2024 Yankees Prospects: Week 13 minor league review (2024)

Welcome to the 12th (sheesh) edition of the 2024 weekly minor league roundup, where I review each Yankees affiliate from the week before and the prospects playing there. All in all, last week was a much better showing in Baby Bomber land than the week prior. There were both hitting and pitching performances worth getting excited about. Let’s dig in!

Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders

Record: 2-3 (2nd half), 2.5 GB in the International League East after going 2-3 against the Worcester Red Sox

Run differential: -13

Coming up: Away for six games against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs starting Monday, July 1st

With the second half of the season underway, the RailRiders fell to a Red Sox group that has had their number this season — specifically against Scranton’s pitchers. The pitching numbers are ugly: 8.01 team ERA via 60 hits in just 39.1 innings pitched. Will Warren was fine in his first outing on Tuesday evening but got rocked yet again on Sunday, as the right-hander cumulatively surrendered nine runs in just 7.2 innings of work. Somehow, Warren’s season ERA sits north of 7.00.

Part of me wonders what effect ABS (Automated Balls & Strikes) is having on Warren, who’s pitches are late-breaking and might be seen as strikes more often by human umpires. Kyle Harrison is an interesting comparison in this scenario, as his 2023 Triple-A numbers looked spotty — specifically his strike percentage. After he was promoted to the big leagues, however, his dastardly changeup generated a lot of borderline calls at the knees. Alas, his walk rate precipitously declined in the majors. Might Will Warren be better in the majors than in Triple-A? I’d consider it a nonzero possibility.

Right-handed reliever Scott Effross continued his rehab assignment with the RailRiders and was shaky in two appearances, allowing multiple hits in each outing. Frankly, I’ve not been encouraged by what I’ve seen, as his sinker is averaging and topping out less than pre-TJS. He never threw hard to begin with, but the margin for error is so much slimmer when you sit 89 on your sinker rather than 91.

The offense wasn’t as bad as the total runs scored would indicate, as their rained-out game means their runs per game and team OPS were decent by International League standards. Alas, their .867 team OPS placed them fifth in the league. The lineup was spearheaded by the middle infield duo of Jorbit Vivas and Oswald Peraza, who both hit over .440 and had OPS’ north of .975. Vivas was especially impressive, and he seems to have knocked off the rust after having a rough initial return from injury. His zone contact, which has always been impressive, now sits at a cool 88 percent. He has an odd loading sequence where the knob of his bat is parallel to the ground, though he somehow keeps his swing compact and can generate lift. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose.

Jorbit Vivas now has a seven-game hitting streak, ripping a line drive to right field at 97 MPH.

I wrote a piece about him earlier this weekend, check it out!

➡️:https://t.co/591fR05wBj pic.twitter.com/bvOp5hBrfE

— Ryan Garcia (@RyanGarciaESM) June 30, 2024

Peraza seems to be making a more conscious effort to make more contact than last year, as the shortstop has simmered down his hand movement pre-load. While he’s made more contact, it’s come at the expense of his damage on contact: his exit velocities are trending downward and his horizontal spray is a mess. I understand Anthony Volpe has succeeded by pushing the ball more, but Volpe has better hand-eye coordination than Peraza and doesn’t seem to be making a conscious effort to go the other way, instead taking what the pitcher gives him. I’m still skeptical that Peraza is part of the Yankees’ long-term plans at this point.

We've got the lead, courtesy of Oswald Peraza! pic.twitter.com/ompbALLtTN

— SWB RailRiders (@swbrailriders) June 25, 2024

Hitting Prospects of Note: AAA

Name PA AVG OBP SLG wRC+ HR R RBI K% BB% SB
Name PA AVG OBP SLG wRC+ HR R RBI K% BB% SB
Carlos Narvaez 276 .270 .388 .460 121 9 41 43 25.36% 14.86% 5
T.J. Rumfield 242 .294 .347 .466 107 8 35 37 18.18% 6.61% 2
Caleb Durbin (IL) 215 .299 .413 .458 131 3 34 36 9.77% 13.95% 20
Oswald Peraza 149 .216 .336 .256 63 1 19 17 24.16% 14.09% 8
Jorbit Vivas 130 .255 .398 .382 112 3 18 15 19.23% 16.92% 7
Agustin Ramirez 39 .118 .231 .206 17 1 2 5 25.64% 7.69% 2
Jasson Dominguez (IL) 37 .389 .405 .639 166 2 7 3 13.51% 2.70% 2

Pitching Prospects of Note: AAA

Name GS IP ERA K% K-BB% BABIP
Name GS IP ERA K% K-BB% BABIP
Will Warren 16 74 7.05 25.07% 16.52% .342
Edgar Barclay 15 70 7.46 19.16% 7.19% .316
Yoendrys Gomez 12 46 3.13 28.88% 14.97% .240
Clayton Beeter (IL) 7 32 2.53 32.84% 17.16% .235
Jack Neely 0 4.1 0.00 29.41% 23.53% .364

Double-A Somerset Patriots

Record: 5-1 (second half), up 1.5 games in the Eastern League Northeast after going 5-1 against the Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants)

Run differential: +17

Coming up: Home for six games against the Reading Fightin’ Phils (Phillies) starting Monday, July 1st

After underwhelming against the Seawolves (Tigers) the previous week, Somerset’s bats came alive in emphatic fashion. The Patriots paced the Eastern League with 45 runs scored in six games and an .852 team OPS — more than 50 points higher than the second-highest team in that span. This finally was the Spencer Jones show, with his .333/.345/.815 line and three homers pacing the Patriots’ lineup. Most of that damage came on Sunday afternoon via an epic 4-for-5 day in which he clobbered two home runs and drove in seven. It should be noted, however, that he also struck out an unsustainable 14 times in 29 plate appearances — or just south of a 50 percent K-rate. I don’t know what to do, man. The tools are tantalizing, but that tantalization has to translate to stardom at some point. I want to be excited, but I’m waiting to see if he can keep this up against better pitching staffs until I buy into the in-season breakout narrative.

Have yourself a day, SPENCER JONES!

4-for-5, 7 RBI, 2 HR, 3 R, 2B, BB pic.twitter.com/nnXYYd1YCa

— Somerset Patriots (@SOMPatriots) June 30, 2024

Ben Cowles’ role in the lineup became tenfold more important after the departures of Ben Rice and Agustin Ramirez, and he’s continued to answer the call: his .891 OPS last week included his sixth home run of the season. His contact rates are off the charts, though I’m still skeptical of the power he’s displayed. In any event, he’s tracking like a nice utility man who’s capable of manning several spots in the infield. Hudson Valley’s slugging first baseman, Rafael Flores, was promoted to Somerset last week and proceeded to produce a .848 OPS that included his first Double-A homer. The topline numbers are impressive, but I’d like to see him generate more loft as a guy who’s tracking more like a first baseman than catcher.

FIRST DOUBLE-A HOMER FOR RAFAEL FLORES MAKES IT 13-1 pic.twitter.com/wxXGd1UPKI

— Somerset Patriots (@SOMPatriots) June 30, 2024

Aside from a disastrous outing from Trystan Vrieling, the pitching staff was productive as evidenced by their 3.91 team ERA. Zach Messinger threw another six scoreless (two unearned runs) on Thursday evening, surrendering just three hits and allowing no walks while striking out seven. I would argue it’s Messinger — not Brock Selvidge — who’s emerged as the biggest breakout in Somerset’s staff. That’s not to say Selvidge didn’t have a nice day at the office last week: he did! His six innings of one-run ball continues the status quo for the left-hander, though he only punched out two batters.

The Zach Messinger masterclass is in session

6️⃣ IP | 0️⃣ ER | 3️⃣ H | 0️⃣ BB | 7️⃣ K pic.twitter.com/DQy4chLArc

— Somerset Patriots (@SOMPatriots) June 28, 2024

#Yankees No. 10 prospect Brock Selvidge was locked in

6️⃣ IP | 1️⃣ ER | 7️⃣ H | 2️⃣ K pic.twitter.com/cTKWro7lfM

— Somerset Patriots (@SOMPatriots) June 27, 2024

JT Brubaker is slightly behind Scott Effross in his rehab assignment timeline, but he’s the one who looks better at this juncture. Similar to Effross, Brubaker is a sinkerballer who’d been topping out less than before Tommy John, but his velocity ticked up in his outing on Sunday. His go-to offering is a nasty gyro slider that had Richmond hitters looking helpless across his three innings of work.

#Yankees RHP JT Brubaker with his first strikeout for Somerset on MLB Rehab Assignment #RepBX pic.twitter.com/L9ehSTNWNF

— Somerset Patriots (@SOMPatriots) June 30, 2024

Hitting Prospects of Note: AA

Name PA AVG OBP SLG wRC+ HR R RBI K% BB% SB
Name PA AVG OBP SLG wRC+ HR R RBI K% BB% SB
Benjamin Cowles 300 .298 .377 .473 138 6 44 39 18.67% 10.33% 13
Spencer Jones 293 .252 .331 .419 112 9 42 45 35.49% 10.24% 17
Tyler Hardman 53 .224 .283 .429 98 3 7 9 35.85% 7.55% 2
Rafael Flores 23 .250 .348 .500 137 1 4 2 39.13% 13.04% 1
Jesus Rodriguez 19 .267 .421 .467 157 1 3 2 0.00% 10.53% 0

Pitching Prospects of Note: AA

Name GS IP ERA K% K-BB% BABIP
Name GS IP ERA K% K-BB% BABIP
Bailey Dees 15 79.2 3.95 24.33% 16.32% .280
Brock Selvidge 14 74.1 3.75 22.50% 11.25% .294
Trystan Vrieling 14 82.2 5.88 22.25% 15.11% .336
Zach Messinger 13 80 3.60 26.63% 19.23% .274
Leonardo Pestana 0 13 2.08 26.92% 19.23% .364
Chase Hampton Rehab after article was written FINALLY!

High-A Hudson Valley Renegades

Record: 5-3 (second half), 1.5 GB in the South Atlantic League League North after going 4-1 against the Wilmington Blue Rocks (Nationals)

Run differential: +4

Coming up: Away for six games against the Brooklyn Cyclones (Mets) starting Monday, July 1st

The Renegades performed well on both sides of the ball en route to a 4-1 week against a light Wilmington squad, finishing top two in the South Atlantic League in both ERA allowed and offensive OPS. Like their counterparts in Double-A, Hudson Valley had players on both sides shine - perhaps none more than outfielder Jace Avina. We’ve previously highlighted Avina as a streaky outfielder with above-average raw power, and that materialized last week via three extra-base hits — one of which was a homer. Most encouragingly, he struck out just once in five games. I’ve raised prior concerns about his long, angled swing, but he’s seen his strikeout and swinging-strike rate decline over the last month.

Jace Avina with an RBI single to GIVE US THE LEAD pic.twitter.com/sc0x92Eb3D

— Hudson Valley Renegades (@HVRenegades) June 26, 2024

Southpaw Ben Shields gave Avina a run for his money with his epic start on Friday, where he tossed 5.1 innings of one-hit ball to go along with nine punchouts. Over his last two starts, Shields has thrown 10.1 innings in which he’s allowed a single earned run to go along with 18:1 K/BB ratio. Wow! Though he’s already 25, he’s another example of a player where I’d place more value on the number of innings he’s pitched in pro ball than his age. While I worry about how his dead zone fastball will fare in the upper minors, he doesn’t have much left to prove in High-A.

Hudson Valley’s effort went beyond those two, though, as the entire starting rotation delivered against a poor Wilmington lineup. Offensively, five hitters aside from Avina had OPS’ greater than .830, highlighting the collective effort the team put forth. Christopher Familia showed signs of life after a rough start to his High-A season, swatting his first homer at the level on Friday.

Christopher Familia with a towering HR (1)! #RepBx #Yankees pic.twitter.com/BciLjGgP2f

— YankeesFarm (@YankeesFarm) June 28, 2024

At this point, I’m not sure why Jared Serna hasn’t been included amongst the bevy of promotions the Yankees have made in recent weeks. I wonder if he’s being held back before the trade deadline to keep the numbers looking shiny with an eye toward Somerset in August — should he remain in the organization past the deadline. An August promotion would afford him two months in Double-A before the front offices has to decide whether to add him to the 40-man roster in the offseason (he’ll be Rule-5-eligible). Roc Riggio is starting to pick things up with the bat after a lukewarm start to his season. He packs a punch for a smaller guy and is a steady defensive presence at the keystone. His discerning eye is his carrying tool, and it’ll have to remain so for his low-BABIP profile to work in the majors.

Hitting Prospects of Note: A+

Name PA AVG OBP SLG wRC+ HR R RBI K% BB% SB
Name PA AVG OBP SLG wRC+ HR R RBI K% BB% SB
Jared Serna 318 .261 .355 .467 128 12 48 52 17.30% 11.32% 9
Jace Avina 271 .289 .369 .481 135 8 33 40 23.99% 9.59% 4
Roc Riggio 251 .225 .367 .397 118 5 40 21 17.93% 15.94% 9
Omar Martinez 248 .239 .379 .403 125 8 30 24 21.77% 17.74% 0
Christopher Familia 48 .150 .292 .250 66 1 5 3 29.17% 12.50% 0

Pitching Prospects of Note: A+

Name GS IP ERA K% K-BB% BABIP
Name GS IP ERA K% K-BB% BABIP
Kyle Carr 13 53.1 5.91 19.43% 4.86% .344
Cam Schlittler 12 59 2.44 31.97% 19.67% .236
Jackson Fristoe 12 38 3.79 24.39% 7.32% .269
Ben Shields 7 52.1 2.75 34.80% 29.90% .263
Brian Hendry (IL) 3 11 0.00 32.61% 19.57% .200
Cole Ayers 0 42 2.57 29.31% 20.69% .291
Mason Vinyard 0 23.2 2.28 36.00% 24.00% .286

Low-A Tampa Tarpons

Record: 3-4 (second half), 2.5 GB in the Florida State League West after going 2-3 against the Fort Myers Might Mussels (Twins)

Run differential: +10

Coming up: Away for six games against the Lakeland Flying Tigers (Tigers) starting Monday, July 1st

Despite Tampa outscoring Fort Myers 37-26, it was the Mighty Mussels who emerged with the abbreviated series win. The 37 runs that Tampa scored across their five games paced the Florida State League, though the pitching staff’s 5.18 ERA and failure to close out games was their undoing. Such is the way for Tampa this year, ugh.

Jackson Castillo is emerging as the biggest breakout prospect on Tampa’s roster, as his 135 wRC+ is complemented by good underlying Trackman data. He’s making an acceptable amount of contact while displaying above-average swing decisions and a swing optimized for loft. His six homers in the FSL are excellent when adjusted for league factors, and his 101 MPH 90th percentile exit velocity suggests there could be slightly more power on the way. I hope to see him in Hudson Valley later this year.

Dylan Jasso’s making the most of his middling game power, and his two homers contributed to the eight RBI he generated last week. He’s not aggressive enough in the zone and tends to chase too much: not a great combination, but he’s made it work in the FSL.

The pitching left much to be desired, but Josh Grosz had a notable 6.1-inning shutout performance on Friday in which he garnered lots of whiffs on his slider and changeup. While he’s topped out at 96, his fastball is straight and hittable. He also has a high-effort delivery which has caused his walk rate to remain high throughout the season. Still, his secondaries are capable of generating swords. The video below is when Grosz was called upon as a fresh arm for Somerset in late June.

First Double-A strikeout for Josh Grosz✅ pic.twitter.com/kMW2nIXcT3

— Somerset Patriots (@SOMPatriots) June 23, 2024

Hitting Prospects of Note: A

Name PA AVG OBP SLG wRC+ HR R RBI K% BB% SB
Name PA AVG OBP SLG wRC+ HR R RBI K% BB% SB
Roderick Arias 320 .208 .303 .358 93 6 41 43 35.94% 10.94% 19
Dylan Jasso 296 .242 .334 .418 117 8 38 43 28.04% 10.14% 1
George Lombard Jr. 257 .229 .362 .319 107 1 28 26 22.57% 15.95% 22
Jackson Castillo 235 .257 .383 .424 135 6 36 17 20.43% 17.45% 10
Enmanuel Tejeda 169 .314 .357 .379 112 1 25 17 21.30% 5.92% 23

Pitching Prospects of Note: A

Name GS IP ERA K% K-BB% BABIP
Name GS IP ERA K% K-BB% BABIP
Luis Serna 13 56 4.34 28.19% 20.70% .281
Cade Smith 13 62.2 4.16 30.34% 19.10% .300
Gabriel Barbosa 12 73.2 5.13 22.96% 16.04% .330
Josh Grosz 11 56.2 5.24 28.68% 19.38% .359

Florida Complex League Yankees

Record: 24-13, 3 games up in the Florida Complex League North after going 5-1 last week

Run differential: +9

Amazingly, the FCL Yankees got just one game in last week due to constant rain: a 7-2 win against the Tigers. Check back next week as they make up several games.

Hitting Prospects of Note: CPX

Name PA AVG OBP SLG wRC+ HR R RBI K% BB% SB
Name PA AVG OBP SLG wRC+ HR R RBI K% BB% SB
Josue Gonzalez 152 .233 .395 .433 130 6 19 21 19.74% 14.47% 4
Edgleen Perez 134 .276 .463 .388 146 1 20 20 17.91% 23.88% 3
Abrahan Ramirez 124 .404 .520 .586 199 2 24 17 12.90% 19.35% 6
Brian Sanchez 121 .327 .421 .587 165 3 24 23 23.97% 13.22% 11
Brando Mayea 116 .260 .362 .290 91 0 17 5 27.59% 11.21% 15
Joel Mendez 88 .311 .409 .595 160 4 14 18 26.14% 14.77% 0
Engelth Urena 78 .191 .282 .309 65 2 12 12 14.10% 8.97% 0
Luis Ogando 63 .291 .365 .455 121 2 12 13 17.46% 4.76% 8

Pitching Prospects of Note: CPX

Name GS IP ERA K% K-BB% BABIP
Name GS IP ERA K% K-BB% BABIP
Danny Flatt 5 27 2.67 26.09% 13.04% .309
Jordarlin Mendoza 2 14.1 3.14 32.43% 17.57% .400
Carlos Lagrange 1 1.2 5.40 28.57% 14.29% .333
Sabier Marte 1 29.1 2.45 21.71% 10.85% .279

Dominican Summer League

Records: DSL NYY Yankees: 9-12, 8 GB in the DSL South | DSL NYY Bombers: 12-8, 1.5 GB in the DSL East

Run differentials: -12 | +13

The pitching was the highlight for both DSL Yankees squads last week, as both finished top-15 in the 51-team league in team ERA. Edinzo Marquez (Yankees) has been fabulous across his abbreviated five starts (DSL teams are uber-conservative with pitchers) and had his best outing of the season last Monday after he allowed just one run on six hits (lots of DSL shenanigans likely at play there). He also struck out six and walked just one. He continues to shove as a 19-year-old.

21-year-old Mariano Salomon (Bombers) gets mentioned in this series again after another 4.1 scoreless innings (he allowed two unearned runners to score) in which he struck out four and didn’t allow a walk. There isn’t a baseball reason I can come up with for why he’s still in the Dominican. I’m also a fan of Michell Chirinos, though not to the extent of the previous arms mentioned because he owns the worst command of the bunch. Still, his seven punchouts across three scoreless innings last Thursday highlight how overwhelming his stuff can be for teenage DSL hitters.

Catcher Luis Puello (Yankees) yet again makes an appearance in the weekly roundup after another week in which he rocked a 4:1 K/BB ratio. Puello is the kind of hitter I fall for since he presents a unique raw power skillset behind the dish — a skillset the Yankees have become adept at developing. Outfielder Isael Arias (Yankees) had the best offensive performance from an OPS perspective, though most of that production came on a triple in the gap (DSL sample sizes are laughable). Arias, an 18-year-old out of Mexico, is on the smaller side and had been struggling before last week. Shortstop Christofer Reyes (Bombers) is very, very fast and capable of getting an extra base on any given hit in the outfield. He has little in the way of raw pop and he’s been too aggressive on the basepaths, but there is a potential speed/defense profile in the making.

Hitting Prospects of Note: DSL

Name PA AVG OBP SLG wRC+ HR R RBI K% BB% SB
Name PA AVG OBP SLG wRC+ HR R RBI K% BB% SB
Queni Pineda 61 .239 .426 .435 133 2 15 6 16.39% 24.59% 5
Luis Escudero 51 .371 .549 .486 183 0 10 6 5.88% 27.45% 12
David Carrera 47 .278 .426 .444 134 0 8 9 29.79% 12.77% 5
Richard Meran 45 .229 .400 .371 116 0 10 6 26.67% 13.33% 3
Francisco Vilorio 33 .241 .333 .310 78 0 5 5 30.30% 12.12% 4

Pitching Prospects of Note: DSL

Name GS IP ERA K% K-BB% BABIP
Name GS IP ERA K% K-BB% BABIP
Jorge Luna 3 18 1.50 29.33% 16.00% .214
Mariano Salomon 3 17.1 1.56 27.54% 20.29% .250
Franyer Herrera 4 16 3.38 26.76% 16.90% .341
Edinzo Marquez 4 13.2 1.98 27.12% 16.95% .333
Michell Chirinos 4 12.2 2.84 31.67% 16.67% .345
Jerson Alejandro 4 12 6.00 27.42% 3.23% .320

Prospect of the Week: Spencer Jones

2024 Yankees Prospects: Week 13 minor league review (1) Photo by Mike Carlson/MLB Photos via Getty Images

I could be salty and say how this really should be the individual performance of the week, but his epic showing on Sunday contributed to what was already turning into a solid week for him down in Richmond. He’s still hitting the ball on the ground a ton, but perhaps this was the 5-hour energy jolt he needed to get his Double-A line above the league average.

2024 Yankees Prospects: Week 13 minor league review (2024)
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