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Examining the New York Yankees’ Minor Leagues – The First Basemen

by James Vlietstra

February 12, 2021

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The First Basemen:

The Yankees boast the Major League Home run king from 2020 as their first baseman. Luke Voit has filled the void that has plagued the team for about a decade, ever since Mark Teixeira stubbornly ruined his potential Hall of Fame career by continuing to hit into the shift and continuing through the eras of Lyle Overbay, Chris Carter, and Greg Bird. With Voit, it looks like the Bombers have a legitimate first baseman for the first time in a long time.

Luke Voit is entering his age-30 season and should be poised to repeat his performance. His back-up, Mike Ford, burst onto the scene in 2019 as an exciting feel good story of an unstaffed prospect. He wasn’t able to sustain that last year. His dismal 2020 campaign has him in danger of losing his spot on the 40-man roster. He does have options left.

The Yankees don’t have any first basemen on the MLB Pipeline top 30 list. There’s no other first baseman in the farm system on the 40-man roster.

Mike Ford will probably be the starting first baseman in Triple-A Scranton. However, Chris Gittens is the defending Eastern League MVP. Gittens, 27, should be moved up and can help in the Bronx if the need arises. Brandon Wagner, 25, has the versatility to play second and third as well so he will probably be promoted to Scranton as well.

Dermis Garcia will start at Double-A. He is one of the few remaining players from the 2014 IFA mega class. The 23-year old has tremendous power, but strikes out at an alarming rate. They say AA is where you separate the boys from the men. This will be his make or break year. Steven Sensley and Mickey Gasper, both 25, were his teammates in Tampa in 2019, also playing outfield and catcher, respectively.

Going down the ranks to Single-A, 23-year old Eric Wagaman was the first baseman in Charleston in 2019. He should be able to continue that role for the Renegades this year. Kyle MacDonald, 24, can alternate between first and third.

Spencer Henson should slide from his spot in Staten Island to the same in Tampa. Pedro Diaz could join him there. They are both 23-years-old.

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Here are some of the other first basemen in the system who the Yankees may have to find spots for:

Jhoiner Rodriguez, 21 GCL

Starlin Paulino, 20 GCL

Omar Martinez, 19 GCL

Nicolas Garcia, 19 DSL

Sergio Vargas, 18 DSL

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