Mateo among young Yankees standing out

Girardi has been impressed with several of the prospects at camp

Mateo among young Yankees standing out

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- The Yankees are getting a good look at top prospect Jorge Mateo this spring, and while the 20-year-old shortstop is not yet in competition to go north with the big league club, manager Joe Girardi said there is plenty to be excited about.

"Does the game slow down for them, or does it speed up because you've got big leaguers on your right, big leaguers on your left?" Girardi said. "Are they trying to do too much? So far, I've been really impressed with our young kids."

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Mateo went 0-for-2 in New York's 2-1 loss to the Rays on Saturday, starting at shortstop. Ranked by as the Yanks' No. 1 prospect, Mateo is 3-for-13 (.231) this spring with a triple, home run and two runs scored, and he is quickly earning a reputation as a mature player.

"I try to work hard every day so I can have a good outcome when I'm in the game," Mateo said through an interpreter.

Girardi mentioned outfielder Dustin Fowler, outfielder Aaron Judge, catcher Gary Sanchez and infielder Tyler Wade as some of the other Baby Bombers who have stood out this spring.

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"You could go on and on; I've been really impressed, because I think the game really hasn't sped up," Girardi said. "They've done a good job of controlling their emotions."

No front-runners, yet

Rob Refsnyder started at third base for the third time on Saturday, looking to score a role as Chase Headley's backup, but Girardi said that he is continuing to evaluate a group that includes Pete Kozma, Jonathan Diaz, Donovan Solano and Ronald Torreyes.

"Probably [in] a couple weeks, you'll try to whittle it down some," Girardi said. "You've got to get them reps. Your starters are getting more reps, and they're getting less, so you've got to figure it out."

Girardi also said that there was nothing to read into the fact that Sanchez traveled to catch Luis Severino on Saturday, saying that it is too early to determine a leader in a backup catcher race that also includes Austin Romine and Carlos Corporan.

"It's a pressure-packed Spring Training, which they probably haven't had a lot of," Girardi said. "You want to see how guys adapt to that. When you're in the big leagues, there are big moments they come up in or they have to make a pitch. You want to see how guys react."

Worth noting

Brett Gardner (bone bruise in left wrist) is scheduled to play in his first Grapefruit League game on Wednesday against the Blue Jays. Gardner will participate in a simulated game on Sunday at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.

Dustin Ackley was scratched from the trip to Port Charlotte because of a sore quadriceps. He will be re-evaluated on Sunday.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.