Murrieta Valley High School alum, Tyler Wade, enjoyed a career year in 2021 for the New York Yankees. The 2013 Nighthawk graduate posted career-highs in batting average (.268), on-base percentage (.354) and plate appearances (145) while leading the team with 17 stolen bases. Wade, who turned 27 this past week, played second base, shortstop, third base, left field, center field and right field for the Bronx Bombers and in 402.2 defensive innings, Wade’s only errors in 2021 came at second and third base, where he committed two each.
Wade was drafted by the Yankees in the fourth round of the 2013 MLB amateur draft out of high school, and debuted for the big-league club in 2017. He was considered a top-eight prospect in 2016, but was one of three Yankees to be designated for assignment (DFA) last Friday. The move was made prior to the team finalizing its 40-man roster in preparation for the Rule 5 draft.
On Monday, November 22, Wade was officially traded to the Los Angeles Angels. The Yankees will receive a player to be named later or cash considerations. The other two, Clint Frazier and Rougned Odor, have not found new homes yet. When a player is DFA’d, they have seven days to either be traded or placed on outright waivers. The Angels announced that they have designated utilityman Kean Wong for assignment in a corresponding move.
Wade took to Twitter after the deal was made and thanked his former club, teammates and fans and said he could not wait to get to Anaheim.
“I can’t wait to get to work,” he said.
The move will bring the Murrieta native closer to home where local fans will surely enjoy his presence. Also, one of Wade’s old teammates will be waiting to greet him in the Angels’ infield. Andrew Velazquez was claimed off waivers by the Angels earlier this month. In his five career games at Angel Stadium, Wade has gone 4-for-12 (.333) at the plate with two RBI and four stolen bases. His departure leaves the Yankees without a proven utilityman on the roster.
Though Wade spent parts of the past five seasons on the Yankees’ bench, serving as an oft-used utility option while being frequently shuttled between the big leagues and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, his 145 plate appearances were a career-high (spread across 103 games), and Wade’s .268/.354/.323 slash during that small sample was the most productive of MLB stretch of his career. In all, he is a .212/.298/.307 hitter in 491 plate appearances for the Yankees.
Considered more of a defensive option through the course of his career, during his half-decade run with the Yankees, he saw time at every position other than first base, catcher, and pitcher. The bulk of that workload came at second base (546 innings) and shortstop (331 innings), but Wade has 33 appearances at the hot corner and 57 in the outfield, making him an extremely useful option almost anywhere in an Angels lineup that struggled again in 2021. Plus, with Jose Iglesias, the Angels’ primary shortstop in 2021, being an unrestricted free agent, there is room for the valued utility player to see action quickly out of the gate. Spring Training for Anaheim, as well as the rest of the Cactus League, starts Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022.
JP Raineri can be reached by email at email@example.com.