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A Tampa Tarpons hat and a player's glove on the steps of the home dugout at GMS Field (John Brophy/Pinstriped Prospects)


A Shorter Leash Than Normal: About The Prospects Cut Earlier This Week

The Yankees cut a handful of prospects earlier this week from the Single-A Tampa Tarpons, in part to make room for some of the 2023 MLB Draft selections. The prospects released were INFs Brett Barrera and Ronny Rojas and OFs Felix Negueis and Jake Palmer.

INF Brett Barrera – .151/.227/.189/.416

INF Brett Barrera (John Brophy/Pinstriped Prospects)

Barrera was one of the biggest surprises here because he was drafted in the 8th round of the 2022 MLB Draft and hasn’t even been with the Yankees for a year yet, having made his pro debut on August 4, 2022.

Barrera had been struggling at the plate all season, and went 10-for-58 (.172) in July. His strikeouts weren’t all that terrible despite the slash line: 18 K in 106 AB or a 17% K rate, so there are some tools to work with if he finds another organization. That said, Barrera did not work many walks at a 6% BB rate.

INF Ronny Rojas – .217/.312/.404/.716

INF Ronny Rojas attempts to tag a runner at 1B (John Brophy/Pinstriped Prospects)

Rojas was one of the better bats in the Tarpons lineup for most of the season so this one was a head scratcher. His defense while not at 1B was awful, to be kind. At 1B he had a .988 fielding pct, 2B was .800 and 3B was .853.

This is the kind of level to try things out, and he made some really nice plays at 1B. His K rate, despite the okay slash line was very high: 62 K in 161 AB or a 38.5% K rate. He worked walks at a 12.5% BB rate, which is also “okay”.

Rojas was signed as an IFA in September 2017 and made his pro debut with the DSL Yankees in 2018.

OF Felix Negueis – .104/.281/.172/.453

OF Felix Negueis smiles between innings (John Brophy/Pinstriped Prospects)

Negueis had a significantly different season in 2023 compared to what I saw at the Yankee Complex in 2022 where he slashed .287/.388/.574/.962. This is a good example that solid performance in the complex leagues doesn’t always translate to performance in full-season baseball.

Negueis was the most lost at the plate of the bunch, and it only kept snowballing recently when OFs Tayler Aguilar and Anthony Hall were both on the IL and Negueis was one of the three outfielders left on the roster, forcing him to play everyday.

His defense wasn’t all that bad with only 4 errors (that’s actually pretty good for this level).

Negueis was signed in August 2018 as an IFA and made his pro debut with the DSL Yankees in 2019.

OF Jake Palmer – .234/.422/.299/.720

OF Jake Palmer (John Brophy/Pinstriped Prospects)

Palmer’s release was another head scratcher since he only had 77 at bats in 27 games played in 2023 (and only 33 games total) with most of that time coming in July 2023.

Palmer had been pretty consistent in July, batting .250/.440/.304/.744 in 56 AB with a double, a triple and no home runs. That led to an ISO of .054, but he had a BABIP of .275 in that span. Palmer also had an exceptional K rate this season of 7.8%, striking out only 6 times in 77 AB.

Palmer was signed as a UDFA out of UCLA in July of 2022.

Written By

Originally a native of Southern Connecticut, John has lived in the Tampa area since 2010 and has been a Tarpons fan since 2012. John is excited to bring you along as the Baby Bombers work their way up to The Bronx.

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