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Just Who Exactly Is Ben Rice, The Yankees' Latest Social Media Sensation?


The New York Yankees’ farm system proves that their prospects can be the future of the Yankees’ organization with their up-and-coming talent. With future outfielder and fellow “Martian” Jasson Dominguez being dominant in his return from injury, Spencer Jones is playing very well, and now, the newest hot prospect with Ben Rice. 


Rice has been making headlines recently after being called up to Triple-A. Rice was a 12th-round draft pick in the 2021 MLB June Amateur Draft out of Dartmouth College. Being drafted as a catcher and first baseman, it’s likely that Rice could replace Anthony Rizzo as the everyday first baseman.


What Happened To Rizzo?


Since his concussion injury in May of 2023, Anthony Rizzo has not been the same player. Rizzo has had a tough 2024 season, slashing at .224/.285/.339. It only got worse for Rizzo, as he has not had a good start to June, slashing at .034/.067/.069 and only having one hit so far. It is not completely known why Rizzo has not played great baseball in 2024, and many speculate that suffering the concussion from last season and playing through it may have contributed to how Rizzo is now.


Ben Rice Has Been On Fire


Ben Rice, however, is a different story. He had a breakthrough year in 2023 with a slash line of .324/.434/.615 with 20 home runs and 68 RBIs. Rice missed the first half of 2023 due to injuries but put up great numbers in the minor leagues. While Rice was playing well in the minors in 2023, it's in the 2024 season that his level of play has started to ramp up. 


In the 49 games he played with the Somerset Patriots in 2024, Rice had 12 home runs with a batting average of .261, slugging at .511, and an OPS of .894. Rice had great numbers in Double-A and was promoted to Triple-A soon after. Rice hit a home run in his first three games in Triple-A, sparking conversation about his readiness in the major leagues. 





Rice played two of the games as a catcher and another as the first baseman. While the catching position is filled up in the New York Yankees with Austin Wells and Jose Trevino taking up the spots, the first baseman spot will likely be the place for Rice. 


It is still too early to determine if Ben Rice is ready for the major leagues, as he’s only had five games under his belt in Triple-A. However, based on his recent performances thus far and the likelihood that his level of play will only continue to rise, don’t be surprised if the New York Yankees decide to bring Rice up as early as the 2025 season. While Rizzo is still in the second year of his two-year, $40 million contract, the Yankees have the option to buy out Rizzo for $6 million. 


Ben Rice has seemingly come out of nowhere, and his value only continues to rise with each game. Only time will tell if this up-and-coming prospect will be just as elite as the other crop of prospects the Yankees have, but the simple answer is yes. 


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