Yankees prospects heading to the Arizona Fall League

Tyler Hardman, Tampa Tarpons, Florida State League, September 18, 2021. Photo credit Bryan Green on Flickr

The Yankees are sending off an interesting mix of prospects to the Arizona Fall League. Headlined by Jasson Dominguez, the list also includes T.J. Rumfield, Tyler Hardman, Nelson Alvarez, Yorlin Calderon, Shaine McNeely, and Leam Mendez. They will be playing for the Mesa Solar Sox. High-A Hudson Valley defensive coach Jose Javier and Class-A Tampa trainer Brandon Rodriguez will also be part of the coaching staff for Mesa.

Jasson Dominguez, OF– Prospect fans have seen and heard a lot of Dominguez so I’ll keep his time on this list short. Dominguez is just 19 years old, and will be 20 on Opening Day, even though it feels like he has been talked about forever in the prospect community. In 119 games before Tampa Hudson Valley and Somerset, he hit .273/.376/.461/.837, 16 home runs, 7 triples, 23 doubles, 59 RBI, 37 steals, 72 walks, and 128 strikeouts as of this writing. Sending him to the AFL is all about more exposure against better competition.

T.J. Rumfield, 1B/3B- Acquired in the 2021 trade from the Phillies for Nick Nelson and Donny sands when the Yankees were trying to make room on their 40-man roster. 6’ 5 225 pounds 12th round pick in 2021. Came out on fire in 2022 then broke a bone and went on the IL. Missed from April 26 to July 4 with the broken bone on the IR. The first baseman is listed as a third baseman for the AFL. Started out on fire then broke and bone and went on IR. Sending him to AFL is all about more at bats making up for a lost season and more exposure. Only 52 games at Hudson Valley and 5 between Tampa and FSL on rehab. Hit .284/.381/.411 with 4 home runs, 13 doubles, 34 RBI, 29 walks, and 47 strikeouts and chipped in 4 steals for Hudson Valley. He has strong plate discipline and a good contract rate. More power is being worked on and he has room to spare when it comes to trading contact for power. He controls the barrel of his bat extremely well. He plays stellar defense at 3rd base. A very aggressive player that goes all out and fans will love him. In 2021 hit .250 with 7 RBI, 21 walks, 11 strikeouts in 27 games with Clearwater the FSL affiliate of the Phillies.

Tyler Hardman, 1B – Hardman was the Yankees’ 5th round pick in 2021. He hit .255 with 22 home runs, 16 doubles, 81 RBI, 14 steals in between 107 games in Hudson Valley and 4 games in Somerset.  Already 22 when drafted out of Oklahoma he will be 24 by opening day in 2023. Hardman has power to all fields and a very patient approach. He looked good at third base and also very good when he moved to first. He was sent to the AFL to get more reps against better competition. If he can play and succeed against better competition I think he could be on many top 30 prospect lists. I’m a big fan of Hardman and am very excited to see him in the AFL. I expect to see him in New York or the major leagues in late 2024 or early 2025 if he can lift his batting average some. Baseball America recognized him as the best defensive 3rd baseman in the South Atlantic League on their annual tools survey.

Nelson Alvarez, RHP – Big righty at 6’ 4” 220 pounds. 24 years old he was the Yankees 13th round pick from South Florida in 2019. In 2022 he was the Renegades most dependable arm appearing in a team-high 35 while missing 1 month on the IR. Alvarez went 5-2 with a 2.77 ERA striking out 65 in 55.1 innings of work (35 games). He repeated Hudson Valley after being there in 2021 increasing his K rate from 20.5% to 28.9% while dropping his walk rate in 2022. In 2021 he had an 8.55 ERA with 41 strikeouts and 32 walks in 40 innings (30 games). Strictly a reliever with some experience closing. He was sent to the AFL for more exposure against high-level competition.

Yorlin Calderon, RHP – Right hand pitcher that stands 6’3” 155 pounds. He was an international free agent signing in 2018. In 2022 the 21-year-old went 6-1 with a 3.88 ERA in 58 innings (14 games, 6 starts) striking out 75 and walking 16. Calderon owns a fastball, sinker, slider, and very filthy changeup. He is able to and willing to throw his slider in any count with conviction. Calderon threw a 7-inning no-hitter with Tampa against Lakeland striking out 7 hitters and walking just 2 in that game earlier this season. I’m interested to see if he starts or relieves in the AFL and I suspect he was sent to the AFL to get some more reps against better competition.

Shaine McNeely, RHP – McNeely is 24 years old and stands at 6’4” 210 pounds right hander. McNeely was a 16th round pick by the Yankees from small school Hope International University in 2019. Between FCL and Tampa, he went 2-2 with a 5.28 ERA in just 15.1 innings (13 games), while striking out 25 and walking just 4. He spent most of 2022 on the IR and only pitched in 1.2 innings in 2021. He has a career total of just 32 innings after losing 2020 to the Covid pandemic. McNeely owns a mid-90s fastball and mid-80s hard sharp slider. He is strictly a reliever. McNeely is being sent to the AFL to get some innings under his belt after not pitching much in his career since being drafted in 2019.

Leam Mendez, RHP – The 2022 international free agent signing is 22 years old. Standing 6’2″ 196 pounds Mendez owns a mid-90s fastball with riding action and a promising mid-80s splitter. Between FCL and Tampa, he went 2-3 with a 4.30 ERA registering 4 saves in 29.1 innings (21 games) along with 10 walks and 37 strikeouts. Mendez has closer or 8th innings reliever potential. Mendez was sent to the AFL to see how he does against better players and to work on his pitch mix specifically his splitter.

Also of interest are the 3 former Yankees prospects being sent to the AFL. T.J. Sikkema (traded to Royals in the Andrew Benintendi deal), Trevor Hauver (traded to the Rangers in the Joey Gallo deal), and Juan Then (traded to the Mariners in the Edwin Encarnacion deal)

Paul Woodin is a huge sports fan who leads the New York Yankees minor league farm system coverage for the Prospects1500 team. Growing up playing and watching baseball while collecting baseball cards, Paul developed a love for the game. Born and raised in Connecticut between Yankees and Red Sox territory, Paul become a Yankees fan because of Don Mattingly and Derek Jeter. An avid sports card, memorabilia and autograph collector, he participates in redraft, dynasty and prospect-only fantasy baseball formats during each season. Feel free to reach out on Twitter

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