The Yankees farm system broke out during the 2021 season, ranking second in baseball with an organizational record of 284-188. Numerous players enjoyed breakout seasons, including Anthony Volpe, Oswaldo Cabrera, Everson Pereira, Oswald Peraza, Randy Vasquez, Ken Waldichuk, and many more. Following such a strong year on the farm, the Yankees added four coaches from the minors to the major league staff. Also, for the first time ever, fans were able to witness the Jasson Dominguez experience, as The Martian, one of the most highly touted prospects in recent years, made his professional debut. Even with nine top 50 prospects traded at the deadline, the system still has impressive depth, which is exhibited in this list. One thing to keep in mind is the shortstop depth in the organization, with six shortstops in the top 15.
Prospects1500’s Yankees MiLB correspondent Paul Woodin (@PaulWoodin1) and Double-A Northeast correspondent Eli Fishman (@elijfishman) collaborated and put together this year’s preseason Top 50 prospects.
Here is the Prospects1500 tier system explained.
Tier 1: Players with high expectations of both making the majors and playing at an All-Star level for a number of years
Tier 2: Players with an above-average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 3: Players with an average expectation of making the majors and being a solid contributor
Tier 4: Players who have the potential of making the majors, or have a high likelihood of making the majors but providing minimal impact (e.g. middle reliever, low-ceiling UT guys)
Tier 5: Players of interest, worth keeping an eye on, who have an outside chance of making their team’s 40-man roster
Levels listed for each player are the highest levels players reached in 2021
1. Anthony Volpe, SS, 20, High-A
The 30th overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, Volpe uses his compact line-drive swing to spray line drives all over the field while making plenty of contact and hitting with power. He has added strength and is now a consistent threat to drive the ball more and looks like at least a 20 plus homer threat. On the bases he is a solid runner who will get some steals and take the extra base. Volpe checks all the boxes with a plus hit tool, advanced approach, plus power and plus speed having above average grades on all five tools a 20-20 plus player is in play here.
2. Oswald Peraza, SS, 21, AAA
Added to the 40-man roster in November, Peraza has some of the best all-around tools among Yankees infield prospects. He has quality bat-to-ball skills and controls the strike zone well, allowing him to make consistent line-drive contact from the right side of the plate. Peraza needs to get stronger but already generates some of the highest exit velocities in the system and could develop 20 homer power. He makes good use of his plus speed and stole 38 bases in 48 attempts in 115 games last season. Peraza could have four plus tools once he’s fully developed. I suspect we will see him in the Bronx as soon as this upcoming season.
Oswald Peraza highlights, anyone?
The 21 year old #Yankees shortstop prospect hit .297 this past season with a .834 OPS, 18 HR, and 38 stolen bases.
25/25 potential, top tier defender, the real deal. Excited to see what he can do in the Bronx in 2022. pic.twitter.com/LChxeZVLca
— Eli Fishman (@elijfishman) November 26, 2021
3. Jasson Dominguez, OF, 18, Low-A
The Martian is one of the most hyped and tooled international prospects in recent memory. The Yankees spent $5.1 million of their bonus pool, a franchise record for an international amateur, to sign him out of the Dominican Republic in July 2019. Dominguez has the potential for above-average tools across the board. A switch-hitter, he exhibits a smooth stroke, tremendous bat speed and strength from both sides of the plate. With a great feel for the barrel of the bat and a mature, disciplined approach, he should hit for power and average. Dominguez also owns above-average speed which allows him to make an impact on the bases and in the outfield. He has 30-30 potential.
4. Luis Gil, RHP, 23, MLB
Gil is the most electric pitcher in the system. His big arm helps him regularly hit 95-98 mph and reach 101 mph with a four-seam fastball that has significant ride in the strike zone. His secondary pitches are a solid slider and changeup. The slider is a newer offering in Gil’s arsenal, replacing a high-spin curveball. The new slider provides some promise, as it sits in the mid-80’s with high-spin, coming close to 2,500 RPM’s on average. It is more than likely an above-average offering at best. He also owns a hard changeup that sits around 90 mph with fade and sink, though it lacks consistency. The one thing Gil will have to improve on is his command he allowed 19 walks in just 29 innings in 2021. On the bright side he did strike out 38 batters. It’s clear Gil’s room for growth is with his off-speed pitches. Honing his slider command and gaining trust in the changeup will cement him as a starting pitcher moving forward. I think the Yankees give him more time to develop as a starter but he may wind up as a dynamic late-inning reliever or closer.
5. Roderick Arias, SS, 17, International signee
Arias, the top international prospect in the class signed for 4 million dollars at the beginning of the international signing period. There’s a lot to like about the teenager at the plate, he exhibits above-average bat-to-ball skills and strike zone awareness. He shows good plate discipline and doesn’t swing and miss often. Arias shows power from both sides of the plate, especially from the right side and also owns good opposite-field power from the left side. His overall package could develop into a plus-plus hitter. On the bases, Arias shows very good anticipation and awareness. He consistently runs the timed 60-yard run in 6.5 seconds, which is above average and should translate to enough stolen bases to make him a good threat on the bases.
Top international prospect Roderick Arias is expected to sign with the New York Yankees on January 15, 2022. The 17 year old switch hitting shortstop has some serious pop.
🎥: Roderick Arias pic.twitter.com/8ushiPBXSW
— Eli Fishman (@elijfishman) December 4, 2021
6. Austin Wells, C, 22, High-A
With impressive pop from the left side, Wells crushed 16 homers between Tampa and Hudson Valley in 2021 and hit .264. There’s no doubt he has a big league bat, but there’s doubt he can stick at the catcher position.
7. Clarke Schmidt, RHP, 25, MLB
The Yankees first round pick in 2017, Schmidt has seen 12.2 big league innings between 2020 and 2021. Although he’s had trouble staying healthy, he’s shown flashes of being a quality big leaguer starter, striking out 46 with a 2.37 ERA over 38 innings in the minors last season.
8. Luis Medina, RHP, 22, AA
With a fastball that has reached 102 MPH in addition to a nasty curveball, Medina has the best pure stuff in the system. He posted a 3.39 ERA in 2021 with 133 strikeouts and improved control.
— Eli Fishman (@elijfishman) June 17, 2021
9. Trey Sweeney, SS, 21, Low-A
The Yankees first round pick in 2021, Sweeney hit .261 with seven homers in 32 games during his professional debut. He shows good bat to ball skills with the ability to hit the ball out of the park, but there’s doubt he’ll stick at shortstop.
10. Ken Waldichuk, LHP, 24, AA
After not allowing an earned run in 30.2 innings for Hudson Valley in 2021 before a promotion to Somerset, the 2019 5th rounder finished the season with a 3.03 ERA and 13.34 K/9. Strong four pitch mix (fastball, curveball, slider changeup) with serious late life on his fastball.
Ken Waldichuk is a name every New York Yankees fan needs to know.
5 IP, 1 R, 3 H today for @SOMPatriots
— Eli Fishman (@elijfishman) July 7, 2021
11. Everson Pereira, OF, 20, High-A
Pereira crushed 20 homers in only 188 at bats in 2021, where he hit .303 between the FCL, Tampa, and Hudson Valley. Periera signed for $1.5 million in 2017 out of Venezuela, and was added to the 40-man in December.
12. Yoendrys Gomez, RHP, 22, Low-A
Gomez posted a 3.42 ERA with Tampa last season before he underwent Tommy John Surgery in August. With a high spin rate on his fastball and above average curveball, he has a career 3.65 ERA in four minor league seasons, and was added to the 40-man roster in 2020.
13. Antonio Gomez, C, 20, Low-A
Gomez is one of the best defensive catchers in all of minor league baseball, with pop times as low as 1.8. He put up a .305 average in the FCL in 2021, but hit .197 in Tampa after a promotion in late-August.
— Eli Fishman (@elijfishman) July 17, 2021
14. Oswaldo Cabrera, SS/2B/3B, 22, AAA
Cabrera made some swing changes during the covid year and broke out last season, hitting 29 home runs and stealing 21 bases while hitting .271 between Somerset and Scranton. He was added to the 40-man roster in December and can play an above-average SS/2B/3B.
15. Alexander Vargas, SS, 20, Rookie (FCL)
Vargas is a quick and athletic switch-hitting shortstop who puts the ball in play and swipes a lot of bags. He hit .273 in the FCL in 2021 with 17 stolen bases, and impressed with his defense.
16. Anthony Garcia, 1B/OF, 21, Low-A
Garcia has gargantuan power from both sides of the plate, posting exit velocities up to 116 MPH. He hit .306 in 2021, averaging a home run every 8.6 at bats, but averaged a strikeout every 2.4 at bats. If he cuts down on his strikeouts, he has legit 40+ home run potential.
17. Estevan Florial, OF, 24, MLB
Florial has been shuttled between Triple-A and the big leagues a total of ten times in the past three seasons. Once a top prospect, he hit .218 in Scranton last season and struggled in the plate discipline department. The raw talent is there, especially with his speed, power, and defense.
Estevan Florial just hit a ball to the moon. pic.twitter.com/oZRTVO5ePp
— Eli Fishman (@elijfishman) May 9, 2021
18. Brendan Beck, RHP, 23, College
Beck was the Yankees’ second round pick in 2021 out of Stanford, where he was the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year in the spring. He’s been praised for his command and ability to hit his spots, with a four pitch mix featuring a fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup.
19. Deivi Garcia, RHP, 22, MLB
A former #1 Yankees prospect, Garcia struggled last season after mechanical adjustments the year prior, posting a 6.85 ERA with Scranton. He racked up 42.2 big league innings over eight starts between 2020 and 2021, with a 5.27 ERA. Don’t be too surprised if he figures it out in 2022 and returns to the Deivi Garcia who struck out 13.3 per nine in 2019 and posted a 2.55 ERA in 2018.
20. Randy Vasquez, RHP, 23, AA
Vasquez never played above rookie ball before his age 23 season in 2021, where he put together an extremely impressive season on the mound. He posted a 2.23 ERA and exhibited a fastball, curveball, changeup mix that produces a lot of spin rate and misses a lot of bats.
Randy Vasquez was straight dominant tonight for @TampaTarpons.
5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 6 K’s
Vasquez now owns a 2.34 ERA on the season with opponents hitting .189 off him. Here’s some highlights from his start: pic.twitter.com/ivyoJbC4aP
— Eli Fishman (@elijfishman) July 15, 2021
21. Beck Way, RHP, 22, High-A
22. Brock Selvidge, LHP, 19, Rookie (FCL)
23. Hayden Wesneski, RHP, 24, AAA
24. Brandon Lockridge, OF, 24, AA
25. Josh Breaux, C, 24, AA
26. Stephen Ridings, RHP, 26, MLB
27. Elijah Dunham, OF, 23, High-A
28. Ron Marinaccio, RHP, 26, AAA
29. Ryder Green, OF, 21, Low-A
30. Andres Chaparro, 3B/1B, 22, High-A
31. Jake Sanford, OF, 24, High-A
32. Cooper Bowman, 2B, 21, Low-A
33. Hans Montero, SS, 18, Rookie (DSL)
34. T.J. Sikkema, LHP, 23, DNP in 2021 (A- in 2019)
35. Raimfer Salinas, OF, 21, Rookie (FCL)
36. Tyrone Yulie, RHP, 20, Low-A
37. Matt Sauer, RHP, 23, High-A
38. Tyler Hardman, 1B/3B, 23, Low-A
39. JP Sears, LHP, 25, AAA
Way, using his 3 pitch mix breezed through Tampa before struggling at Hudson Valley, he has the look of a middle rotation piece…..Wesneski has no problem throwing strikes and could be a mid-rotation starter if he can refine his secondary offerings and upgrade his command, he also could move quickly as a fastball-heavy reliever…..If Lockridge develops more plate discipline and use the entire field, he could hit for a decent average while providing 15-20 homers per year and creating havoc on the bases with his great speed… At 6-foot-8 and owning a bread and butter pitch of a 100-mph heater Stephen Ridings looks like he can be a long term bullpen piece…..Dunham hit .357 with 11 extra base hits and an OPS of 1.037 while finishing the Arizona Fall League with a league-leading 11 stolen bases. This was a true breakout for Dunham, he has a relatively compact left-handed swing, manages the strike zone well and has the bat speed and strength to hit for power…..Marinaccio owns a mid-upper 90’s fastball with ride to go along with an incredible changeup. He’s a solid reliever who should see the Bronx in 2022…..Bowman owns a smooth right-handed swing with a good feel for hitting and a patient approach. He makes consistent contact and regularly gets on base. Bowman’s bat speed and strength give him solid raw power and he shows the ability to drive the ball out of the park from gap to gap…..Hans Montero projects to have above-average tools across the board, with quality approach and the ability to make contact to all fields using his gap power and plus speed…..Salinas has potential to be an impact five-tool player with his advanced approach and good bat speed…..Sears had a 3.46 ERA with 136 strikeouts and 29 walks in 104 innings between AA and AAA. He will find his way to the Bronx in 2022.
3 Ks for Stephen Ridings in his 1st inning in the Bigs.
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 4, 2021
40. Denny Larrondo, RHP, 19, Rookie (FCL)
41. Jake Agnos, LHP, 23, Low-A
42. Mitch Spence, RHP, 23, High-A
43. Edgar Barclay, LHP, 23, High-A
44. Alfred Vega, RHP, 20, Low-A
45. Trevor Lane, RHP, 27, AAA
46. Fidel Montero, OF, 18, Rookie (DSL)
47. Matt Krook, LHP, 27, AAA
48. Harold Cortijo, RHP, 23, Low-A
49. Greg Weissert, RHP, 26, AAA
50. Madison Santos, OF, 21, Low-A
Agnos, a fourth rounder in 2019, underwent Tommy John Surgery last year after only five games during his pro debut, but was highly regarded coming into the draft…..Vega, a 2017 international signing, broke out last season, where he posted a 1.70 ERA between the FCL/Low-A and held opponents to a .156 average…..Lane and Krook are two lefties who have put up impressive minor league numbers, especially in 2021, but 2022 is make or break…..Fidel Montero was one of the top ranked players in the 2020 international class, but greatly struggled in the DSL during his pro debut…..Wiessert is a reliever who was on the brink of a big league callup during 2021, where he posted a 1.64 ERA. His slider has been regarded as the best in the system…..Santos is a player to keep an eye on. He’s small, fast, and puts the ball in play a ton. In 27 games in 2021 he swiped 18 bags and sported a .423 OBP.
Fidel Montero recently converted from shortstop to the outfield, where he still displays his athleticism. Montero gained attention after participating in a 2019 showcase near Chicago that past top signings Luciano and Bayron Lora also attended. Big raw tools. pic.twitter.com/6qHx4D885a
— Tyler J. Spicer (@tylerjspicer) January 29, 2021
Others of note that Paul and Eli debated for Tier 5:
Anthony Seigler, C, 22, High-A
Agustin Ramirez, C, 20, Rookie (FCL)
Osiel Rodriguez, RHP, 20, Rookie (FCL)
Richard Fitts, RHP, 22, College
Nolan Martinez, RHP, 23, Low-A
Roberto Chirinos, SS/2B/3B, 21, High-A
Marcos Cabrera, 3B, 20, Rookie (FCL)
Jhony Brito, RHP, 23, AA
Michael Beltre, OF, 25, AA
Aldenis Sanchez, OF, 23, Low-A
Richard Fitts, Winner by KO (Fastball). 🥊 pic.twitter.com/vhA95qvbQ4
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) February 21, 2021