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The Case Against Waiting

The Yankees of my youth were a win now team. They long eschewed minor leaguers for everything but their on-field value and routinely traded away most prospects. This plan worked in that they won lots of games, including lots of championships, and didn’t really regret having dealt away those minor league players. Of course, given their massive financial resources and willingness to spend a lot of money, they were a perpetual win now team, a win now and later team. About fifteen years ago, the process of being a win now and later team changed in that the Yankees changed their focus to improving their draft and development processes so their prospects should be more than just trade fodder. They’ve succeeded with this, too, and the current roster boasts of that success: Aaron Judge, Luis Severino, Jordan Montgomery, Gary Sanchez, Chad Green, Jonathan Loaisiga, Gleyber Torres (kind of). 

2022 Yankees Top Prospects List Roundup

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Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, FanGraphs, and MLB Pipeline have all published their 2022 Yankees top prospect lists. FanGraphs (top 38) and MLB Pipeline (top 30) go deeper into the system, while Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus stick to a top 10 list (with mentions of others who missed the cut and would be top 30 guys anyway). Today, I’ll take a look at these lists and make note of a few things that caught my eye. Let’s get right to it.

The obvious choice at #1: Anthony Volpe

All four sites agreed that Volpe belongs at the top of the organization’s list, and for good reason. In spite of not being the toolsiest prospect in the organization, “Volpe might have had the most impressive all-around performance of any prospect in 2021” according to Baseball Prospectus’ Jeffrey Paternostro. No kidding: the 20 year-old shortstop hit .294/.423/.604 (170 wRC+) in 513 plate appearances in stints with Tampa (Single-A) and Hudson Valley (High-A).

DoTF: Medina K’s 10, prospects’ homers galore

News & Notes

  • Gleyber Torres was hit in the hand in his final at-bat with Scranton tonight. Hopefully he’s okay and can rejoin the Yanks as planned for Friday’s opener against the Orioles.

Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders

A 9th inning comeback fell short as the RailRiders fell 5-3 to Buffalo.

  • Starting Pitcher: LHP Matt Krook: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 5 K – 60% strikes…has 106 K in 86 IP
  • In Relief: RHP Nick Nelson: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0 K – 58% strikes…rare to see 4 unearned runs but there ya go
  • In Relief: RHP Sal Romano: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K – 63% strikes for Tri-State Sal
  • Rehab Watch: SS Gleyber Torres: 1-3, 1 HBP – the aforementioned HBP is one to watch
  • Leftovers: Only 5 hits in this one…Trey Amburgey had 2 of them, Rob Brantly had a double and Greg Allen had a triple

Double-A Somerset Patriots

Game 1: The Pats won game one of the doubleheader over Bowie 3-2 behind a strong start for Luis Medina.

  • Starting Pitcher: RHP Luis Medina: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 10 K – 67% strikes…both runs were on solo homers…great to see a strong K/BB ratio for him
  • In Relief: RHP Kevin Gadea: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K – 71% strikes
  • In Relief: RHP Addison Russ: 1.0 IP, zeroes, 1 BB, 1 K – 52% strikes
  • Offensive Star: 1B Dermis Garcia: 1-3, 1 HR, 3 RBI – all runs scored on his homerun
  • Leftovers: Oswald Peraza was 0-2 with a walk and a k…Oswaldo Cabrera went 1-2 also with a walk and a k

Game 2: They lost game 2 7-4 despite a great offensive display from Oswald Peraza.

  • Starting Pitcher: RHP Jhony Brito: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 3 BB, 4 K – 60% strikes…got beat around in this one including allowing 2 homers
  • In Relief: RHP Zach Greene: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K – 50% strikes
  • Offensive Star: SS Oswald Peraza: 4-4, 1 R, 3 RBI – 4 singles and drove in 3
  • Leftovers: Oswaldo Cabrera and Josh Breaux were both 0-4…Mickey Gasper had 2 hits and 2 runs scored.

High-A Hudson Valley Renegades

Game 1: HV lost game one 2-0 against Greensboro because they couldn’t muster any offense against former first round pick Quinn Priester.

  • Starting Pitcher: RHP Mitch Spence: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 5 K – 65% strikes
  • In Relief: RHP Freicer Perez: 1.0 IP, 1 H, zeroes, 1 K – 67% strikes…lowered his ERA from 5.74 to 3.72
  • First Round Watch: DH Anthony Volpe: 1-3
  • Leftovers: None really…Elijah Dunham had a single and the team had 5 hits total.

Game 2: The ‘Gades hit 3 homers in this one but it wasn’t enough to overcome a rough pitching performance that gave up 8 runs in the 6th inning. They lost 10-7.

  • Starting Pitcher: RHP Matt Sauer: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K – 65% strikes…love to see high K numbers
  • In Relief: LHP Matt Minnick: 0.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 0 K – 36% strikes…never seen a line like this before
  • In Relief: RHP Carlos Espinal: 0.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 0 BB, 2 K – 83% strikes…gave up a big 3 run homer
  • Volpe Watch: SS Anthony Volpe: 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI – hit his 11th homer in High-A and is now back to hitting over .300 and OPS’ing over 1.000
  • First Round Watch: C Austin Wells: 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI – great to see him have a strong game
  • Homer Watch: RF Elijah Dunham: 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI
  • Leftovers: The other hits came from Everson Pereira, Andres Chaparro, Eric Wagaman, and Eduardo Torrealba

Low-A Tampa Tarpons

The Tarpons lost 9-6 to Bradenton. Keeping with the farm theme of the day, they squandered a late-inning lead. Tampa committed 5 errors in this one.

  • Starting Pitcher: RHP Juan Carela: 3.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 BB, 5 K, 2 HR – 53% strikes…has a 12.46 ERA in Tampa after a 1.46 ERA in the FCL
  • In Relief: LHP Clay Aguilar: 4.0 IP, 1 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K – 72% strikes…that’s a tough luck loss if I’ve ever seen one
  • In Relief: RHP Carson Coleman: 0.1 IP, zeroes – 80% strikes
  • Martian Watch: CF Jasson Dominguez: 0-4, 1 BB – continues to get on base and great to see 0 K’s
  • First Round Watch: SS Trey Sweeney: 2-5, 1 HR, 1 3B 1 R, 2 RBI – OPS’ing .967 now after the rough start to A ball
  • Offensive Star: 1B Anthony Garcia: 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI – has a ludicrous 1.262 OPS
  • Leftovers: Antonio Gomez had a double…Benjamin Cowles had a homer…Tyler Hardman had a double

The FCL Yankees game was postponed.

DSL Yankees 1 won 7-3

DSL Yankees 2 lost 9-2

DoTF: Martian homers but Tampa gets swept

Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders

The RailRiders dominated Lehigh Valley 10-3 behind a 5 run spot in the 2nd inning in support of Clarke Schmidt who made a rehab appearance. They are 57-37 overall.

  • Starting Pitcher: RHP Clarke Schmidt: 3.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K – 63% strikes…hasn’t thrown more than 3 IP in any appearance this year. Will be interesting to see if he’s a September bullpen call-up for the big league squad
  • In Relief: RHP Adam Warren: 1.0 IP, 1 H, zeroes – 71% strikes in picking up the win
  • In Relief: RHP Nick Green: 1.0 IP, zeroes, 1 BB – 50% strikes
  • In Relief: RHP Nick Nelson: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 1 K – 37% strikes…needs to learn how to find the zone if he’s going to be an effective reliever down the line
  • Offensive Star: SS Kyle Holder: 3-5, 3 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • Offensive Star 2: 1B Armando Alvarez: 2-5, 3 RBI
  • Leftovers: Donny Sands was 1-3 with 3 walks…Socrates Brito was 2-4 with 2 runs scored…everyone in the lineup had at least one hit. Great offensive day all around

Double-A Somerset Patriots

The Patriots lost this one 5-3 to Akron in extras. After tying the game in the 9th, Akron plated 2 in the 10th and Somerset took a goose egg in their half of the 10th for the loss. They are 57-40 on the year.

  • Starting Pitcher: LHP Ken Waldichuk: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR – 61% strikes…has a strong 89 K’s in 63 AA innings
  • In Relief: RHP Sean Boyle: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 5 K – 61% strikes…solid first appearance since his no-no in AAA
  • In Relief: RHP Zach Greene: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K – 73% strikes in the loss
  • Bro Watch: C Josh Breaux: 1-4, 1 HR
  • Peraza Watch: SS Oswald Peraza: 0-4…can’t win ’em all
  • Leftovers: Michael Beltre went 3-4 in this one…Oswald Cabrera, Dermis Garcia, and Tommy Milone had 1 hit each

High-A Hudson Valley Renegades

The ‘Gades cruised to a 4-0 victory over Winston-Salem thanks to a homer from Jake Sanford and a strong start from Josh Maciejewski.

  • Starting Pitcher: LHP Josh Maciejewski: 6.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K – 69% strikes
  • Offensive Star: LF Jake Sanford: 2-4, 1 HR
  • First Round Watch: SS Anthony Volpe: 1-5, 2 K
  • First Round Watch: DH Austin Wells: 0-4, 3 K

Low-A Tampa Tarpons

Game One: The Clearwater Threshers thrashed Tampa in game one 13-6 despite a homer from Jasson Dominguez.

  • Starting Pitcher: RHP Juan Carela: 1.2 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR – 57% strikes…big yikes
  • Martian Watch: CF Jasson Dominguez: 2-3, 1 HR – the homer had an exit velo of 107.4 mph and traveled 418 ft. That’ll do
  • First Round Watch: SS Trey Sweeney: 2-4, 1 RBI – got the OPS up to .877 in A ball after a rough start
  • Leftovers: 2021 draftee Cooper Bowman had a double in this one

Game Two: Clearwater got the DH sweep behind this 6-4 victory with a late inning comeback. Tampa is still a robust 64-31 overall.

  • Starting Pitcher: RHP Tyrone Yulie: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 7 K – 65% strikes
  • In Relief: RHP Wellington Diaz: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HR – gave up a homer in the 6th and 7th to get the blown save and the loss
  • First Round Watch: DH Trey Sweeney: 2-4 – rebounding very well after a tough start in Tampa
  • 2021 Draftee: 2B Cooper Bowman: 2-4, 1 RBI – very nice double multi-hit game today

Florida Complex League

The FCL Yankees lost 12-7 to the Tigers East.

DoTF: Schmidt finishes rehab and Wesneski dominates in Somerset’s double header

News & Notes

  • SS Oswald Peraza will be with the Yankees in Iowa for the Field of Dreams game tomorrow. It’s not clear if he’ll be an active player, but at the very least, he’ll be on the taxi squad. Peraza is the lone infielder on the 40-man roster who is healthy and not already on the major league roster (Lindsey Adler/Mike Ashmore).
  • RHP Clarke Schmidt‘s rehab assignment is over. The Yankees reinstated him from the 60-day injured list and optioned him to Triple-A (Yankees). He pitched tonight for the Patriots to round out his rehab stint.
  • RHP Corey Kluber will start for Somerset tomorrow in his first rehab outing. Figure he’s on track for an early September return (Bryan Hoch).

Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders

This one was over early. Lehigh Valley scored five in the third and three more in the fourth in a 9-3 win over the RailRiders (box score).

  • Starting pitcher: LHP Josh Maciejewski: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 2 HR — 52 of 77 pitches were strikes (68%)…All of the organization’s COVID/health issues have forced Maciejewski up to SWB from Hudson Valley, skipping Double-A entirely. It’s been a tough go so far, but perhaps unsurprising for the jump (9.00 ERA in 13 innings).
  • In relief: RHP Nick Green: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, WP — 26 of 41 pitches were strikes (63%)
  • In relief: RHP Adam Warren: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K — 21 of 29 pitches were strikes (72%)
  • Too little, too late: 1B Armando Alvarez and 3B Max Burt hit homers after the team was already down 9-0…Both also reached base in separate plate appearances, with Alvarez singling and Burt walking.
  • Leftovers: Very quiet night offensively. CF Greg Allen, C Donny Sands and 2B Cristian Perez all had a single each.

Double-A Somerset Patriots:

Game 1: As mentioned at the top, this was Schmidt’s last rehab start. The Patriots staked him to an early 2-0 lead, but Somerset lost to Portland 3-2 (box score).

  • Rehab watch: Starting pitcher: RHP Clarke Schmidt: 3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 2 HR, 1 HBP — 34 of 52 pitches were strikes (65%)…Totaled 12.1 IP in four rehab starts between the FCL Yanks, Tampa Tarpons, and Somerset. Figure he can get up to 65 pitches in his next outing with the RailRiders.
  • In relief: RHP Barrett Loseke: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K — 27 of 42 pitches were strikes (64%)
  • In relief: RHP Kevin Gadea: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K — 8 of 13 pitches were strikes (62%)
  • Hitting star: CF Brandon Lockridge: 2-4, R, HR, RBI, 2 K — Took an 0-fer in the second game of the double header, but is up to .320/.360/.553 in 111 plate appearances with Somerset
  • Prospect watch: C Josh Breaux: 0-2, R, BB — Been a rough start at Double-A, but the good thing (in an extremely small sample) is that he’s making plenty of contact, striking out just 3 of 27 plate appearances (11%) after 73 in 276 plate appearances (26%) with Hudson Valley.
  • Leftovers: 1B Dermis García doubled and walked…SS Oswaldo Cabrera and DH Isiah Gilliam both had a hit.

Game 2: Somerset earned a double header split behind a brilliant outing from Hayden Wesneski, winning 3-0 (box score).

  • Starting pitcher: RHP Hayden Wesneski: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K — 61 of 89 pitches were strikes (69%)…Complete game shutout for 2019’s 6th rounder. This is the second straight really good start for him, which has dropped his ERA at Somerset from 7.01 to 5.40.
  • Hitting star: C Chase Illig: 1-1, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB — Always cool to see an a pretty unknown guy have a big game…Illig was the Yanks’ 29th round choice in 2019.
  • Leftovers: SS Oswaldo Cabrera and 2B Chad Bell both doubled…RF Isiah Gilliam picked up two knocks and stole his 18th bag…DH Michael Beltre had the other hit for the team.

High-A Hudson Valley Renegades:

The BlueClaws beat the Renegades, 7-6 (box score).

  • Starting pitcher: RHP Anderson Muñoz: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 HR — 48 of 70 pitches were strikes (69%)
  • In relief: RHP Nelvin Correa: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR — 28 of 45 pitches were strikes (62%)
  • In relief: RHP Matt Minnick: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K — 28 of 40 pitches were strikes (70%)
  • In relief: RHP Nelson Alvarez: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K — 10 of 16 pitches were strikes (63%)
  • Prospect watch: DH Austin Wells: 2-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, BB — His first homer at the level.
  • Prospect watch: SS Anthony Volpe: 0-3, 2 R, 2 BB, 3 K — Snapped a four game hitting streak
  • Prospect watch: CF Everson Pereira: 1-3, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 K — Three game hit streak with all knocks going for extra bases
  • Leftovers: 1B Andres Chaparro, 3B James Nelson, and 2B Eduardo Torrealba singled.

The Tampa Tarpons game was postponed. No game for the FCL Yankees on the schedule tonight, either.

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