What Excites Me About the Yankees’ 2022 Farm System
We are about a month and a half from Opening Day – hopefully. Possibly? Maybe? For all intents and purposes, I am going to proceed as if the 2022 season doesn’t feel threatened and look into three Yankees’ minor league storylines that are worth watching out for this year. The Yankees may not have one of the top ranked systems right now, but there are certainly some exciting prospects that should continue to creep closer to the Majors.
Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza: While the Yankees’ search for a MLB shortstop has been paused due to lockout, the long term hope is to see Anthony Volpe and/or Oswald Peraza take over the spot. Depending on how things shake out with the remainder of the offseason, Peraza has a real chance to find his way into the Majors in 2022. Meanwhile, Volpe is the Yankees’ top prospect on most of the lists I have seen, and while he isn’t likely to see time in the Bronx this year, he is expected to rise quickly.
Of course, both players have been slowed by losing the 2020 season, but Peraza wasted little time playing catch up. He started 2021 in Hudson Valley (A+), spent the bulk of the season with Somerset (AA), and ended the year hitting .286 in eight games for Scranton (AAA). He’ll return to the RailRiders to start the season and I would not be surprised to see him take some big league swings at some point. Volpe split time between Tampa (A) and Hudson Valley, where he hit .286/.391/.587. He is slated to return to Hudson Valley to start the season, but I wouldn’t expect him to stay there too long.
The Tampa Tarpons: Some of the biggest news of the Yankees’ offseason has actually had to do with the Tampa Tarpons. The Yankees made waves by tapping Rachel Balkovec as their Manager. This will already mean the Tarpons will have extra eyes on them this season, but with Jasson Dominguez also slated to spend a good chunk of 2022 in Tampa there is even more reason to catch some Tarpons games. Top prospects like Yoendrys Gomez, Trey Sweeney, Antonio Gomez, and Cooper Bowman are all expected to play for Tampa this season, giving them quite a few players worth watching.
Jasson Dominguez: The hype about the Yankee prospect has been big since before he signed. Unfortunately, just as he was ready to start making some appearances stateside, the pandemic cancelled the 2020 season and so we had to wait until 2021 to see him make his pro debut. After playing a handful of Rookie league games, Dominguez spent most of the year in Tampa, appearing in 49 games. He hit .258/.346/.398 and had nine doubles, a triple, five homers and seven stolen bases.
Given the excitement surrounding Dominguez, this debut might seem a little lackluster, but there is no doubt there is still a lot to like about the young outfielder. He also has worked closely with new Tarpons’ manager, Balkovec, and it sounds like that will be helpful as he continues to develop. Reports from the minor league mini-camp held recently have many people liking what they are seeing with The Martian. This should be his first full season of pro ball and hopefully he’ll be able to find a nice rhythm.