Tomorrow is opening day across the minors and with that excitement comes roster assignments. On Sunday, the New York Yankees release the rosters for their full-season affiliates including the High-A Hudson Valley Renegades who are beginning their first season as a Yankees affiliate playing in a new league. TThe 2021 Renegades roster is one filled with intrigue and talent. From top prospects to under-the-radar players the Hudson Valley will be treated to a season of fun and excitement.
With arguably one of the most intriguing pitching staffs of the Yankees farm system, the Renegades staff is a strong mix of hard throwers and finesse pitchers. None more prevalent than the big right-hander Luis Medina.
Medina is a hard-throwing RHP out of Nagua, Dominican Republic, who spent 2020 at the Yankees alternate site and pitching in the Dominican Winter League, winning “Pitcher of the Year.” In 2019, Medina split time between Tampa and Charleston, making 22 starts and logging 103 2/3 innings. Look for Medina to be the guy starting on the mound opening day for the Renegades. While the numbers may not be pretty to many, Medina is coming off a strong second half in 2019 and a year of hard work to find the command to go along with his powerful stuff. With a fastball that sits in the high-90s and regularly reaches into the triple-digits, Medina has some of the best pure stuff within the organization but struggled with his command throughout his career. If his strong 2019 second half continues into the 2021 season he will poise to become a big part of the Yankees future plans.
Names to Know
The Renegades pitching staff includes a lot of names that many Yankees fans may not know but are names to watch as the 2021 season progress. Jhony Brito is one of them, he has been hampered with injuries early in his career, which has limited his development. But came back in 2019 with a strong season pitching in Charleston. The 23-year-old features a three-pitch mix, highlighted by a fastball in the low to mid 90’s. Brito, in 2019, had a 6-4 record with a 3.58 ERA while logging 100.2 innings.
While we do not have the full rotation yet, many on the staff have experience including left-handed pitchers Josh Maciejewski and Ken Waldichuk and right-handed pitchers Hayden Wesneski and Tanner Myatt. Both Maciejewski and Wesneski are considered top prospects with MLB Pipeline. Maciejewski was 4-5 with a 2.33 ERA in 2019, pitching in Tampa. Wesneski, a 6th round pick in 2018, worked in 18 games at the Rookie-level in 2019, punching out 30 in 28.1 innings. Tanner Myatt did a little bit of everything in 2019. Myatt pitched in 19 games, starting 3 and earning 3 saves. Waldichuk went 0-2 with a 3.68 ERA over 10 starts for the rookie-level Pulaski team in 2019 and has a fastball that reaches into the high-90s.
The bullpen will feature Justin Wilson. Wilson is a guy whose fastball has been known to reach triple digits. In 2019 Wilson pitched in 18 games with a 2-3 record and a 1.40 ERA. He also had 37 punchouts in 25.2 innings. Wilson flirted with triple-digits throughout the 2019 season and has worked hard in the off-year to perfect his pitching. Don’t be surprised if he moves fast this year.
In the Infield
Hudson Valley will also have one of their top shortstop prospects in Oswald Peraza. Peraza is an athletic 20 yr old shortstop out of Venezuela who has already spent time on the Yankees 40-man. He was signed in 2016, currently rated as the number 4 prospect in the Yankee system by MLB Pipeline, and Baseball America rates his arm as the best in the organization.
A couple of other guys to watch in the infield are Ezequiel Duran and Mickey Gasper. Duran is a 21 yr old out of Sam Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic. He spent 2019 in Staten Island, where he was an All-Star. Duran hit .256 with 13 HRs and 37 RBI. Duran possesses some of the best exit velocity numbers in the organization and has worked on improving his versatility in the field.
Mickey Gasper was a 10th round pick out of Bryant in 2018. He spent 2019 in both Charleston and Tampa hitting a combined .251 with 10 HRs and 53 RBI.
Behind the plate
Hudson Valley will play host to two of the Yankees top catching prospects in Josh Breaux and Anthony Seigler. Breaux spent 2019 in Charleston, where he hit .270 with 13 HRs and 49 RBI. Anthony Seigler was the #1 overall pick by the Yankees in 2018. The 21 yr old switch hitter out of Cartersville, GA, spent 2018 in Rookie-level, where he hit a combined .266 with 1 HR and 9 RBI in 24 games.
In the Outfield
A guy to keep an eye on is outfielder Brandon Lockridge. Lockridge was a 5th round pick out of Troy University in 2018. He spent 2019 in Charleston, where he hit .251 with 12 HRs and 56 RBI.
Another guy to focus on is one of the fastest in the Yankee system, Isaiah Pasteur. Pasteur was a 10th round pick out of George Washington University in 2018. In 2018 he hit .295 with 6 HRs and 14 RBI. Injuries have limited his playing time but he could surprise many this season.
Fans will have to wait a bit to see the team in action at Dutchess Stadium though as they are traveling to Lakewood to open up their season against the Jersey Shore BlueClaws on Tuesday.