SOM Week: Sweeney, the INF, and More!
Welcome to "SOM Week"! 4 Days of articles from my time at Somerset. Today, we discuss Trey Sweeney and the infield!
Trey Sweeney warming up in 8th inning before an at-bat
(Photo: Ethan Semendinger)
Trey Sweeney (SS):
Game Statistics (9/16): 0-3, Strikeout, Walk
Trey Sweeney is a name that is familiar to Yankees fans, but is also a name that goes overlooked. A top shortstop prospect in the system, his stock is overshadowed by the likes of two consensus Top-100 prospects, Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe. However, Sweeney holds his own in a system dominated by top-of-the-line shortstop talent, having ranked as the Yankees #6 prospect last year and #7 this year (by MLB Pipeline).
Coming out of Eastern Illinois University, Sweeney was the New York Yankees first round pick in the 2021 MLB First Year Player Draft. That season he played the majority of his first professional season with the Tampa Tarpons of the Florida League (Class A). To start the 2022 season, Sweeney played with the Hudson Valley Renegades (Class A+, South Atlantic), where he played 100 games while hitting to a quadruple slash of .241/.350/.415/.766 with 14 home runs.
Trey Sweeney earned his call up to the Somerset Patriots this season, but his moving up was again overshadowed as Jasson Dominguez was also being called up at the same time. As the Hudson Valley Renegades season was over, the Yankees wanted two of their better prospects to get another few weeks of playing time this season.
During the game from this past Friday, Trey Sweeney batted 2nd (again, behind Dominguez), though did not have the most productive day at the plate. In his first at-bat, he grounded out to second base. In his next plate appearance, he worked a 2-out walk. In his second at-bat, he grounded out to shortstop. And, in his third at-bat, he was called out on strikes (which arguably should've been ball four).
This was my first experience getting to see Trey Sweeney in person. I'm not going to hold his hitting against him (to be fair, the majority of the MLB team isn't hitting much better than that on a daily basis), though I was hoping for a more impressive showing.
However, I did want to highlight his defense. He made every play on every ball that was hit towards him and looked very smooth and comfortable doing so. His arm strength played well and his accuracy on throws was very good, with not having the first baseman need to move much to finish the play. He also did make one very good "Jeter-esque" type throw during the game which was exciting to watch.
I trust that the bat will follow suit next season, as he just made it to Double-A. He does have great promise.
The infield alignment in Somerset on Friday night
(Photo: Ethan Semendinger)
The Rest of the Infield:
Mickey Gasper (1B): 0-3, K
Max Burt (2B): 0-3, K
Tyler Hardman (3B): 1-3, 2 K's
Mickey Gasper came to be a part of the New York Yankees organization via the 2018 MLB First Year Player Draft as their 27th round pick out of Bryant University. He has slowly worked his way up the minor leagues, and previously made it to Double-A Somerset in 2021 before suffering a season-ending injury after just 10 games. He was only ever used as a catcher in college, but when drafted was announced as a first baseman- a position the Yankees have been utilizing Gasper at often. This season, he's hit to a .266/.407/.453/.861 quadruple slash with 8 home runs at Somerset while splitting time behind the plate and at first base. (To read more about him, check out this Yahoo Sports article from Roger Brown.)
Max Burt, a Canadian-born professional volleyball player...wait. Sorry, Wikipedia gave me the wrong guy. Max Burt came to be a part of the New York Yankees organization also from the 2018 MLB First Year Player Draft as their (believe it or not), 28th round pick out of Northeastern University. He started his professional career in rookie ball in 2018 and had earned a call-up all the way from Class A to Double A within the 2019 season. In 2021, he also earned his way up to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre. However, due to a regressing hitting line last season he has spent the whole 2022 season at Somerset. Currently, he's hitting .205/.269/.373/.643 in Somerset this season.
Tyler Hardman was originally drafted by the Colorado Rockies out of Temescal Canyon High School as a 37th round draft pick in the 2017 MLB First Year Player Draft. He opted to go to college instead and was rewarded, this by becoming a 5th round draft pick out of the University of Oklahoma by the New York Yankees in the 2021 MLB First Year Player Draft. He spent the majority of last season at Class A Tampa and like Sweeney and Dominguez he earned a late year promotion to Somerset after spending the vast majority of the year with the Hudson Valley Renegades, where he hit .262/.329/.479/.808.
When it came to game performances, Mickey Gasper started his game with a 2nd inning pop out to shortstop. In the 4th inning, he struck out looking. In the 7th inning, he flew out to center field.
Max Burt started his game with a groundout to shortstop in the 3rd inning. In the 5th inning, he started the inning by striking out swinging. In the 7th inning, he also flew out to center field.
Tyler Hardman started his game by striking out in the 2nd. In the 4th inning, he knocked a single to left field. In the 6th inning, Hardman struck out for the second time.
A wifi symbol
Getting the Wifi:
Another day, another fun little note about being in the press box.
So, there I am, talking with the guy who runs the Yankees Hawk-Eye technology as my laptop is warming up so I can take notes. I ask him, "Hey, any chance you have the WIFI password?". He responds, "Sorry man, it automatically connects for me. I don't know it anymore".
That's all good. He's been there a while. He looked comfortable living in the press box with his company laptop, his personal laptop, and his plate of french fries quickly vanished and required a refill. So, I look over the my left to notice a man reading the New York Times on his laptop.
"Excuse me, but do you know the WIFI password?"
Well. There goes that idea.
Nobody else is sitting next to me. Who else to ask?
There are a couple people doing the gamecast data below me. I go down and ask them. Nobody knows the wifi password. The only other person in the press box is doing the scoreboard and doesn't have a computer in front of them. He obviously can't know it.
Crud. Now even my OptimumWifi isn't connecting. I can't access the blog. I can't prove my worth. What do I do now?
So, I open up my offline word processor and start taking as many notes as I can about my environment to make it look like I belong. Then, I think: "They're sure to have the WIFI password printed here somewhere". This is when I found the gamecard and team rosters. No WIFI information printed on them.
There was no other information to be found anywhere. No print out on the wall. Nothing on my press pass. No WIFI for me.
Ultimately, I never got the WIFI password. I spent most of my time at the game outside of the press box so that I could get a good feel for everything going on. Lesson to be learned: be prepared for a WIFI-less experience at a baseball game next time by pre-preparing a word document for note taking.
Check back tomorrow for when I'm going to be talking about Trey Sweeney (the New York Yankees 1st round draft pick from 2021), the infield, and some more joys from the press box!
For other articles in this series, check these posts:
Saturday - Somerset Patriots & TD Bank Park