I wanted to do something a little different leading into the 2023 season. In this article for each MiLB level I profile:
- One or more players right on target, meaning he’s on target as a prospect and doing what is expected of him
- Surprise pop-up prospect(s). Who doesn’t like the surprise prospect during the season?
- A player or players who have room for improvement at each level of the Yankees system
I included all of these players into each team segment if they spent the majority of their season with a certain team.
Triple-A: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders
Right on Target:
Oswald Peraza, SS – Peraza was called upon to fill in the infield in 2022 and did an admirable job dazzling in the field while hitting .306 with 1 home run and 3 doubles in just 18 games (49 at bats) in the Bronx. Peraza has some of the best all-around tools among Yankees prospects he provides 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. He generates some of the highest exit velocities in the system and could develop more power while making good use of his plus speed to steal plenty of bases. Peraza will be in the Bronx full-time as soon as this upcoming season and could have four plus tools once he’s fully developed. After watching Isiah Kiner-Falefa struggle some this year offensively and defensively, I hope the Yankees brass give Peraza a true chance to win the shortstop job in spring training and I believe they will.
Oswaldo Cabrera, UT – Like Peraza, Cabrera got promoted to the big leagues for the stretch run when the Yankees had multiple injuries. Cabrera played a utility roll and looked like he has played the outfield his entire career. This after only playing 4 games in the outfield in the minor leagues! Cabrera also had some timely hitting and great fielding showing to be a versatile piece for manager Aaron Boone seeing time in left field, right field, and all four infield spots. Cabrera hit .247 with 6 home runs, 8 doubles and 19 RBI in 44 games (154 at bats) in the Bronx. He looks to have an everyday job as a utility player in the Bronx all wrapped up for the upcoming 2023 season.
Greg Weissert, RHP – An 18th round draft pick out of Fordham in the 2016 draft, Weissert was able to improve upon his breakout 2021 year in 2022. With a fastball, sinker, slider and cutter combo Weissert was called to the Bronx in 2022 to help an injury depleted bullpen and had a very good short call up. His killer low 80s slider, which he learned in 2020 from watching video of Chaz Roe, is great and has led to success in the minors and now on the big league stage. He also possesses a low 90s sinker to go along with his different arm slot will give him a long career in a big league bullpen. With the Railriders he pitched in 40 games saving 18 of them. He had a 1.76 ERA in 46 innings along with 67 strike outs and 19 walks. In the Bronx he had a 5.56 ERA in only 11.1 innings striking out 11 while walking 5. The ERA is ugly but take away the 2 games he gave up 6 runs over 1.1 innings (.1 was his first big league game) and he gave up 1 run over 10 innings. I’m very confident he will be a main stay in the bullpen for the foreseeable future.
Room for Improvement:
Deivi Garcia, RHP – Garcia is the obvious choice here as his downfall has been stunning. He had an awful 2021 and he was awful again this past year. His delivery was messed up and he started throwing a bunch of mediocre sliders instead of his big-breaking hammer curveball. His fastball velocity was just 91-95 mph while his 95s were out of the strike zone. Then a move to the bullpen seemed to work and turned him around. As a reliever in 15.2 innings, he had a 4.60 ERA striking out 21 and walking 8. I expect him to be part of the bullpen moving forward. When he came back up to Scranton in September he was used strictly as a reliever, a place I think he should stay since his fastball and off speed pitches should play up for an inning or two. I believe he will have success in the bullpen but I still believe he failed to meet the expectations of the an ace he was supposed to be when coming up. He racked up 42.2 big league innings over eight starts between 2020 and 2021. Spring Training will be huge for Garcia.
That’s nasty.@greg_weissert 🤯 pic.twitter.com/nuxfzpZp8e
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 4, 2022
Double-A: Somerset Patriots
Right on Target:
Anthony Volpe, SS – Volpe checks all the boxes and has the makings of a 20-20 plus player. Volpe was promoted to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in September when injuries hit the Bronx. After getting off to a slow start with Somerset, Volpe heated up with the weather and in 110 games (497 at bats) ended up hitting .251 with 18 home runs, 31 doubles, 60 RBI and 44 steals. Most impressive was his 57 walks to 88 strike outs in Somerset. Even when he was struggling to begin the year he was walking and stealing bases. In Scranton, he hit .236 with 3 home runs 2 doubles and had 6 steals in just 22 games (99 at bats). I believe Volpe should start 2023 in Triple A with a shot of seeing him in the Bronx this season & could be in the major leagues full time in 2024.
Matt Minnick, LHP – The 23rd round pick in 2019 struggled in Hudson Valley in 2021 to the tune of a 4.40 ERA with 66 strike outs and 25 walks in 45 innings but was on fire in 2022! In 61.1 innings (35 games) with Somerset, Minnick strike out 62 hitters while walking just 19 to go along with 1.76 ERA and a .075 whip, the lowest WHIP among MILB qualified players in 2022. Minnick was called up to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre for one game, pitching just 2 innings. Minnick’s most ridiculous stretch of the season with Somerset featured a jaw-dropping 0.28 ERA over a 31.1-inning span. Minnicks fastball usually sits in the low 90s and is a student of the game studying hitters, working to his strengths, working against the hitter’s weaknesses, and putting together more of a game plan. He’s got a chance to have an average curveball and average changeup as well. Minnick has worked hard to harness his stuff and improve both his control and command significantly. I believe the 26 year old is ticketed for Triple A to start the season and could find his way into the bullpen in the Bronx in 2023 especially because he is a lefty.
Carson Coleman, RHP – Coleman struggled with Tampa in 2021 having a 6.11 ERA in 35.1 innings walking 26 and striking out 49. He had a huge bounce back in 2022 in between Hudson Valley and Somerset in 64 innings he had a 2.00 ERA, 95 strike out and only 19 walks to go along with 15 saves! The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder Coleman features a 95-97 mph two-seam, a four-seam fastball, a slider and a changeup. The undrafted pitcher has worked his way on the radar as an important arm in just a few short years and is quickly developing into one of the Yankees’ best relievers in the minor leagues and could see the Bronx as soon as 2023.
Room for Improvement:
Brandon Lockridge, OF – In 108 games with the Patriots Lockridge only hit .230 while striking out 125 times with 14 home runs, 18 double and stealing 18 bases. If Lockridge develops more plate discipline and uses 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 good speed. But his bat went backwards this past year. A couple years ago, I believed he could be an everyday regular. Now he’s more of an extra outfielder if he gets to the big leagues, a Tim Locastro type with more power and more bat potential. Lockridge’s swing has gotten big with a lot of swing and miss. When he was younger, his swing was shorter and he was a line-drive gap hitter that did not try to force the power. He’s also not running like he did when he was younger. Lockridge is a player that a change of scenery could help.
Josh Breaux, C – I think he failed to meet expectations because as a 2nd round draft pick in 2018 the Yankees would have already liked to have a return on that investment in New York. Defensively Breaux has a cannon behind the plate but offensively he has struggled in his time with the organization. Extremely aggressive at the plate, Breaux has well above-average bat speed, strength and raw power. His approach will result in excessive strikeouts shown by his 113 strike outs and .224 averagebut, he has shown good pop which resulted in 33 XBH (14 doubles and 19 HRs) in 94 games in 2022 between Somerset and Scranton. For his career he has hit just .259. His power bat could be valuable if he can make enough contact and a change in organizations may be best for him.
34 seconds of the 2022 Eastern League Reliever of the Year Carson Coleman being filthy (CC @PitchingNinja)⚔️ pic.twitter.com/tKF9jRrsfP
— Somerset Patriots (@SOMPatriots) November 9, 2022
High-A: Hudson Valley Renegades
Right on Target:
Trey Sweeney, SS – The Yankees first round pick in 2021 (20th overall), Sweeney hit .240 while clubbing 16 home runs in 111 games (433 at bats) between Hudson Valley and Somerset in 2022. He has shown good bat to ball skills and the ability to hit the ball out of the park with really good control of the zone and he doesn’t seem to get off balance. He’s got power, but it’s going to be power over average as he will rack up strike outs at advanced levels. He’s a pretty heady player too using his speed to take the extra base and being a smart on the base paths leading to 19 doubles and 31 steals in 2022.
Tyler Hardman, 3B – The Yankees’ 5th round pick in 2021 has power to all fields and a very patient approach getting the barrel of his bat to the ball. The South Atlantic League All-Star finished second in the league in RBI (79), fourth in homers (22), sixth in extra-base hits (40) and seventh in slugging percentage (.479). Then Hardman absolutely scorched Arizona Fall League pitching with the Mesa Solar Sox, .325 average, 77 AB, 21 runs, 25 hits, 6 doubles, 1 triple, 6 HR, 15 RBI, 6 BB, 22 K, 1 SB, and a 1.035 OPS in 20 games. Baseball America recognized him as the best defensive 3rd baseman in the South Atlantic League on their annual tools survey. I expect to see him in the major leagues in late 2024 or early 2025 if he can lift his batting average some. I’m a big fan of Hardman and I’m going to play close attention to him next year. Baseball America recognized him as the best defensive 3rd baseman in the South Atlantic League on their annual tools survey.
Aldenis Sanchez, OF – Acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays as the player to be named in the Mike Ford deal in 2021, the 24 year old speedster stole 32 bases while hitting .257 with 9 doubles with Hudson Valley in 96 games. In four minor league season Sanchez is hitting .276 and is 83 for 117 on stolen base attempts. He needs to develop more of a hit tool since he has no real power but he could be on more prospect radars if he develops. He made plenty of highlight worthy catches well playing stellar defense in the outfield. I suspect a promotion to Double A for next season is in the cards.
Room for Improvement:
Anthony Seigler, C – Like Breaux, he is a former top pick and I think he failed to meet expectations because as a 1st round draft pick in 2018 the Yankees would have already liked to have a return on that investment in New York. Siegler only hit .236 between Hudson Valley and Tampa in 2022 in 97 games. Siegler didn’t hit for much power either hitting just 7 home runs and 21 doubles. Like Lockridge and Breaux, Siegler is Rule 5 eligible this coming Rule 5 draft. He’s got a good feel for the strike zone and good plate discipline, but I don’t think that he’s going to have the ability to really have an impact with his bat. He’s probably a singles and doubles hitter. He hit just .236 with 21 doubles and 7 home runs in 99 games between Tampa and Hudson Valley in 2022. I don’t anticipate him catching every day and you scratch your head wondering why the Yankees took him in the first round in 2018.
Tyler Hardman ✖️ 2⃣@Yankees | @MLBazFallLeague pic.twitter.com/iWVwp6hPst
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) November 4, 2022
Single-A: Tampa Tarpons
Right on Target:
Antonio Gomez, C – Gomez is one of the best defensive catchers in all of minor league baseball, with pop times as low as 1.8 and a cannon of an arm with throws that are quick and accurate. He is improving as a receiver and blocker as well. He has plus raw power at the plate and is willing to work the count but sometimes gets pull happy having issues turning on pitches and produces weak ground balls when he does. Gomez put up a .252 average in the FSL in 2022 to go along with 10 doubles and 8 home runs. He’s at least a backup catcher because of his defense, and if the bat plays which I believe it will, he has a chance to become an everyday player who is more of a power over hit guy who will produce 15-20 home runs a year. Just 21 years old he is on the right track to be in the Bronx in 3 years especially if he can cut down on his strike outs.
Leam Mendez, RHP – A 2022 international free agent signing, Mendez stands 6’2″ 196 pounds. The 22 years old 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. Sent to the AFL in 2022 in to work on his pitch mix specifically his splitter, in 9 games he posted 6 strike outs against 7 walks in 13.2 innings (9 games). Mendez has a bright future and has closer or 8th innings reliever potential.
Grant Richardson, OF – Richardson, the Yankees 17th round pick in the 2021 MLB Draft has some of the highest peak exit velocities in the organization. He hit .240 with 16 home runs, 13 doubles and 16 steals while playing stellar defense in the outfield between Tampa and Hudson Valley in 90 games. Those are pretty good numbers for someone that was a 17th round draft pick.
Sean Hermann, RHP – The 14th round pick in 2021, Hermann owns a low-90s fastball, a low-80s slider and a mid-80s changeup. Hermann excelled in the Florida Complex League and earned a promotion to Single-A. In 10 starts (53.2 innings) between FCL and Tampa Hermann had a 2.52 ERA and 57 strike outs. The right-hander doesn’t show much projectability, but his arsenal provides enough upside to potentially give him a future as a middle reliever or back-end starter.
Room for Improvement:
Alexander Vargas, SS – The switch-hitting Vargas puts the ball in play with his line drive type swing and swipes a lot of bags. He hit just .203 in the FSL in 2022 with 27 stolen bases (caught 13 times), 14 doubles and 8 home runs but had 123 strikeouts compared to just 35 walks. Still only 21 he has time to figure it out with his power already improving in his career. I like Vargas and give him a chance to be an everyday regular and develop into a good player if things click the right way, which is not a given but it’s baffling how a guy that has such a good swing is a .200 hitter. If Vargas doesn’t hit enough he will fail to meet expectations put on his as a very highly regarded prospect. He reminds me of a young Jorge Mateo and may be a late bloomer.
Anthony Garcia, OF – Garcia has gargantuan power from both sides of the plate, posting exit velocities up to 116 MPH. Garcia doesn’t hit breaking stuff well but when he squares a fastball, he’ll hit a ball to the moon. He’s a big kid (6’5” 200 pounds) with big power and runs well for his size. He hit just .195 with 14 home runs 8 doubles and 21 steals in 2022 after hitting .306 with 14 home runs in 2021 with FCL and Tampa. If he cuts down on his strikeouts, he has legit 40+ home run potential but he’s struggling with them and will need to improve as he goes up the ladder. He’s going to get every opportunity because he’s a prototype Yankee with his power. He’s walked a lot, but I don’t know if that’s a feel for the strike zone as much as a lot of pitchers in the FSL can’t really throw strikes. 2023 is a big year for Garcia, like Vargas if Garcia doesn’t hit enough he will fail to meet expectations put on his as a very highly regarded prospect.
Into the woods!🌲@Yankees prospect Grant Richardson CRUSHES a home run 112 mph off the bat for the @HVRenegades: pic.twitter.com/OVPRC90kn2
— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) July 30, 2022
Rookie: Florida Complex League Yankees
Right on Target:
Justin Lange, RHP – The Yankees acquired the 2020 first-round pick (34th overall) Lange from the Padres in exchange for first baseman Luke Voit in March. Lange’s fastball sits in the mid-90s and can feature both run and sink. He has the makings of a second power pitch with a mid 80s slider with bite that could become a plus pitch. The pitch is inconsistent, however, and should be a focal point of Lange’s development. He will also incorporate a changeup, which needs work. He has a huge ceiling but will need time to reach it, given his unrefined secondary pitches and shaky control and command. His slightly unorthodox low arm slot delivery also raises a few question marks. I think he gets moved to the bullpen where he would be valuable. In 12 starts in 2022 (36 innings) he had a 6.44 ERA striking out 51 batters while walking 30.
Agustin Ramirez, C – Ramirez packs a lot of strength into his compact swing. The balls he currently hits to the fence will go over once he puts more strength on his frame. Ramirez squares up fastballs consistently with the barrel, though he does have some trouble on breaking pitches. He also shows solid patience at the plate. I expect Ramirez to start hitting balls out of the park with ease after some strength gains and believe he will adapt to breaking pitches better and will lie off of them. Ramirez hit .304 with 6 home runs and 14 doubles to go along with 13 steals for FCL in 2022. The future is very bright for Ramirez.
Jared Serna, UT – Serna was signed during the J2 period from Mexico in 2019. Serna has good plate discipline, barrels up balls well, and isn’t afraid to take the extra base with his hustle and speed. The utility player hit .274 between FCL and Tampa with 11 doubles and 6 home runs. Using his good speed he stole 17 bases between the two stops as well. A move to the outfield could happen for Serna considering his speed and agility. A career as a utility man is likely with Serna. I do expect him to be higher in the rankings in midseason.
Room for Improvement:
Osiel Rodriguez, RHP – Signed in 2018 international class Rodriguez has had an inconclusive introduction to professional ball as health and working on arm angles looked to be part of his struggles. He has a huge ceiling with four solid offerings throwing a good splitter in the low to mid 80s, a fastball that sits in the low to mid 90s, a curveball and a slider. Between FCL and Tampa in 2022 in 13 games (35 innings) he pitched to a 4.37 ERA with 42 strike outs. I believe he failed to meet expectations because he was signed to a large deal and was throwing 96 with ease as an amateur free agent and hasn’t backed up what the Yankees brass saw in him. 2023 will be a big year for Rodriguez.
Rookie: Dominican Summer League Yankees
Right on Target:
Hans Montero, SS – Montero is a player I expect to rise up the rankings. The right-hand hitting shortstop projects to have above average tools across the board. Montero has a quality approach barreling the ball very well using his gap power and ability to make contact to all fields and plus speed. As he puts on muscle to his 5’10” 160 pound frame, I expect him to have above average power. He also possesses plus speed on the base-paths. He hit .180 with 16 steals with DSL in 2022, so a move to Single-A isn’t out the question with Montero. In the field he has smooth actions and soft hands. His best tool is his arm.
Fidel Montero, OF – Montero was one of the top ranked players in the 2020 international class signing for $500K. Montero used his killer speed and stole 40 bases with DSL but only hit .154, something I think that will improve. He also owns good raw power that he has yet to tap all the way into. He’s very raw as a player and I think in 2023 he will make a huge jump.
Keiner Delgado, SS – I’ve been a Delgado fan since he was signed in 2021 and the 2022 break out is real! Signed in 2021 from Venezuelan in the same international class as Hans Montero and Fidel Montero, so far Delgado has been the best of the bunch. In the Dominican Summer League Delgado was named to the All-Star team after slashing .310/.504/.506 with 3 home runs, 16 doubles, 3 triples and 34 stolen bases to go along with 58 BB and 28 Ks in 54 games. He profiles really well since he never chases, barely strikes out, and also has displayed good power. At 5’8, 145 pounds, hopefully he fills out his frame a little more and can start to tear the cover off the ball in the Complex and Single-A levels in 2023. Walking more than you strikeout is extremely impressive, but having over double the walk rate of your strikeout rate is simply unheard of. I’m a huge fan of Delgado showing unbelievable upside and great plate discipline at such a young age, I also believe he will be a lower end top 100 prospect within the next year or so. Drawing comparisons to Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve because of his size and speed I don’t want to damper those comparisons but, to be fair, Delgado is years away.
Room for Improvement:
Roderick Arias, SS – Arias, the top international prospect in the class signed for 4 million dollars at the beginning of the international signing period in 2022 and I know it’s a surprise to see him here and it’s very hard on me to put him in the room for improvement column. To be fair he may have still been hampered by a wrist injury but he only hit .197 and struggled a lot in the field making 13 errors in 52 attempts most of his errors being on bad throws. There’s a lot to like about the teenager at the plate though as 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 has power from both sides of the plate, and his overall package could develop into a plus-plus hitter. On the bases, Arias shows very good anticipation and awareness. He has future stud written all over him and should be the number one prospect in the system before long if things pan out. But with the fanfare and big money signing this year, his season was a slight let down. Arias will have to hit more and work on his defense and I suspect he will never be in this kind of column under room for improvement ever again! I’m going to chalk up his season struggles to his late arrival, injury and his eagerness to play as well overall.
Jared Serna🐴 destacó ayer en sucursales de @Yankees_Beisbol, al irse de 3-3✅ con su 4to HR🚀 del año, 4RBI💪🏼, 1 anotada, pasaporte negociado, una estafa y ya suma 10 en el año⚡️💥; promedia .347🔥#TodosSomosCharros⚾️💙💛 pic.twitter.com/YN4cNfZgrJ
— Charros de Jalisco (@charrosbeisbol) July 9, 2022
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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