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Random Minor League Notes: 2022 Edition
1 year ago  ::  Sep 26, 2022 - 7:48AM #331
Posts: 27,569

Nestor's scoreless start puts ERA in rare club

NEW YORK -- It was the last game of a six-game homestand at Yankee Stadium. The fans were hoping that Aaron Judge would at least tie Roger Maris by hitting his 61st home run, an American League record. But Judge wasn’t able to hit a home run in a rain-shortened 2-0 victory over the Red Sox on Sunday night.

Instead, it was left-hander Nestor Cortes who highlighted the game. He pitched six scoreless innings, allowing one hit and two walks while striking out five batters. The only hit he surrendered came in the fourth inning, when Rob Refsnyder hit a ground-rule double to left field.

At first, Yankees manager Aaron Boone didn’t like the way Cortes was throwing the baseball. The skipper said Cortes was nibbling around the plate, a little off with his command and threw too many pitches (101). But Cortes had a different plan of attack while facing Boston for the third time this season.

“Across the league, everybody knows I’m a strike thrower,” Cortes said. “I faced Boston already. They already know my game plan and stuff I do, so I was nibbling a little bit to see how aggressive they are. It was kind of the attack I wanted to do today. It worked out.”

Cortes’ ERA dropped to 2.56. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Cortes’ ERA is the fourth lowest by a Yankee pitcher through their first 27 starts of a season in the divisional era, trailing only Ron Guidry (1.77 ERA in 1978), Steve Kline (1.97 ERA in 1972) and Mel Stottlemyre (2.51 ERA in 1969). Coming off his regular-season success, Cortes is expected to play a big role in the postseason.

“It’s an honor to be in that list,” Cortes said. “For me, to pitch the way I pitch and try to compete the way I compete every single day I’m out there, I just try to give my team a chance to win that game.”

Before he left the press conference, Cortes couldn’t help but talk about Judge. Cortes said his teammates want to see Judge make history by breaking Maris’ record. What has impressed Cortes is that Judge’s demeanor has never changed.

“[Judge] is always the same guy. You [don’t] even notice that he is about to hit his 61st home run,” Cortes said. “In the clubhouse, behind the scenes, he is the same guy. That’s what makes him so special. No matter if he is on a tear or he is struggling, he is the same guy always.

“We feed off that energy, too. No matter how good or bad you are doing, we have to keep it level for every other guy that is in there. Aaron Judge has been the same guy since day 1.”

1 year ago  ::  Sep 27, 2022 - 10:33AM #332
Posts: 27,569

Yankees prospects: Week 25 minor league review

Six of the Yankees’ top nine prospects are playing in meaningful minor league games late into the season at the upper levels of the system. Austin Wells, Jasson Domínguez, and Anthony Volpe are all playing in big spots as their teams try to finish off the season strong. Let’s take a look at how Triple-A Scranton and Double-A Somerset fared over the last week.

Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre RailRiders

Record: 81-65; Second place in the International League (East), 1.5 GB

Past Week: 4-2 vs. Lehigh Valley IronPigs

Coming Up: Home vs. Buffalo Bison

The RailRiders were 16-7 this month heading into yesterday’s doubleheader that they split against Buffalo, and yet over the last two weeks they have not been able to gain any more ground on first place Durham. Only the division winner advances to the playoffs and time is running short for a team that was once 15.5 games out in the division race.

Matt Krook set the RailRiders’ season record with his 155th strikeout of the season. He has been a streaky pitcher but has been especially good over his last 17 games, holding opponents to a .197 batting average. Blake Perkins had a big week, and he has been very strong at both the Double-A and Triple-A level this season.

Players of Note:

Anthony Volpe: 99 G; .269/.356/.487, 16 HR, 3 3B, 31 2B, 34 SB (Double-A and Triple-A)

Matt Krook: 17 G; 3.20 ERA, 84.1 IP, 59 H, 43 BB, .197 BAA

Armando Alvarez: 62 G; .312/.356/.566, 13 HR, 17 2B

Blake Perkins: 44 G; .296/.399/.549, 9 HR, 1 3B, 7 2B

Zach Greene: 16 G; 1.40 ERA, 25.2 IP, 13 H, 9 BB, 39 K

Jimmy Cordero: 30 G; 1.72 ERA, 36.2 IP, 24 H, 9 BB, 49 K

Double-A Somerset Patriots

Second-half Record: 39-28; Second place in the Eastern League (Northeast), 3.0 GB

Overall Record: 83-53; First-half Champion in the Eastern League (Northeast); Best Full Season record in the Eastern League

Past Week: 2-0 vs. Portland Sea Dogs (Advanced to Eastern League Championship)

0-1 vs. Erie SeaWolves (Best-of-three Eastern League Championship)

Coming Up: Home vs. Erie SeaWolves (Pirates)

The Patriots return home on Tuesday night with their Championship hopes on the line. They dropped a closely contested game on Saturday night in Erie and will now have to hold serve at home to bring home an Eastern League Championship.

Prior to getting to the series with Erie, the Patriots disposed of the Portland Sea Dogs in two straight games. In the first game of the series, Somerset put nine runs on the board without a single extra base hit. Elijah Dunham led the way by going 4-for-5 on the night, while the pitching staff behind Randy Vasquez held down the Portland lineup. Clayton Beeter followed with another strong outing, but that game turned into a back-and-forth affair that went into extra innings. Outfielder Brandon Lockridge came through with a walk-off hit in the 10th inning to lock in the series victory.

Players of Note:

Jasson Domínguez: 93 G; .290/.409/.490, 13 HR, 7 3B, 14 2B, 33 SB

Clayton Beeter: 8 G; 2.08 ERA, 30.1 IP, 18 H, 14 BB, 47 K

Austin Wells: 54 G; .280/.381/.512, 12 HR, 1 3B, 10 2B, 7 SB

Tyler Hardman: 36 G; .281/.327/.534, 9 HR, 2 3B, 6 2B

1 year ago  ::  Sep 27, 2022 - 3:34PM #333
Posts: 27,569

Yankees prospect you’ve never heard of just led all minor-leaguers in WHIP

The New York Yankees may have significantly thinned out their upper-level pitching depth by trading Ken WaldichukLuis Medina, Hayden Wesneski, and JP Sears. But just because an advanced class has departed doesn’t mean a new group isn’t right behind them, ready to contribute.

Say what you will about Brian Cashman’ decision to put all his eggs in Frankie Montas’ basket, but the Yankees’ system works, developing those four productive arms in recent years alongside Clarke Schmidt and Luis Gil. Turns out, these days, the Deivi Garcias of the world might be the bugs in the system, not the standard result.

New York’s minor-league pitching development corps was the reason Cashman was alright with exiling that list of top arms, and several breakout starters and relievers throughout the organization have shown flashes in 2022 that they might be prepared to lead the next generation.

Top-10 prospect Yoendrys Gomez has gotten a lot of buzz after his recent return from injury, and names like Will Warren and Randy Vasquez were both tossed around as likely deadline trade pieces/breakouts before they ultimately stuck in the organization. More than anywhere else, though, the Yankees have shined in the bullpen since mid-2021, promoting Schmidt, Ron Marinaccio, Greg Weissert and Stephen Ridings to help the cause.

Little did we know that they have yet to touch the minors’ leader in WHIP for the 2022 season, who still lurks somewhere below the 40-man. Has anyone been paying attention to Double-A Somerset’s Matt Minnick?

Yankees lefty Matt Minnick led all minor-leaguers in WHIP at Double-A

Minnick, a 23rd-round pick out of Mercyhurst College in Pennsylvania back in 2019, has made the most of his age-26 season, to say the least. The left-handed artist’s campaign is his first venture above High-A, where he struggled, by and large, in 2021 (4.40 ERA, 25 walks in 45 innings for a 1.40 WHIP).

The strikeouts were always there, though, as Minnick whiffed 66 batters in The Year Before the Breakout. This season, he’s put everything together, striking out fewer batters (a serviceable 63 in 61 total Double-A innings), but harnessing his stuff and improving both his control and command significantly.

Minnick’s most ridiculous stretch of the season featured a jaw-dropping 0.28 ERA over a 31.1-inning span, but even without the fireworks, he’s still maintained a minors-best 0.75 WHIP, allowing just 27 hits, 19 walks, and four hit batters during the regular season.

The Yankees’ soft-tossing lefties in the minors, especially Minnick and Triple-A’s Matt Krook, haven’t gotten quite as much shine as their right-handed counterparts.

With numbers like these, though, it’s safe to say Minnick’s left-handed consistency may be directly behind Greg Weissert’s wipeout slider on the minor-league breakout promotion pecking order.

13 months ago  ::  Oct 01, 2022 - 8:32AM #334
Posts: 27,569

A final Yankees prospects weekly review, and a farewell

Double-A Somerset brought home the Eastern League title in spectacular fashion.

The minor league season has come to close, and the Yankees organization finished it out with a championship at the Double-A level. The Somerset Patriots joined the Yankees’ Florida Complex League team in winning their league this season. Overall, the Yankees’ stateside minor league teams finished the season 431-341. Only the Low-A Tampa Tarpons finished below .500 overall, but even they had a strong second half where the team finished only a few games out of the playoffs. Let’s take a look at the last week of action for the minor league season.

Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre RailRiders

Record: 83-67; Second place in the International League (East), 3.0 GB

Past Week: 2-2 vs. Buffalo Bison

The RailRiders finished 64-33 (.660 winning percentage) after bottoming out at 19-34 on June 7th. It’s a testament to this comeback that the team briefly overtook Durham for a half-game lead at one point, but despite continuing to play well, the Bulls pulled back ahead in the division and earned the division crown.

The strong second half was powered by names very familiar to Yankees fans now: Oswaldo Cabrera, Oswald Peraza, Estevan Florial, and Anthony Volpe. Josh Norris of Baseball America reported that Volpe is the only minor league player in baseball to have hit 35 doubles and 20 home runs while stealing 40 bases on the season. Beyond the big names, a number of other players had strong campaigns. Matt Krook had an amazing stretch earlier this season where he retired 42 consecutive batters across three outings, and he set a new single-season strikeout record for Scranton. Deivi García rebounded from a rough start to the season and seemed to find himself again working in a bullpen role. Armando Alvarez had a breakout second half of the season as well.

Players of Note:

Anthony Volpe: 102 G; .271/.359/.498, 17 HR, 4 3B, 32 2B, 36 SB (Double-A and Triple-A)

Estevan Florial: 101 G; .283/.368/.481, 15 HR, 2 3B, 31 2B, 39 SB

Matt Krook: 17 G; 3.20 ERA, 84.1 IP, 59 H, 43 BB, .197 BAA

Armando Alvarez: 64 G; .314/.356/.572, 14 HR, 17 2B

Deivi García: 8 G; 4.09 ERA, 22 IP, 11 H, 9 BB, 31 K

Double-A Somerset Patriots

Overall Record: 83-53; Eastern League Champions (Best Regular Season Record in the Eastern League)

Eastern League Championship Series: 2-1 vs. Erie SeaWolves (Pirates)

Double-A Somerset returned home on Tuesday evening with their season on the line, down 0-1 in a best-of-three series. The Patriots then outscored Erie 24-2 over the next two games, including an incredible 15-0 no-hitter in the deciding game that left little doubt to the outcome after a nine-run first inning.

Starting pitcher Randy Vasquez was only a seventh-inning walk away from perfection over eight before Carson Coleman closed the season out. Jasson Domínguez improved as the year progressed, ascending from Low-A all the way up to Double-A for the final two weeks; he finished the season with 7 homers in his last 12 games. That includes two games where he hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game. He was far from alone in the onslaught, as Andres Chaparro and others continued to put up big numbers for the team. Congratulations to Somerset on an excellent first year in the Yankees’ organization.

Players of Note:

Jasson Domínguez: 94 G; .296/.415/.519, 16 HR, 7 3B, 14 2B, 33 SB

Austin Wells: 56 G; .282/.382/.519, 13 HR, 1 3B, 10 2B, 8 SB

Andres Chaparro: 39 G; .329/.411/.658, 12 HR, 12 2B

Will Warren: 18 G; 4.02 ERA, 94 IP, 89 H, 33 BB, 83 K

Yoendrys Gomez: 10 G; 1.93 ERA, 28 IP, 20 H, 12 BB, 27 K

Randy Vasquez: 25 G; 3.90 ERA, 115.1 IP, 106 H, 41 BB, 120 K

12 months ago  ::  Nov 07, 2022 - 5:48PM #335
Posts: 27,569

Greg Weissert named Triple-A Pitcher of the Year | Yankees | YES Network

Pitcher of the Year: Greg Weissert, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (NYY)
Weissert followed a career year with an almost identical 2022 season. The right-hander was straight-up dominant out of the RailRiders bullpen, allowing just three homers and nine earned runs across 48 innings, good for a 1.69 ERA. The 27-year-old whiffed 70 batters and walked only 19 while holding opposing batters to a .149 average. He made his MLB debut on Aug. 25, striking out 11 in 11 1/3 innings.

11 months ago  ::  Nov 10, 2022 - 1:42PM #336
Posts: 27,569

TampaTarpons: Congrats to Jasson Dominguez, who was named to the MiLB Class-A All-Star team! In addition, MiLB announced Dominguez as the FSL Top MLB Prospect in 2022 after slashing .265/.373/.440, .813 OPS, 9 HR, 36 RBI in 75 G with the Tarpons! Keep making waves Jasson! 

11 months ago  ::  Nov 11, 2022 - 2:13PM #337
Posts: 27,569

Florida Complex League

Most Valuable Player: Ricardo Olivar, Twins (MIN)
Olivar obviously learned from his sluggish introduction to pro ball in the FCL in 2021. Back in Florida to begin 2022, the 21-year-old took off, finishing second on the circuit with a .349 average in 40 games. Olivar put together a 1.013 OPS, 20 extra-base hits and 23 RBIs across 120 at-bats. The Venezuela native was promoted to Single-A Fort Myers and went 2-for-9 in three games to close out the season.

Pitcher of the Year: Jawilme Ramirez, Mets (NYM)
Following a strong pro debut in the Dominican Summer League a year before, Ramirez made the jump to the United States and shined. The 20-year-old was nearly untouchable, producing an 0.84 ERA and an 0.77 WHIP in 13 appearances (six starts) while limiting opposing batters to a .179 average. The Dominican Republic native struck out 40, walked six and surrendered just 27 hits, only one of which left the yard, in 43 innings. Ramirez made his final two starts of 2022 with Single-A St. Lucie.

All-Star Team
1B: Jesus Rodriguez, Yankees (NYY)
2B: Jared Serna, Yankees (NYY)
SS: Junior Caminero, Rays (TB No. 18)
3B: Yiddi Cappe, Marlins (MIA No. 6)
C: Ricardo Olivar, Twins (MIN)
OF: Miguel Bleis, Red Sox (BOS No. 5)
OF: Roismar Quintana, Nationals (WAS No. 16)
OF: Felix Negueis, Yankees (NYY)
DH: Agustin Ramirez, Yankees (NYY)
RHP: Jawilme Ramirez, Mets (NYM)
LHP: Juan Rojas, Orioles (BAL)
RP: Andri Tavarez, Rays (TB)
Manager: Sergio Santos, Yankees (NYY)

11 months ago  ::  Nov 11, 2022 - 2:15PM #338
Posts: 27,569

Dominican Summer League

Most Valuable Player: Jose Rodriguez, Twins (MIN)
Rodriguez showcased tremendous power in his first taste of pro ball, leading the DSL with 13 homers and 49 RBIs in 55 games. The 17-year-old was no slouch in other offensive facets, batting .289/.361/.605 with 31 extra-base hits across 190 at-bats. Rodriguez took off in July, leaving the yard seven times and plating 23 runs while hitting .325 with a 1.105 OPS in 22 games.

Pitcher of the Year: Wandy Abreu, Red Sox Blue (BOS)
Debuts don't come much better than the one Abreu put together as a 20-year-old after signing with Boston last November. Abreu made 18 appearances, won eight games -- all in relief -- and posted a miniscule 1.22 ERA to go along with an 0.97 WHIP. The 6-foot-4, 238-pound right-hander held opposing batters to a .191 average and ran a sparkling 45-to-11 K/BB ratio in 37 frames. Abreu ended the season by surrendering two earned runs over his final 13 appearances spanning 25 2/3 innings.

All-Star Team
1B: Luis Torres, Angels (LAA)
2B: Loidel Chapelli, White Sox (CWS No. 25)
SS: Keiner Delgado, Yankees (NYY)
3B: Marco Vargas, Marlins (MIA)
C: Bryant Betancourt, Rockies (COL)
OF: Jose Rodriguez, Twins (MIN No. 21)
OF: Josue De Paula, Dodgers Bautista (LAD)
OF: Luis Baez, Astros Orange (HOU No. 22)
DH: Samuel Muñoz, Dodgers Mega (LAD)
RHP: Wandy Abreu, Red Sox Blue (BOS)
LHP: Victor Pena, Royals Glass (KC)
RP: Dianye Florentino, Rangers Blue (KC)
Manager: Ozzie Chavez, Red Sox Blue (BOS)

11 months ago  ::  Nov 16, 2022 - 10:22AM #339
Posts: 27,569

Which Yankees prospects stole the show in '22?


Though the Yankees’ postseason run fell four victories shy of reaching the World Series, the 2022 pennant chase provided opportunities for several young prospects to make an impact at the big league level, including shortstop , who could figure prominently into the club’s 2023 plans.

“I was really impressed with what I saw from him makeup-wise, preparation-wise, what he was able to handle, being thrown into some different situations,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “I always felt like he was up to it and handled it. He certainly put himself in a really good position heading into the winter after coming off another strong season.”

Infielder/outfielder  also showed that he deserves consideration as a big league regular. In this week’s Yankees newsletter, we’ll look at what has been happening down on the farm. The 2022 season was pivotal for shortstop Anthony Volpe, who could make his Major League debut next year after an impressive performance that earned a promotion to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Talent evaluators also continue to rave about “The Martian,” Jasson Domínguez, who starred for Single-A Tampa and High-A Hudson Valley before extending his campaign in the Arizona Fall League.

Three players who forced their way onto the radar this year

Everson Pereira
Added to the Yankees’ 40-man roster in November, Pereira is now ranked as the Yankees’ No. 5 prospect per MLB Pipeline. He turned in a solid performance for High-A Hudson Valley and Double-A Somerset that saw the right-handed hitting outfielder bat .277/.350/.469 with 14 homers, 56 RBIs and 21 stolen bases in 102 games.

Greg Weissert
Weissert was named the International League’s Pitcher of the Year and Reliever of the Year, posting a 1.69 ERA out of the RailRiders’ bullpen. The 27-year-old righty allowed just three homers and nine earned runs across 48 innings, striking out 70 against 19 walks while holding opponents to a .149 average. Weissert made his big league debut in 2022, appearing in 12 games.

Austin Wells
Wells enjoyed a solid second pro season and could make his Major League debut in 2023, especially if the Yankees non-tender catcher . Rated as the organization’s No. 4 prospect by MLB Pipeline, the left-handed hitting Wells batted .277/.385/.512 with 20 homers and 65 RBIs in 92 games at Single-A Tampa, High-A Hudson Valley and Double-A Somerset.

Two possible breakout players to watch in 2023

Andres Chaparro
The power-hitting corner infielder from Venezuela has continued to impress after participating in last year’s Arizona Fall League. Chaparro starred in 64 games at Double-A Somerset this past season, batting .289/.369/.594 with 19 homers and 52 RBIs. Injuries cost Chaparro about two months, but he finished the year strong. The Yankees had Chaparro as part of their postseason taxi squad and could add him to the 40-man roster this winter.

Spencer Jones
Jones was the Yankees’ top selection in the 2022 MLB Draft (No. 25 overall, out of Vanderbilt), and his 6-foot-7, 225-pound frame drew immediate comparisons as a left-handed-hitting version of . The probable American League MVP casts a big shadow, literally and figuratively, but the Yankees expect big things from the 21-year-old Jones. Across his first 25 pro games, Jones hit .344/.425/.538 with four homers and 12 RBIs. He’s already ranked as the Yanks’ No. 7 prospect per MLB Pipeline.

One big question for next season: When will Volpe get a chance to take over as the Yankees’ shortstop?

In passing on a loaded free-agent crop last offseason, the Yanks viewed  as a stopgap, providing Peraza and Volpe with more development time. Peraza has already impressed, batting .306 with one homer in 49 big league at-bats, and now Volpe is poised to come into Spring Training seeking an opportunity to win a starting job.

The 21-year-old Volpe is rated as the game’s No. 5 overall prospect by MLB Pipeline, boasting outstanding makeup and quality instincts that seem to forecast big league stardom. Volpe batted .249/.342/.460 with 35 doubles, 21 homers, 65 RBIs and 50 stolen bases in 132 games for Double-A Somerset and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

“[Playing in the Majors] is something I’ve worked my whole life for,” Volpe said. “It feels close, but far at the same time. I feel like now’s the time to just work, put my head down and work as hard as I possibly can to make it a reality. To me, that’s super motivating, and I’m super excited about it.”

11 months ago  ::  Nov 18, 2022 - 6:33PM #340
Posts: 27,569
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