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Random Minor League Notes: 2021 Edition
12 months ago  ::  Nov 06, 2020 - 9:12AM #11
Posts: 15,901

Top 10 prospects a year from now will be ...


5. Jasson Dominguez, OF, Yankees (No. 48)
COVID-19 pushed back his debut until 2021, so we'll have to wait a year to see whether reports of potential well-above-average tools across the board can come true.

12 months ago  ::  Nov 06, 2020 - 12:34PM #12
Posts: 15,901

Do the Yankees have their next generational talent in Jasson Dominguez?

by: Alexander Wilson Empire Sports Media

Some call him “The Martian,” but he goes by Jasson. As one of the more polarizing prospects in baseball, the Yankees are excited about one potentially generational talent climbing the ranks.

Dominguez, a young outfielder prodigy who simply defies logic and science, hails from the Dominican Republic, a place that has produced plenty of quality baseball players over the years. At just 17 years old, Dominguez is 5-foot-11, and some say he is a rare breed that could end up being something special in the future.

However, at this point in time, it is all just talk. Hitting batting practice balls over the fence regularly doesn’t display anything but hype. He hasn’t played in any minor-league ball, but Baseball America already has Dominguez as the Yankees’ number one prospect, among other accolades.

Just how highly rated is Yankees’ Jasson Dominguez in their system?

– No. 1 prospect

 Best power-hitting prospect

– Fastest baserunner

– Best athlete

– Best defensive outfielder

– Best outfield arm

The Yankees may elevate Dominguez within the next two years, as they still need to see what he is capable of among professionals. There is no doubt that upper management is highly invested in his future, providing him with everything he needs to continuously develop and become one of the best baseball players of his generation.

Every week, Dominguez makes a two-hour commute to the Charlie Nova Baseball Academy to work out with trainer Pedro Pichardo, per Forbes. He works on a combination of skills, including speed, agility, hitting, and fielding. Of course, the global pandemic currently influencing communities has stalled his development, especially when it comes to playing in regular games.

Next year, when things hopefully return to normal, the Yankees’ investment in Dominguez should hopefully prove successful. In a perfect world, Dominguez would end up becoming the next version of Mike Trout, who signed a 12 year, $426.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels.

The Yankees would be happy to pay Dominguez, as it would mean their investment and him paid off big time. The Martian has great intangibles on his side, including work ethic and maturity. This is a player who simply loves the game of baseball and sees it as his future, and the Yankees will always be willing to invest in a player who displays those qualities.

12 months ago  ::  Nov 07, 2020 - 8:20AM #13
Posts: 15,901
12 months ago  ::  Nov 07, 2020 - 8:25AM #14
Posts: 15,901

New York Yankees relocating two Minor League teams

by: Nathan Solomon Empire Sports Media

Reports indicate that the New York Yankees will be relocating two of their Minor League Baseball teams in 2021. The Yankees A-ball affiliate, the Charleston RiverDogs, and the AA affiliate, the Trenton Thunder, will be eliminated. Replacing them will be the Hudson Valley Renegades and the Somerset Patriots, respectively.

The Renegades have been the Tampa Bay Rays A-short season affiliate since 1996, located in Wappingers Falls, New York. They won New York-Penn League championship in 1999, 2012, and 2017. Hudson Valley plays at Dutchess Stadium, a 4,500 seat facility just off on I-84. The team is around an hour north of New York City.

The Somerset Patriots are an Independent League baseball team located in Bridgewater Township, New Jersey. Just an hour southwest of New York City, the team will take over as the AA affiliate of the Yankees.

Since the organization’s foundation in 1998, the team has won 13 division championships and six league championships. They play at TD Bank Ballpark, a 6,100 seat facility known to be one of the most environmentally friendly parks in all of sports.

These changes are a part of the MLB’s initiatives to reduce the overall size of Minor League Baseball. The goal is to reduce the number of affiliates and levels of play.

In the MLB’s original plans, eliminating the Trenton Thunder wasn’t included. The Erie Seawolves and the Binghamton RumblePonies were in the original plans, but the future of those two teams are currently unknown.

These decisions are major decisions that’ll have big implications of communities losing teams. It’s sad to see cities lose affiliates and it could hurt baseball.

12 months ago  ::  Nov 16, 2020 - 8:59PM #15
Posts: 15,901

Top Yankees prospects on the horizon for 2021

As most New York Yankees fans know, Deivi Garcia and Clarke Schmidt are two names on the rise that could become major contributors for the Bombers in the very near future.

Both pitchers got a chance to show off their stuff at the big-league level in 2020, and both graduated from a strong Yankees farm system with huge potential and huge expectations.

But which up-and-comers emerging through the Yankees pipeline could become the next Clarke Schmidt or Deivi Garcia? Both of those youngsters headlined a notable group of talented right-handed arms that has recently populated the Yankees’ top-prospect rankings, and the next wave of hurlers could soon follow suit.

Here now we’ll take a look at some top contenders that could make noise in the Majors as early as next season, sorted in descending order by their MLB.com prospect ranking within the organization.

1) Luis Gil, RHP - 22 years old, No. 5 prospect

As mentioned, the Yankees have compiled a deep squad of talented young righties throughout the minor leagues, and the 22-year-old Gil (pronounced “Heel”) put on a strong showing in 2019 at the Single-A level. The Dominican native posted a 2.72 ERA over 20 starts for Charleston and Tampa with an impressive 123 strikeouts over 96 innings pitched. “To make it as a starter, Gil will need to develop more consistency with his breaking ball while continuing to refine his changeup,” writes MLB.com, adding that, “If he can't stick in a rotation, his electric arm could make him a potential closer.”

2) Estevan Florial, OF - 22 years old, No. 7 prospect

The talented and speedy outfielder Florial has kept himself among the top names in the Yankees organization over the last few years, and even got his first taste of big-league action this past season when he debuted on August 28 against the Mets. His 2019 season with Tampa showed he still has room for improvement on the offensive side of the ball, but he still “generates well above-average raw power to all fields” and “has the best all-around ability in the system,” according to MLB.com.

3) Alexander Vizcaino, RHP - 23 years old, No. 8 prospect

Perhaps a bit further from an MLB call-up than some of the other righties on this list, Vizcaino has still impressed enough to put himself in the top-10 among all Yankees prospects. His velo topped out as high as 100 miles per hour in 2019 and pairs well with a “devastating” changeup, per evaluators. “The key for him going forward will be to develop a more consistent breaking ball, because his low-80s slider can be a solid offering at times but gets slurvy too often,” MLB.com writes.

4) Luis Medina, RHP - 21 years old, No. 11 prospect

At 6-foot-1 and a lean 175 pounds, Medina could be compared as a similar type of player to another Yankees right-hander, Jonathan Loaisiga. Both righties boast immense arm speed and effortless velocity, with Medina’s fastball clocking as high as 102 miles per hour and earning him a 75-grade on the 20-80 scouting scale. The 21-year-old racked up 127 strikeouts over 103 2/3 innings in Single-A in 2019, but also averaged north of six walks per nine innings. His command will be something to continue to refine going forward, but with that kind of raw throwing ability he’s a weapon that could be on the rise for the Yankees.

5) Albert Abreu, RHP - 25 years old, No. 12 prospect

Another righty prospect that saw the big leagues in 2020, “Abreu has showcased perhaps the best all-around stuff in New York's system,” writes MLB.com. Injuries have nagged the Dominican native, but when healthy his fastball/changeup/curveball repertoire is a fearsome force. Over his professional career, Abreu has struck out almost a batter per inning at all levels (486 K/488 IP) and could find himself earning another MLB opportunity in the near future.

6) Miguel Yajure, RHP - 22 years old, No. 15 prospect

Yajure’s MLB debut this past season included a bit of interesting history when he sported the very first No. 89 jersey baseball had ever seen. Across three appearances for the Yankees, Yajure was sharp, notching eight strikeouts and allowing just three hits and one earned run over seven frames. The 2019 season saw Yajure go 9-6 with a 2.14 ERA over 138 2/3 innings in Tampa and Trenton, and his impressive efforts on the mound this past year could be a sign of things to come for the Yankees.

7) T.J. Sikkema, LHP - 22 years old, No. 17 prospect

The former Missouri Tigers hurler was a first-round pick for the Yankees in 2019 (38th overall) after a dazzling NCAA career that included an 18-11 record, 2.38 ERA and 258 strikeouts over 238 innings. While his fastball velocity may top out at 95 miles per hour, Sikkema’s varying arm angles and ability to pitch with true feel and finesse have helped lead to those stellar results on the mound. Drawing comparisons by some to former Yankees pitcher Orlando Hernandez, Sikkema is “not afraid to attack the strike zone or pitch inside, adding to a package that gives him a high floor,” MLB.com writes.

8) Josh Breaux, C - 23 years old, No. 23 prospect

The Yankees have drafted catchers in the first round of two of their last three drafts, but Texas native Josh Breaux could be poised for a look behind the plate in the Bronx sooner than later. Not only does Breaux boast mammoth power from the right side, he has one of the strongest arms for any position player in the organization, claiming a 60-grade in that category according to evaluators. “He has huge raw power and an extremely aggressive approach, displaying well above-average bat speed and strength,” notes MLB.com, “and could have 35-40 homer upside if he makes better swing decisions and puts the ball in the air more often.”

9) Trevor Stephan, RHP - 24 years old, No. 24 prospect

At 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, Stephan is a hulking presence on the mound. Stephan may eventually find a role as a reliever rather than a starter, but his strikeout stuff will help him wherever he ends up in the pitching staff. The former third-round pick and Arkansas Razorback has struck out 275 batters over 238 2/3 innings in his professional career, but needs to refine a dependable third pitch to help him bring his game to the next level.

10) Frank German, RHP - 23 years old, No. 28 prospect

With “sound mechanics and a history of repeating them well,” German has turned heads during his jump from the collegiate ranks to pro ball thanks to an improved fastball and an “advanced feel for pitching,” per MLB.com. The 23-year-old righty utilizes a fastball/changeup/slider arsenal and has been working with coaches to improve his secondary pitches, but control is another area of improvement he can work on going forward as well. As the years have shown, you can never have too much pitching depth in your MLB organization, so there’s no telling how soon German might get a look at the next level if he can elevate his game.

12 months ago  ::  Nov 17, 2020 - 5:36PM #16
Posts: 15,901

Yankees’ 2020 Rule 5 Draft Protection Preview

Friday is the deadline for teams to add minor leaguers to the 40-man roster in order to protect them from the Rule 5 draft (for other key offseason dates, be sure to check out our offseason calendar). As of this writing, the Yankees have four open slots available. They could open up another spot or two via trade in the coming days, but at the same time, the organization may not feel the need to protect more than four players.

For a full list of draft eligible minor leaguers, head over to Pinstriped Prospects. I’ll briefly profile a few of the notable players the Yankees have to consider protecting.

Top prospects


Peraza’s minor league numbers don’t jump off the page, but he has a good contact-oriented approach, plenty of speed, and is projected to stick at shortstop. It’s hard to imagine him sticking in the majors next year, but his prospect status makes it risky to expose him. I wonder if the Yankees are still scarred from losing catcher Luis Torrens, who was at the same level and age when the Padres drafted and stashed him.


Vizcaino was an older J2 signing in 2016 but has impressed in the minors. He can touch triple-digits with his fastball and has a plus changeup to boot. Clearly, the Yankees like the righty quite a bit because he spent this summer in Scranton. Even though he’s pitched exclusively as a starter over the past couple of minor league seasons, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him hold his own in a big league bullpen next season. I expect the Yankees to add him the 40-man this week.


With just 26 2/3 innings above rookie-ball, Gomez seems like a longshot to be drafted. Still, the Blue Jays selected and kept 19 year-old Elvis Luciano in 2019 who hadn’t yet exceeded rookie-ball. Apparently, Gomez has added 5 MPH to his fastball since signing in 2016 and can touch 97 on the radar gun.


The righty had a strong season in Charleston in 2019. He threw 132 1/3 frames, and though his strikeout rate wasn’t exceptional, his control helped him record a 3.33 ERA. He profiles as a back of the rotation starter and may have finished 2020 at Double-A had there been a minor league season. Now, the decision is trickier considering he’s not out of A-ball.


The Yankees’ third-round pick in 2017 has nasty stuff but doesn’t always know where the ball is going. He was demoted from Trenton to Tampa mid-2019 before returning to Double-A for two more starts to end the season. His fastball-slider combo has the makings of a big league reliever in the not too distant future. It was mildly surprising to not see him in the player pool this summer even after an up-and-down 2019.

Other notable first timers


The Yanks picked up Russ from the Phillies in exchange for David Hale this season. He posted an impressive 34.2 percent strikeout rate and respectable 8.4 percent walk rate Philadelphia’s Double-A bullpen in 2019. It’s almost certain that he will join the 40-man roster.


FanGraphs pegged Whitlock as the team’s 41st-best prospect. He moved quickly after being drafted in the 18th round in 2017, but succumbed to Tommy John surgery while in Double-A last summer. He’s probably not at risk of being drafted, even assuming his rehab has gone well.


Otto has started in the minors but was a reliever at Rice before the Yankees used its 5th round pick on him in 2017. Eric Logenhagen at FanGraphs, who ranked him the team’s 30th-best prospect, noted that he had blood clot issues in his arm in 2018 and has a violent delivery. But considering that he’s shown a double-plus curveball and mid-90s fastball, perhaps a team tries to take him for a bullpen role. It doesn’t seem like the Yankees will protect him though.


He may be older, but Ort is interesting in that he fanned 36.6 percent of hitters faced in 2019 while mostly in Scranton. Ort does walk a lot of batters though (13.1 percent in 2019). I doubt he is protected but maybe another team is attracted by his strikeout totals.

Eligible again and worth mentioning


Gittens won the Eastern League MVP and was a non-roster invite in spring training, but didn’t make the team’s player pool in Scranton. I found that a bit surprising, but then again, I guess the team didn’t need a first base only righty slugger around. Gittens was a minor league free agent and just re-signed with the Bombers, so he’s clearly liked within the organization. But they’ve left exposed in the Rule 5 before and I anticipate the same once again.


We wanted to protect Holder last year, but he was not added to the 40-man roster and went undrafted. This year, the defensive whiz was in the player pool and I wonder if he showed enough to push the envelope this time around. Plus, middle infielders Thairo Estrada and Tyler Wade have just one minor league option left. We put him on the 40-man in our plan this year too.


FanGraphs has Cabrera as the Yanks’ 16th-best prospect and cited that he generated some of the top exit velocities in the organization in 2019. He held his own as a 20 year-0ld in Tampa (104 wRC+) but the reported exit velocities didn’t appear to help his power too much (.118 isolated power). Considering his Rule 5 status, he seems like someone really hurt by the lost 2020 minor league season. He probably would have finished this year in Trenton and been on the precipice of a roster spot.

12 months ago  ::  Nov 19, 2020 - 5:01PM #17
Posts: 15,901

2021 Minor League Affiliation Chart

Arizona Diamondbacks
Atlanta Braves
Baltimore Orioles
Boston Red Sox
Chicago White Sox
Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds
Cleveland Indians
Colorado Rockies
Detroit Tigers
Houston Astros Sugar Land
Kansas City Royals
Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Dodgers
Miami Marlins
Milwaukee Brewers
Minnesota Twins
New York Yankees Scranton/W-B Somerset Hudson Valley Tampa
New York Mets Syracuse Binghamton Brooklyn St. Lucie
Oakland Athletics
Philadelphia Phillies
Pittsburgh Pirates
San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants
Seattle Mariners
St. Louis Cardinals
Tampa Bay Rays
Texas Rangers
Toronto Blue Jays
Washington Nationals Rochester
12 months ago  ::  Nov 21, 2020 - 2:57PM #18
Posts: 15,901

Interview with Yankees prospect James Nelson

Nelson talks with Pinstripe Alley about growing up a Yankees fan, being around the game from an early age and getting traded to New York.

Last January, the Yankees acquired minor league third baseman James Nelson in a trade for reliever Stephen Tarpley. Nelson recently took the time to speak with Pinstripe Alley on a variety of topics that will be published in two parts. Here is part one.

Dan Kelly - How did you first get into baseball? What are some of your earliest baseball memories, and what drew you to the sport?

James Nelson - My uncle (2013 Yankee Chris Nelson) played for the Rockies, he got drafted in ’04 by the Rockies, so I’ve been growing up in the dugouts when he was playing for the East Cobb Astros. I was in the dugout, man I don’t even know. I’ve been to a Yankees game when he was playing the Yankees while he was with Colorado... Since I was young I’ve always been around baseball, I started when I was four years old. I’ve always been around the sport, my whole family loves baseball...

DK – You grew up in the Atlanta area, but with your uncle playing for Colorado, were you a Braves fan or did you cheer for your uncle as he went along?

JN – So, I actually grew up a Yankees fan. My father is from New Jersey and I grew up a Yankees fan... everybody loves the Yankees... It’s just like everybody in my family, we love the Yankees, but we also love the Rockies because my uncle was there. They were my team, because I was a Derek Jeter fan, I loved Derek Jeter growing up. Like the guy I looked up to as far as to how passionate the game is played.

DK – You were drafted the first time as a shortstop. That position is generally know for great athleticism. Were you playing other sports coming up? When did you focus on baseball?

JN – Honestly I played basketball for maybe two years and then I was like “I’m playing baseball.” I grew up playing travel ball all the time, so I didn’t really have the time for any other sports to be honest.

DK – The general area you are from has produced a lot of baseball talent. Your uncle Chris was a top-10 overall pick, and then a few years ahead of you, both Clint Frazier and Austin Meadows were taken near the top of the draft from that general part of Georgia. Are those guys that you crossed paths with, playing with or against at any point?

JN – No, I never crossed paths with either of those guys, The guys I came up with are Jahmai Jones (the Angels’ No. 7 prospect per MLB.com), and Taylor Trammell (the Mariners’ No. 5 prospect per MLB.com), that kind of class is where I came up... I played with and against these guys growing up.

DK – You were drafted by the Red Sox coming out of high school. What went into your decision to forgo professional ball at that point and head to junior college?

JN – Part of it was just me. I was 17 at the time and I don’t think I was ready. Even though I was coming out young, I could still get my feet wet, but I don’t think I had seen what I needed to see. So, I think that one year of JUCO did me well. JUCO pitching and JUCO players, you get some of the pro feel, because that is where some of the guys go to get better. They go for one year and then get drafted.

DK – You had a pretty big power spike when you went junior college? What were you working on there that helped you develop that part of your game?

JN – I have to give it up to the coaches when I went to Cisco College (TX). They helped me out a lot while I was there, really staying on me. So Cisco is this small town, there are dirt roads for miles. The only thing to do there was to go to school and play baseball. I’d wake up early, go hit, go to class, come to practice, that’s all you could do. It was a good environment to be in, especially with the guys who were there.

DK – Is there any one coach who stood out to you while you were there?

JN – All the coaches were very helpful. The one guy who recruited me was John Coyne, who is at the University of New Mexico now. He was the recruiting coordinator at Cisco when I was there and he helped me out.

DK – You were drafted by the Marlins the next year. What would you say was the biggest adjustment to pro ball?

JN – Everybody is good! My mindset had to change a little bit. In JUCO you have the good players the great players but everybody is good at the pro level. No matter where you came from, your background, anything if you got drafted you are good. I think the biggest adjustment for me was one, keeping my work ethic and two Locking in every time, because they are good.

DK – Then you get traded. I think as a fan and writer we wonder what it is like to get that phone call and be told that you are traded?

JN – When I got traded, it was an out-of-the-blue kind of deal. I was doing my own thing, and then all of a sudden I get the call. The guy in the front office was saying, “Hey James, we just traded you to the Yankees” I was like, “Oh, wow.” It was just unexpected. It caught me by surprise, but then at the same time growing up a Yankees fan, I was like, “I’m really going to get to put on the pinstripes.”

DK – Growing up a Yankees fan, it must have been some mix emotions on that?

JN – Yeah, because I’ve been with the Marlins for four years, but it is exciting to play for the team you cheered for growing up.

We’ll have more of this interview with James Nelson tomorrow. Please check back as he discusses his first experiences with the Yankees, staying ready through the minor league shutdown and his positive messaging for young players.

12 months ago  ::  Nov 22, 2020 - 8:55AM #19
Posts: 15,901

NY Post | Rich Calder: The Yankees are no longer affiliated with the Staten Island Yankees after the recent minor league restructuring, and the city has now pledged $5 million to improve the former Single-A affiliate’s home park. Exactly what league the franchise will join remains to be seen, but whenever the team reopens its doors, expect some enhancements.

12 months ago  ::  Nov 22, 2020 - 10:55AM #20
Posts: 15,901

Interview with Yankees’ prospect James Nelson, part two

by: Dan Kelly SB Nation: Pinstripe Alley

Dan Kelly – You had played with Michael King a little bit in the Marlins system, is he someone you reached out to when you heard the news, or did you know anyone in the Yankees system that you could call to get a feel for how things go?

James Nelson – King… I love King that’s my boy, when I told him he was excited. We talked on the phone a little bit. Then I also knew Isiah (Gilliam), its like the other story with Taylor (Trammell) and them, we all grew up playing with each other or against each other. So that was somebody else that I reached out to and told him. Those were the only two people really. Everybody else I met them in spring training.

DK – You only had a few weeks on the field during spring training. How acclimated to the Yankees’ coaches and players did you feel by the time the COVID situation began to play out and everything needed to be shut down?

JN – I mean, when I first walked in it felt like I was there for years. Everybody welcomed me with open arms. The coaches sat me down and they said we are going to do “this, this and this with you.” Here is what we see as your strengths and weaknesses. I just felt like part of the family and I hadn’t even been there for, I mean we were only there for a month.

DK – How do you feel like your training has gone with the shutdown, and how has the constant flow of communication worked with the organization? How has training on your own gone? Do you feel like you are in a good place physically?

JN - When we first shut down I was working out on my own, I’ve got some workout and I was doing that on my own. Then I found this place down in Tampa, Diesel Fitness and they are the best that I’ve worked out with in a long time. They are helping me a lot to figure out some of the movements I didn’t know I had. Then on the baseball side of things, when it shut down I was doing a lot of things on my own. Then I have some of the Yankees coaches that reach out to me and they put me on a program to give me some drills to do. I’m just trying to stay prepared, I hit off the machines when I get a chance just to see a ball coming at me. Just stuff like that, little stuff that I can control.

DK – During the season with the playoff run with the Marlins making it, were some of the players on the Marlins guys that you know and had played with? Also, how did you follow the situation with your former team where you know some of the guys, but also your new organization both in the playoffs?

JN – Braxton GarrettJorge GuzmanSixto Sanchez… I didn’t really play with Sixto that much, and Jordan Holloway. Every time they pitched or played that is when I tuned in and wanted to see those guys do well. Other than that I was watching the Yankees or watching them pitch.

DK – It has to be interesting to see some of those guys that you played with contributing to the Marlins, as it was a surprising playoff run.

JN – Definitely.

DK – I have one more set of questions and I’ll understand if you want to stick to baseball on this, but 2020 is going to be known for more than just the pandemic and a mixed up season. You are a young black man in America, there was a lot of stuff over the summer and still in the national conversation that played out. I’m curious what are your thoughts and what were your emotions as you watched events play out this summer? Is there anything you are actively doing to participate in the conversations that are going on?

JN – I don’t want to comment too much on it, but I can tell you that the things that I do as far as that is when I go home, or go to my little brother’s games, I’ll speak to the kids sometimes, or even if I see, minorities in general I’ll stay on them, because at the end of the day there are not many in baseball. I try to stay on those guys and tell them it’s fun, it’s fun to be in pro ball and do this for a living and not have to go to a 9-to-5. So any advice I can give to those kids I’m more than happy, not even just the kids some of the older guys. I just tell them to keep on going every time I come home or even if I see something on social media, I tell them to keep it up.

DK – That is great, sounds like you are a very positive influence on them. Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today.

James Nelson is likely to be playing in the northeast this coming season either as a member of High-A Hudson Valley, Double-A Somerset or both as the season progresses.

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