an impressive 45 grade hit tool and 55 grade power.

    One of Austin's main objectives in 2023 was to improve his bat path. When he was slumping, he’d hang too long on his backside and then let his swing get too steep and uphill, which created a hole at the top of the zone. When he flattened his path, he became more of a complete hitter, especially when combined with his stellar knack for contact, impact and strong swing decisions. He has the skills to hit roughly .250 with a high on-base percentage and 20-25 home runs a season. (Josh Norris - BA Prospect Handbook - Spring, 2024)

  • Wells is a complete package at the plate, hitting for average and power while also drawing a healthy amount of walks. A left-handed hitter, he recognizes pitches and controls the strike zone, consistently producing hard contact to all fields. He creates plus raw power with his combination of strength and bat speed, and he taps into it by regularly driving the ball in the air.  (BA - Spring 2023)

  • Austin shows an excellent combination of power and on-base skills.  His profile is almost entirely driven by his bat, which has proved potent at every level. He combines excellent knowledge of the strike zone with brute strength and a lofted swing path designed to hit balls hard and in the air, which raised his fly ball plus line drive rate to nearly 50%. Wells also worked with the Yankees to adjust his bat path to reduce in his in-zone whiff rate, which was around 20% in 2022, an improvement of 11% from 2021.

    Wells’ hands aren’t the most mobile, but scouts still saw the ability to punish line drives to all sectors. One scout noted that he was strong enough to turn a 100 mph fastball into a home run the opposite way off the left-field foul pole. (Josh Norris - Baseball America Prospect Handbook - Spring, 2023)

  • Wells lived up to his reputation as one of the top all-around college bats in the 2020 Draft. He's an advanced hitter who recognizes pitches and controls the strike zone while making hard contact to all fields from the left side of the plate. He consistently drives the ball in the air and should hit for average and power and draw plenty of walks. (Spring 2022)

  • Austin has a smooth, loose, repeatable swing capable of producing loud contact to all sectors. Inside and outside evaluators were also pleased with the way Wells managed the strike zone, which showed up in his strikeout and walk totals, though they were somewhat buttressed by spending the first part of the season in Low-A Southeast, which used automated balls and strikes. The Yankees did tweak his approach to make him more aggressive in two-strike counts. (Josh Norris - Baseball America Prospect Handbook - Spring, 2022)

  • Wells had one of the best all-around offensive profiles in the 2020 Draft. He employs a quick yet controlled left-handed stroke, recognizes pitches, manages the strike zone and utilizes the entire field. He taps into his plus raw power without swinging for the fences and drove the ball with wood bats on the Cape.  (Spring 2021)

  • Austin has a strong frame, a simple swing and outstanding knowledge of the strike zone that helped him register more walks (46) than strikeouts (43) in college. He projects to hit for both average and power and be a potential middle-of-the-order hitter. (Josh Norris - Baseball America Prospect Handbook - Spring, 2021)

  • Wells has all of the ingredients to make an offensive impact, starting with a quality approach. He possesses a controlled yet quick left-handed swing, uses the entire field and recognizes pitches and manages the strike zone well. He lets his plus raw power come naturally and had no problems driving the ball with wood bats on the Cape. (Spring 2020)

  • Austin knows how to take a walk, but his power also comes with a fair amount of swing-and-miss. His left-handed power is to all parts of the yard. He has good timing and a simple setup at the plate. He has strength and bat speed and controls the bat head well to make loud contact.

  • Wells does strike out a bit, but he also draws a lot of walks. And he has a pure swing, so the number of K's should go down for Austin as he matures as a hitter.

  • Honored in 2019 as the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and the Cape Cod League's Outstanding Pro Prospect after starring with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, Wells impresses with all-fields power that earned him a place on the Buster Posey Award watch list, alongside some of the nation's top backstops.

  • June 2020: One scout's take on Wells: “He’s more like Matt Thaiss than anyone else, though he has more power than Thaiss . . . It’s plus power for Wells, good plate discipline, sees the ball really, really well. Discipline is plus and contact ability is average to a tick better.”

    Ranked as this year's No. 27 Draft prospect by MLB Pipeline, Wells was torching opposing pitching when the coronavirus pandemic halted play in mid-March. He followed a standout Cape Cod League campaign by batting .375/.527/.589 with 12 runs scored, six doubles, two homers and 14 RBIs in 15 games as a sophomore, working more walks (17) than strikeouts (14) while earning Second Team All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball. 

    Wells’ stock skyrocketed after an impressive performance in the Cape Cod League last summer, where he was named the circuit’s Outstanding Pro Prospect after hitting .308 (48-for-156) with 13 doubles, seven homers and 26 RBIs in 42 games with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox. He was also named a starter to the league’s All-Star Game.

    “The Cape has always been important to me because it's the thing that most mirrors professional baseball,” Oppenheimer said. “They play every day. They play with wood bats and they play against the best. I think you learn a lot about guys up there; there's some guys that go up there for a summer vacation and some guys that go up there to become better baseball players.” (Spring 2020)

  • Oct 26, 2021: Wells slugs way to Hitter of the Week. Back in the familiar state of Arizona, Wells is mashing his way through the Arizona Fall League just as he did in the Pac-12. Wells, a University of Arizona product, was named the AFL’s Week 2 Hitter of the Week for his strong showing during the week of Oct. 18-23.

    The Yankees’ No. 6 prospect played in just three games over that span, but hit .538 (7-for-13) with three doubles, a triple, homer and five RBIs. There were many players who played in more games during the second week of the AFL season, yet Wells still led the league in total bases (15) and his 1.754 OPS ranked second.

    Selected 28th overall by the Yankees in the 2020 Draft, Wells wasted little time showing why he was regarded as one of the best college hitters in the 2020 Draft class. The 22-year-old hit .264/.390/.476 with 16 homers and 76 RBIs over 103 games with Low-A Tampa and High-A Hudson Valley in his 2021 professional debut. That impressive debut served as a springboard for Wells, who has continued to rake in Arizona. Through a little more than two weeks of play, the catcher is hitting .400 (10-for-25) with a 1.220 OPS. (W Boor - MLB.com - Oct 26, 2021) 

  • Aug 2023: The Yankees’ No. 8 prospect capped off a dominant series at the plate by delivering his first professional multi-homer game and a career-high seven RBIs on Sunday, August 20.

    Since getting promoted to the International League on July 21, Wells has compiled a slash line of .260/.351/.479. Austin also left the yard on Tuesday and Saturday -- the latter was a 416-foot rocket, his furthest homer of the weekend.

    Wells projects to be a bat-first option behind the dish. He has home run potential with a 55-grade power tool and 50-grade hit tool, putting him on par with Gary Sánchez when he was a prospect. Sanchez possessed a 45-grade hit tool – a tick under Wells – and a 60-grade power tool – a tick above Wells – at the time of his MLB debut. (Samson - Aug 20, 2023 - milb.com)
Fielding
  • Austin's favorite position is catcher. And he is an adequate, 40 grade defender. But his arm is also just a 40 grade. 

    Defensively, Wells draws raves for his work ethic and dedication to improvement. Scouts noticed better receiving skills and a quicker transfer on his throws, which helps counteract arm strength that is improved but is still below average and led to him throwing out just 13% of base-stealers. Scouts also noticed Wells’ strong leadership skills and ability to command a pitching staff. He is a well below-average runner.

    The Yankees’ current catching situation features Jose Trevino in front and five more backstops on the 40-man roster vying for the backup job. Wells should have a chance in spring training to grab that spot, with a chance to earn more and more time as the season progresses. (Norris - BAPH - Spring, 2024)

  • Wells is quicker than most catchers and stole 16 bases without getting caught in each of his first two pro seasons. While he'll never win a Gold Glove, he has worked diligently to improve his receiving and throwing. He has made himself into at least a fringy receiver but base-stealers have run wild on him in 2023. (BA - Spring 2023)

  • “Over the course of time,” catching coordinator Aaron Gershenfeld said, “he’s gotten better. I still think there’s a lot he can get better at, but I’m also very, very confident he’ll continue to progress.

    “Just really proud of the progress he’s made.”

    The Yankees have been impressed with the 23-year-old’s work ethic.

    “He’s certainly turned himself into—objectively—a really, really good catcher, and I still have quite a bit of optimism that the best is yet to come for Austin,” Gershenfeld said.

    Wells has made “significant improvements” in his throwing and blocking,” Gershenfeld said, though stopping sharp breaking balls and pitches in the dirt to his right remain areas of work for Wells.

    Gershenfeld credited defensive coach Aaron Bossi for being a big influence on Wells’ improvement.  (Brenda Kuty - Baseball America - Feb, 2023)

     

  • Wells is not likely to be an average defender, but he’s worked diligently and has improved his catching by quite a bit. He’s improved his overall arm strength but could make further improvements by cleaning up his footwork and shortening his release. His pop times are usually between 2.00 and 2.15 seconds. (Spring, 2023)

  • Though Wells is willing to put in the work to improve behind the plate, few scouts outside of the organization believe he'll be a long-term catcher. Elbow problems that started in high school have left him with a below-average arm and he lacks soft hands, which resulted in 98 steals (at an 87 percent success rate) and 16 passed balls in 70 games last season. He has fringy speed and moves well enough to be able to handle a shift to left field, or at first base, which could enable him to maximize his offensive production at a far less demanding position. (Spring 2023)

  • There are few outside the organization who believe Wells can stick behind the plate. Those scouts point to a lack of twitchiness, struggles blocking pitches and well below-average arm strength that plays up a touch because of a quick release. Even so, in 2021, Wells threw out just 13% of base-stealers. Even if he moves off catcher, he has the bat to profile at either first base or left field. (Josh Norris - BAPH - Spring, 2022)

  • Though Wells is a shaky receiver with a below-average arm and elbow problems that began in high school, the Yankees are impressed with the initial work he's done with their instructors remotely. They believe he can add enough polish to stay behind the plate. But scouts outside the organization believe he'll follow the Kyle Schwarber path and wind up in left field or first base. He runs well enough to handle the outfield and could maximize his offensive production at a less demanding position than catcher. (Spring 2021)

  • “When I was younger, my dad said, ‘Why not put me at catcher?' All the other positions I couldn’t stay focused out there."

    Wells has trouble blocking pitches and isn’t particularly mobile behind the plate, and his long history of elbow troubles leads to fringy arm strength at best. The Yankees see a strong receiver who could benefit from the organization’s new one-knee philosophy installed by big league catching coordinator Tanner Swanson. (Josh Norris - Baseball America Prospect Handbook - Spring, 2021)

  • While there's little doubt that Wells will hit, there's much more uncertainty about where he'll find a defensive home. His receiving skills are shaky and he has a below-average arm — 45 grade, not to mention elbow problems that began in high school.

    He runs well enough to play left field and also could wind up at first base, with some scouts seeing him as a Kyle Schwarber type who would maximize his offensive production if he didn't have to deal with the demands of catching. (Spring 2020)

  • Wells is a physical catcher with the type of frame that can withstand the rigors of the position. He is flexible and shows good receiving ability along with good quickness on balls in the dirt.

    He is an efficient catcher.

  • Austin's throws have online carry, and his exchange is clean and efficient. His pop times are in the 2.2-second range.

    But Wells' throws are not consistently good.

  • Wells frames pitches well, especially those that are up/high in the strike zone. Because he's so tall, at 6-feet-2, Austin is more proof that taller catchers frame better at the top of the zone. And shorter catchers get more low strikes called.

  • Austin is a bigger catcher at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, but he’s capable behind the plate and has the versatility to play first base (where Arizona used him) or the outfield.

    His bat is good enough to play anywhere, but he would have the most upside if he proves he can handle everyday catching duties.

  • It is the work Wells put in with Yankees catching coordinator Aaron Gershenfeld and big league catching coach Tanner Swanson that has the organization believing Wells can stay at catcher long term.

    “It’s clear that there’s a hunger and a drive to improve, and that’s sustained throughout major league camp,” Gershenfeld said.

    The coach added that Wells’ receiving has taken a step forward. As Wells has grown more accustomed to the one-knee catching stance the team has preached throughout its ranks, his glove routes have gotten smoother and crisper.

    “Really trying to create as much efficiency possible into a fluid, one-piece move,” Gershenfeld said, “and keep the movement consistent throughout the reception and have continuity from start to finish and ultimately have the ability to pocket it.”

    Gershenfeld said that he’s also been impressed with how Wells has carried himself around veterans.

    “Watching him interact with Rob Brantly, Gary Sanchez, Robinson Chirinos, Kyle Higashioka—just seeing how he puts himself into those scenarios, I’ve enjoyed watching it,” Gershenfeld said. (Brendan Kuty - Baseball America - May 2021)

Running
  • Austin has 40 grade speed.
Career Injury Report
  • 2017: Wells was limited behind the plate with an elbow injury his senior high school season.

  • 2022: Austin was limited to just 92 games in 2022 because of a ruptured testicle that cost him a chunk of time at midseason. The injury was from a hard foul ball.

  • Feb. 28, 2023: Wells has been out of action early in Spring Training after sustaining a bone bruise while warming up on Feb. 15. Though he was nearing a return, the Yankees instead sent him for another MRI on Feb. 28 after he felt some discomfort while receiving treatment. Manager Aaron Boone said Wells is "not doing much yet," as the club awaits the results of his latest MRI.

    March 1, 2023: Wells has been diagnosed with a fractured right rib, as shown on an MRI performed on Feb. 28. He is expected to need six to eight weeks to recover before an on-field return. 

  • May 2, 2023: Wells was activated from the IL.