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    Introducing the 2018 Staten Island Yankees

    Now that the MLB Draft has come and gone, Short-Season and Rookie Level affiliates are able to set their rosters. Friday, June 15th is the Opening Day for the Staten Island Yankees. Here is how the roster is shaped for the coming season.

    As of Opening Day, 16 pitchers on the roster. There will be some returning faces (Daniel Alvarez, Juan De Paula, Drew Finley, Brooks Kriske), some highly regarded prospects (Matt Sauer, Nolan Martinez), and some players that may not be familiar to the Staten Island market. This pitching group is predominantly Right-Handed, with only one Lefty (Reiver Sanmartin). Here is some information about each of these players:

     

    Daniel Alvarez – Originally Signed by the New York Yankees as an International Free Agent (Venezuela) in 2014. Alvarez is a Right-Handed Pitcher, who spent the 2017 season as a Starter with the Staten Island Yankees. This past Winter, Alvarez pitched exclusively out of the bullpen in the Venezuelan Winter League.

    Roansy Contreres – Originally signed by the New York Yankees as an International Free Agent (Dominican Republic) in 2016. Contreras is a Right-Handed Pitcher, who played in the Dominican Summer League and GCL last year. One thing to keep an eye on with him is his control as he threw 12 wild pitches last season.

    Harold Cortijo – Originally Drafted out of High School by the New York Yankees in the 14th Round of the 2017 MLB Draft. Cortijo is a Right-Handed Pitcher, who spent the 2017 season with the GCL East Yankees, making ten appearances. Pinstriped Prospects Founder Robert Pimpsner lists Cortijo as a pitcher to watch in the 2018 season.

    Juan De Paula – Originally Signed by the Seattle Mariners as an International Free Agent (Dominican Republic) in 2014. De Paula was acquired with Jio Orozco by the Yankees in the Ben Gamel trade . De Paula pitched in 12 games with the Staten Island Yankees last season. The Right-Handed Starting Pitcher was named the #27 Prospect in the Pinstriped Prospects Preseason Rankings.

    Drew Finley – Originally Drafted out of High School by the New York Yankees in the Third Round of the 2015 MLB Draft. Finley is a Right-Handed Pitcher, who is spending his third consecutive season with the Staten Island Yankees. This prospect has been a starting pitcher for most of his career, but is transitioning to a relief role. Finley missed time last season due to injury, but believes he is back to full health.

    Chase Hodson – Originally Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent by the New York Yankees in 2016. Hodson is a Right-Handed Relief Pitcher, who has spent some time this season with the Tampa Tarpons. This prospect pitched in 12 games for the Staten Island Yankees last season. Hodson has a career ERA of 0.92, with an impressive K/9 rate of 12.58.

    Brooks Kriske – Originally Drafted out of College (USC) by the New York Yankees in the 6th Round of the 2016 MLB Draft. Kriske is a returning player to the Staten Island affiliate, pitching in 13 games as a Relief Pitcher in 2016. This Right-Handed Pitcher missed the 2017 season due to injury.

    Nolan Martinez – Originally Drafted out of High School by the New York Yankees in the Third Round of the 2016 MLB Draft. The Right-Handed Pitcher spent the 2017 season playing between two Rookie League Affiliates; the GCL West Yankees and Pulaski Yankees. Martinez was the #24 Prospect in the Pinstriped Prospects Pre-Season Ranking.

    Alex Mauricio – Originally Drafted out of College (Norfolk State University) by the New York Yankees in the 27th Round of the 2017 MLB Draft. Mauricio is a Right-Handed Pitcher, who spent the 2017 season with the GCL West Yankees, pitching exclusively out of the Bullpen. Here is a Prospect Profile about this Righty Pitcher, written after the 2017 MLB Draft.

    Aaron McGarity – Originally Drafted out of College (Virginia Tech) by the New York Yankees in the 15th Round of the 2017 MLB Draft. McGarity is a Right-Handed Pitcher, who spent the 2017 season with the GCL East Yankees. Here is a Prospect Profile about this Righty Pitcher, written after the 2017 MLB Draft. McGarity was once the college teammate of fellow Staten Island Yankee prospect Ricky Surum.

    Christian Morris – Originally Drafted out of College (Indiana) by the New York Yankees in the 33d Round of the 2015 MLB Draft. Morris is a Right-Handed Pitcher, who has spent some limited action with the Tampa Tarpons each of the past two seasons. Splitting last season with Staten Island, Charleston, and Tampa, Morris pitched in 28 games, to a 2.24 ERA. Serving mostly as a Relief Pitcher last season, this prospect might be a candidate to close games in Staten Island this season.

    Garrett Mundell – Originally Drafted out of College (Fresno State) by the New York Yankees in the 23rd Round of the 2015 MLB Draft. Mundell is a Right-Handed Pitcher, who has appeared in 49 games with Charleston over the past three seasons. Spending a portion of the 2017 season as the Charleston closer, Mundell picked up 11 saves. With a career 2.08 ERA, and an impressive K/9 rate of 13.14, this team will likely use this prospect in high leverage situations. Our own Joe Dixon was able to write a feature on the player, while in Charleston last season.

    Reiver Sanmartin – Originally Signed by the Texas Rangers as an International Free Agent (Columbia) in 2014. Sanmartin was acquired by the Yankees, for fellow pitcher Ronald Herrera this past offseason. Sanmartin has only pitched in one game in a Yankee uniform, starting once for the Trenton Thunder. As the only Left-Handed Pitcher currently on the roster, it will be interesting to see how this prospect is used.

    Matt Sauer – Originally Drafted out of High School by the New York Yankees in the Second Round of the 2017 MLB Draft. Sauer is a Right-Handed Pitcher, who pitched in the Gulf Coast League last season. According to our own Paul Pagnato, “The potential is probably there for the tall prep pitcher who throws from a 3/4 arm slot and sits 91-95 miles per hour and can touch 97. His slider is his best off-speed offering that sits around 87 miles per hour and features plenty of power, bite, and deception.” Sauer was the #8 Prospect in the Pinstriped Prospects Pre-Season Rankings.

    Shawn Semple – Originally Drafted out of College (University of New Orleans) by the New York Yankees in the 11th Round of the 2017 MLB Draft. Semple is a Right-Handed Pitcher, who spent the 2017 season with the GCL East Yankees, pitching exclusively out of the Bullpen. Here is a Prospect Profile about this Righty Pitcher, written after the 2017 MLB Draft.

    Paul Young – This Prospect was Signed by the Yankees as a Minor League Free Agent in 2017. Prior to his Yankees career, Young was playing in the Frontier League, pitching for the Southern Illinois Miners. He was drafted in 2013 by the Cleveland Indians but opted not to sign. Originally Signed by the Kansas City Royals as a non-drafted free agent in 2016, Young’s career has taken many turns. Young pitched in one game for the Staten Island Yankees last season. He has also been used in five games in Tampa this season, working solely out of the bullpen.

     

    The Group of Catchers will seem familiar to Staten Island Yankees fans. Both Catchers on the Roster (Jerry Seitz and Christian Vazquez) are returning players, each having been with the team in 2016:

     

    Jerry Seitz – Originally Signed by the New York Yankees as an International Free Agent (Venezuela) in 2013. Seitz is returning to the Staten Island Yankees, after splitting his 2016 season between Staten Island and Tampa. Seitz missed the 2017 season.

    Charles [Chuck] Vazquez – Originally Signed as an Undrafted Free Agent by the New York Yankees in 2016. Vazquez is a returning player to Staten Island, after playing in four games during the 2016 season. This prospect played in the GCL and Pulaski during the 2017 season. Only appearing in 33 career games, Vazquez will be looking for an opportunity for regular playing time this season.

     

    The infielder class this season has an appearance of David and Goliath. Of the six infielders on the roster, four of them stand 5’10” or shorter. In comparison, the starting first baseman is a towering 6’4”:

     

    Jesus Bastidas – Originally Signed by the New York Yankees as an International Free Agent (Venezuela) in 2015. Bastidas was assigned to Rookie Level Pulaski in 2017, where he appeared in 40 games. Robert Pimpsner took some video of this Infielder during Spring Training.

    Andres Chaparro – Originally Signed by the New York Yankees as an International Free Agent (Venezuela) in 2015. Chaparro was assigned to Rookie Level Pulaski in 2017, where he appeared in 46 games.

    Danienger Perez – Originally Signed by the New York Yankees as an International Free Agent (Venezuela) in 2014 for $300,000. Perez will be returning to the Staten Island Yankees for the fourth consecutive season. This middle infielder will need to develop his offensive skills to regain his prospect status within the organization. After being pushed to the GCL in his first professional assignment, Perez has a career Batting Average of .232, and strikes out more than a quarter of his plate appearances. During the offseason, our own Ricky Keeler wrote up a Pinstriped Profile about this player.

    Ricky Surum – Originally Drafted out of College (Mount Olive) by the New York Yankees in the 16th Round of the 2017 MLB Draft. Surum played with three different Yankee affiliates in 2017; Tampa, Pulaski, and the GCL East Yankees. Our own Paul Pagnato wrote a Scouting Report about this Infielder, towards the end of the 2017 season. Surum was once the college teammate of fellow Staten Island Yankee prospect Aaron McGarity.

    Eduardo Torrealba – Originally Signed by the Boston Red Sox as an International Free Agent (Venezuela) in 2015. After his release in 2016, the New York Yankees signed this 5’8” Infield Prospect to a Minor League Contract. Torrealba was assigned to Rookie Level Pulaski in 2017, where he appeared in 52 games.

    Eric Wagaman – Originally Drafted out of College (Orange Coast College) by the New York Yankees in the 13th Round of the 2017 MLB Draft. This First Baseman Prospect spent the 2017 season playing for the Pulaski Yankees. Wagaman was named the #56 Prospect in the Pinstriped Prospects Pre-Season Rankings.

     

    The dynamic to the outfield this season will be rather interesting. Highlighted by well-regarded prospect Canaan Smith, this group of players is either trying to continue their performance from last season, or are trying to regain their prospect status after some disappointing seasons:

     

    Frederick Cuevas – Originally Signed by the New York Yankees as an International Free Agent (Dominican Republic) in 2014. This Left-Handed Outfielder spent the 2017 season with the Pulaski Yankees, and has played in seventeen games for Single A Charleston in 2018.

    Andy Diaz – Originally Signed by the New York Yankees as an International Free Agent (Dominican Republic) in 2014. Diaz split his 2017 season between two Yankees affiliates; Staten Island and Pulaski. Earlier this year, Ricky Keeler was able to write a Pinstriped Profile about this Outfield prospect.

    Ricardo Ferreira – Originally Signed by the New York Yankees as an International Free Agent (Domincan Republic) in 2014. Playing as an infielder during his first professional seasons, Ferreira is now a Center Fielder. This prospect is making his return to Staten Island, after playing here in 2016. Ferreira missed the 2017 season due to injury, but has appeared in 18 games this season for Charleston in 2018.

    Canaan Smith – Originally Drafted out of High School by the New York Yankees in the Fourth Round of the 2017 MLB Draft. The Outfield prospect spent the 2017 season with the GCL East Yankees. Smith was the #36 Prospect in the Pinstriped Prospects Pre-Season Ranking. We were lucky enough to have an interview with Canaan Smith, which is available on Episode 40 of the Pinstriped Prospects Podcast, and via a summarized transcript.

    Junior Soto – Originally Signed by the Cleveland Indians as an International Free Agent (Dominican Republic) in 2013. Acquired by the New York Yankees in the 2017 Minor League Phase of the Rule V Draft. Soto was named the #74 Prospect in the Pinstriped Prospects Pre-Season Rankings.

    * Profiles of all players included in this list were taken from the Pinstriped Prospects Player Database