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Hayden Wesneski throwing a simulated game during Yankees minor league mini-camp (John Brophy/Pinstriped Prospects)

Yankees MiLB Previews

Pinstriped Previews: Hayden Wesneski looks to get RailRiders on track

Last night, the Yankees organization combined to go 3-1 in the four games that were played. Hudson Valley’s offense continued to stay red-hot while Somerset found a way to welcome back their fans with a walk-off win.

Tonight, Hayden Wesneski will make his second start of the season and the Tarpons will have one of last year’s draft picks make his professional debut. Find out who else takes the mound with our Pinstriped Previews:

Yankees pitching prospect Hayden Wesneski speaks with the media (John Brophy/Pinstriped Prospects)

Triple-A

Norfolk Tides (4-3) vs. Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (4-2)

6:35 PM ET I PNC Field

RHP Chris Ellis vs. RHP Hayden Wesneski (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

The RailRiders were unable to take the series opener against Norfolk as they lost Tuesday night’s game, 3-1. Despite the loss, Estevan Florial went 3-for-3 with a walk and two doubles at the top of the order, Miguel Andujar was 2-for-4 with an RBI double, and Matt Krook struck out seven hitters and gave up one unearned run on five hits over 4.2 innings.

Tonight, the RailRiders try to avoid a third straight loss with Hayden Wesneski on the mound. Wesneski used his slider well in his last start against Syracuse on April 6. He allowed two hits and struck out four over five scoreless innings on 60 pitches (38 strikes). Any time Wesneski was in a jam, he was able to rely on good defense from Oswald Peraza and good use of his offspeed pitches.

The Tides will go with Chris Ellis in this one. Ellis was a 3rd Round pick of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (88th overall) in 2014. He signed a minor league contract with the Orioles this March.

While Ellis hasn’t faced Scranton Wilkes-Barre before, he did face the New York Yankees twice last year as a member of the Orioles rotation. In two stars against New York, the 29-year-old right-hander went 9.2 innings, allowed two runs on four hits, walked seven batters, and he struck out five.

Anthony Volpe. Photo by Matt Kardos

Double-A

Erie SeaWolves (2-2) vs. Somerset Patriots (3-1)

6:35 PM I TD Bank Ballpark

LHP Adam Wolf vs. RHP Mitch Spence

The Patriots took the home opener in walk-off fashion on Tuesday thanks to a Brandon Lockridge double in the bottom of the ninth inning. They will look to ride the momentum from last night with the Double-A debut of Mitch Spence on the mound.

Spence was a 10th Round pick of the Yankees in 2019 out of South Carolina-Aiken and he is one of the pitcher that has gone under-the-radar in the organization. At High-A Hudson Valley last year, the 23-year-old was 7-6 with a 3.94 ERA in 23 games (20 starts). Spence had 118 strikeouts and walked 37 over the course of 105 innings.

As Spence nears his first start in Double-A, he did struggle at the end of last season. Over his final four starts, he went 0-3 with a 5.12 ERA and he had 25 strikeouts to 9 walks in 19.2 innings. With that being said, he had 8 or more K’s on five different occasions and he only went fewer than five innings in 6 of his 20 starts.

The SeaWolves will have a pitcher making his Double-A debut as well in left-hander Adam Wolf. The southpaw was selected in the 5th Round of the 2018 MLB Draft by the Tigers.

The 25-year-old spent most of the season last year at High-A West Michigan and he went 4-5 with a 4.20 ERA in 16 starts. He had 74 strikeouts to 25 walks in 79.1 innings of work. Wolf faced some of the Patriots last year when he was with Low-A Lakeland. On June 2, 2021, Anthony Volpe was 2-for-4 with a home run. In two games against Wolf, Volpe had four hits and two RBIs in eight at-bats.

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Blane Abeyta (Photo by John Brophy / Pinstriped Prospects)

High-A

Hudson Valley Renegades (3-1) vs. Rome Braves (2-2)

7:00 PM I State Mutual Stadium

RHP Blane Abeyta vs. RHP Roddery Munoz

The Renegades brought their bats down to Georgia and took the opener with a convincing manger, 11-1. Everson Pereira, Trey Sweeney, and TJ Rumfield all went yard in the victory with Rumfield going 5-for-5 and 4 RBIs and a stolen base and Sweeney going 3-for-5 with 3 RBIs and a stolen base.

Blane Abeyta hopes the offense can continue to provide that support for him tonight in his High-A debut. The 23-year-old right-hander was signed as a non-drafted free agent out of Nevada in 2020.

While with the Low-A Tarpons a year ago, Abeyta was 5-3 with a 5.24 ERA in 14 games (7 starts). As a starter, he had a 7.36 ERA and he had 29 strikeouts to 14 walks in 25.2 innings of work. However, in both August and September last year, he held opposing hitters to a batting average of under .200 (.198 and .171 respectively).

Rome will go with Roddery Munoz in this game. Like Abeyta, the 21-year-old (turns 22 tomorrow) will be making his High-A debut. With Low-A Augusta last year, Munoz was 1-2 with a 6.67 ERA in eight apperarances (six starts) as opponents hit .282 against him over the course of 29.2 innings.

Richard Fitts (Photo Credit: John Brophy/Pinstriped Prospects)

Low-A

Dunedin Blue Jays (1-3) vs. Tampa Tarpons (3-1)

6:30 PM I George M. Steinbrenner Field

TBD vs. RHP Richard Fitts

There wasn’t much offense in Tampa on Tuesday, but the Tarpons found a way to win Rachel Balkovec’s first home game as manager, 3-1. Grant Richardson drove in all three runs as the Indiana outfielder hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the second  and he had an RBI single in the fourth.

On the mound, three pitchers helped lead Tampa to a win, including Ryan Anderson out of relief. Anderson allowed one hit and struck out four in 4.1 scoreless innings to pick up the win.

Tonight, the Tarpons will go with Richard Fitts in what will be his professional debut. Fitts was selected in the 6th Round of last year’s draft out of Auburn University. The 22-year-old right-hander has a fastball that can get up to 97 mph to go with a changeup and a slider. While Fitts was mainly a reliever at Auburn up until 2021, it will be interesting to see the development path the Yankees decide for him.

 

 

 

 

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Written By

I am an alum of St. John's University, where I majored in sports management.

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