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Examining the New York Yankees’ Minor Leagues – The Outfielders

by James Vlietstra

February 23, 2021

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The Outfielders:

Assuming Giancarlo Stanton stays healthy, he is going to be the Yankees every day DH. The power that he displayed during the playoffs should hopefully buy him some leeway with the impatient segment of fans who remain unsatisfied. His exit velocities are consistently some of the highest in the league. He still has the skills to be a MVP candidate again.

Another perennial MVP contender when healthy is Aaron Judge. He produces more WAR per game played than just about anyone this side of Mike Trout. A big season will go far in his quest for a massive payday.

Using Mike Trout as the segue, I get to the American League’s second best centerfielder – the Yankees own Aaron Hicks. A switch hitter with pop, speed, and elite defense. If he can stay on the field, perhaps he will be appreciated more.

Clint Frazier seems to finally be getting his opportunity. His defense has improved drastically. There’s also lightning in his bat. If it all clicks, he’s going to be fun to watch.

With the recent signing of Brett Gardner and Jay Bruce, I have to believe that Gardner will be the 4th outfielder and Bruce will be the first choice to replace Stanton or Judge if injuries arise.

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A quick thought on the overall roster:

This team is getting a feel of the 1996 Yankees. They have lots of former stars that have signed on to accept secondary roles. Chirinos is a strong third catcher. Dietrich is a good spark plug. Bruce will supply power off the bench. Gardner as the veteran 4th outfielder. The starting rotation has 8-10 viable options. The bullpen runs 15 deep.

Throughout the season, there’s bound to be injuries and the increase in innings pitched compared to last year will need to be monitored. AAA Scranton will have a loaded roster ready to feed talent to the Yankees.

A typical year may see 50+ players used on a MLB team. This year, I expect to see closer to 60 play a role in the Yankees quest for a record 28th World Series championship.

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The Yankees next level outfielders are a couple of all glove, no bat guys that can fill in admirably at any of the spots. However neither Mike Tauchman nor Greg Allen have any options left. Either could be a victim of numbers at any moment. Then again, with the history of injuries, they could both see playing time. It’s possible they clear waivers and sign new minor league deals with the Yankees.

The only other outfielder on the 40-man roster is Estevan Florial. The 23-year-old made his MLB debut in 2020. He is the team’s #7 prospect and has some of the loudest tools in the organization. But, injuries and a high strikeout rate have dimmed his once bright future. This could be the most important year in his career, likely starting off in Scranton before inevitably getting promoted.

In addition to Florial, the Yankees have nine other outfielders that rank on MLB Pipeline’s Top 30.

Jasson Dominguez is the Yankees #1 prospect and #32 overall. The 18-year old has yet to make his debut but the switch hitting phenom has awoken the imagination of Yankees fans everywhere with comparisons to Mantle and Trout.

Kevin Alcantara is another 18-year-old that ranks as the #13 prospect. He reached the GCL in 2019 His 6’6” frame is going to yield an electrifying talent.

Everson Periera is the Yankees #14 prospect. The 19-year-old was a member of the Staten Island Yankees in 2019.

21st on the prospect list is 23-year-old Brandon Lockridge. He played center field for the Charleston RiverDogs in 2019.

Ryder Green is the 25th ranked Yankees prospect. In 2019 he patrolled centerfield for Pulaski. The Tennessee native is 20-years-old.

Another 20-year-old is Anthony Garcia. He was Green’s teammate in Pulaski. Rated as prospect #26.

23-year-old Josh Stowers is the 29th ranked prospect. The speedster came over from the Mariners in the Shed Long trade. He played for Charleston in 2019.

Jake Sanford rounds out as prospect number 30. The 23-year-old was in Staten Island in 2019.

Canaan Smith was a Top 20 prospect before getting traded to the Pirates. He is the older brother of Ohio state wide receiver Jaxon Smith.

28-year-old Zack Zehner and 26-year-old Trey Amburgey were part of the 2019 Scranton outfield. Socrates Brito (28) and Ryan LaMarre, 32 will join them this year.

Over in Somerset, Florial will be flanked by a tandem that includes Thomas Milone, 26, Michael Beltre, 25, and Isiah Gilliam, 24.

The Renegades will start with Lockridge and Stowers. They will be joined by Isaiah Pasteur , 24, and Pablo Olivares, 23.

Tampa will have a trio of 23-year-olds. Frederick Cuevas, Sanford and Juan De Leon.

Here are a bunch of outfield prospects that will start the year in extended spring training:

Aaron Patensky, 22 2020 post draft signing

Elijah Dunham, 22 2020 post draft signing

Evan Alexander, 22 SI

Pat DeMarco, 22 SI

Robert Javier, 22 Pulaski

Raymundo Moreno, 22 GCL

Madison Santos, 21 Pulaski

Raimfer Salinas, 20 GCL

D’Vaughn Knowles, 20 GCL

Nelson Medina, 20 GCL

Stanley Rosario, 20 GCL

Christopher Familia, 20 DSL

Antonio Cabello, 20 Pulaski

Jesus Severino, 20 GCL

Alan Mejia, 19 DSL

Alex Garcia, 19 DSL

Kelvin Espino, 19 DSL

Mauro Bonifaucio, 19 DSL

Joel Mendez 2019 IFA

Daury Arias 2019 IFA

Felixander Secerino 2019 IFA

Ramiro Altagracia 2021 IFA

#MinorLeagues

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