The Triple-A, Double-A, High-A, and Low-A seasons will all begin on Tuesday, May 4. It’s been a long time coming, as there was obviously no MiLB season last year. Remember, MLB restructured the minors this year, so the Yankees have a few new affiliates. I’ll cover all of this in a bit more detail tomorrow and Tuesday in advance of the season, but here is how the schedule breaks down per affiliate level:
- Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre: 142 games
- Double-A Somerset: 120 games
- High-A Hudson Valley: 120 games
- Low-A Tampa: 120 games
The Gulf Coast league will kick off about two months later in late June. I’m looking forward to this season. The Alternate Site is great and all, but there’s nothing like playing in live games against not your teammates for a young player’s development. It’s essential.
Anyway, the Yankees announced the break camp rosters for each of the affiliates that will begin playing on Tuesday. Those are all listed below, with some quick takeaways beforehand.
- Outfield MLB Depth: I’m going to cheat here a bit and use the first takeaway to talk about MLB roster construction. Look at the Triple-A roster and you’ll see that there aren’t any players you’d be comfortable manning the outfield in the Bronx. Aaron Hicks is struggling, but there are not any viable internal replacements. Remember, the Yanks just traded away Mike Tauchman. Looking at this roster only underscores that they are confident in Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton’s health – and Aaron Hicks’ ability to turn it around.
- Upper Minors Catching Depth: There are 4 catchers rostered in Scranton, which makes sense. The Yanks don’t have a ton of MLB-caliber catching depth. They should keep Rob Brantley around as insurance even as Robinson Chirinos, who was recently effective, rehabs in Triple-A.
- Estevan Florial Still Needs More Work: This shouldn’t surprise anyone, but I expect it still will: Estevan Florial, who made his MLB debut in 2020, will begin the season in Double-A. Last year was a weird year, which is the only reason Florial manned the Bronx outfield. His debut, coupled with a mammoth HR at the Alternate Site, has some clamoring for him in the Bronx right now. The Yankees have other plans for the 23-year-old outfielder, who has never played above High-A aside from last year’s cup of coffee. In 2019, he struck out 33% of the time in High-A – he still has work to do, and how he responds to the challenge of Double-A pitching will be a big tell for his future.
- Luis Gil’s Challenge: Awesome to see Luis Gil join Florial in Double-A. He really shined in both 2018 and 2019 and is the proud owner of a 2.74 ERA in 207 career professional innings. The 22-year-old Gil, with a sparkling fastball, will try to keep reigning in his control/command in Double-A. It will be a big test.
- I Need to Take A Trip to Wappingers Falls: The High-A roster is stacked. I love it. It’s packed with Yankee prospect star power, which says a lot about the state of the farm. It’s filled with high-potential guys who are still a few years away. It includes Ezequial Duran, Anthony Seigler, Josh Breaux, and Oswaldo Peraza. Those are names familiar to anyone following the Yanks system lately.
- Luis Medina Watch: It also includes everyone’s new darling, Luis Medina. He really turned a corner in 2019. In his final 45 innings in that season, 10.2 of which were in High-A, he struck out 63 and walked just 15. It will be interesting to see if he can maintain that new control. His stuff is electric and always has been. Let’s hope he can build on that progress. It’ll be easy to dream on him, just as it was in the D.R. this past winter.
- First Round Watch: Austin Wells, the first collegiate first-round bat the Yanks have selected since 2015, will start his career in Low-A. It makes sense. The Yanks have been raving about him since he joined the organization, and I can’t wait to watch him this year.
- Jasson Dominguez in Tampa: Finally, we will have to wait a bit longer to watch Jasson Dominguez. Despite some rumblings that Jasson, the 18-year-old super prospect who hasn’t played a professional game, would start the season in High-A, that is not the case. He will be held back and remain in Tampa for extended Spring Training for now. This, too, makes sense. We’ll get our first glimpse of the Martian later on this summer. He’s only 18, after all.
Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees
Pitchers (17): Albert Abreu, Kyle Barraclough, Braden Bristo, Nestor Cortes Jr., Deivi García, Luis García, Nick Goody, Nick Green, Brian Keller, Brody Koerner, Brooks Kriske, Trevor Lane, Reggie McClain, Mike Montgomery, Nick Nelson, Addison Russ, Adam Warren
Catchers (4): Rob Brantley, Robinson Chirinos, Kellin Deglan, Max McDowell
Infielders (6): Armando Alvarez, Miguel Andújar, Derek Dietrich, Chris Gittens, Kyle Holder, Andrew Velazquez
Outfielders (4): Greg Allen, Trey Amburgey, Socrates Brito, Ryan LaMarre
Pitchers (15): Reid Anderson, Keegan Curtis, Carlos Espinal, Kevin Gadea, Luis Gil, Michael Gomez, Janson Junk, Matt Krook, Ron Marinaccio, Glenn Otto, Stephen Ridings, J.P. Sears, Shawn Semple, Jefrey Valdez, Greg Weissert
Catchers (3): Chase Illig, Jason Lopez, Donny Sands
Infielders (6): Oswaldo Cabrera, Deigo Castillo, Dermis Garcia, Hoy Jun Park, Matt Pita, Brandon Wagner
Outfielders (5): Michael Beltre, Estevan Florial, Isiah Gilliam, Thomas Milone, Zach Zehner
Hudson Valley Renegades
Pitchers (16): Nelson Alvarez, Jhony Brito, Nick Ernst, Zach Greene, Barrett Loeske, Josh Maciejewski, Luis Medina, Matt Minnick, Tanner Myatt, Jio Orozco, Elvis Peguero, Charlie Ruegger, Mitch Spence, Ken Waldichuk, Hayden Wesneski, Justin Wilson
Catchers (3): Josh Breaux, Mickey Gasper, Anthony Seigler
Infielders (7): Oliver Dunn, Ezequiel Duran, Kyle MacDonald, James Nelson, Oswald Peraza, Christan Perez, Eric Wagaman
Outfielders (5): Frederick Cuevas, Brandon Lockridge, Pablo Olivares, Isaiah Pasteur, Steven Sensley
Pitchers (15): Blane Abeyta, Ryan Anderson, Edgar Barclay, Sean Boyle, Carson Coleman, Nelvin Correa, Harold Cortijo, Wellington Diaz, Michael Giacone, Trevor Holloway, Shaine McNeely, Kevin Milam, Jhonatan Muñoz, Matt Sauer, Randy Vasquez
Catchers (3): Juan Crisp, Carlos Narvaez, Austin Wells
Infielders (6): Chad Bell, Max Burt, Andres Chaparro, Trevor Hauver, Spencer Henson, Anthony Volpe
Outfielders (5): Evan Alexander, Juan De Leon, Pat DeMarco, Elijah Dunham, Jacob Stanford