The 2022 Minor League Baseball season is finally here. Even though the big-league club doesn’t begin their season until Thursday afternoon and three of the four affiliates don’t play ball till Friday, a Yankees affiliate will take the field tonight in upstate New York.
Our site has beat writers at all four affiliates and the Florida Complex League as we get to cover another season here at Pinstriped Prospects, so be sure to keep it here for all of the action that takes place in the system.
Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders vs. Syracuse Mets
NBT Bank Stadium I 6:35 PM ET
LHP Matt Krook vs. LHP Thomas Szapucki
It will be a battle of southpaws tonight in Syracuse as Matt Krook will take the ball to start the first game of the 2022 season for the RailRiders. Krook had a good first year in the Yankees system in 2021. Over the course of 24 games (21 starts) at Double-A Somerset and Triple-A combined, he went 7-6 with a 2.89 ERA and had 132 strikeouts to 60 walks in 105 innings pitched.
The 27-year-old got called up to Triple-A last June and he ended his season on a good note. Over his final five outings of the season, Krook went 3-1 with a 0.64 ERA in five games (four starts) and he allowed just two runs in 28 innings pitched.
In terms of the pitcher vs. hitter matchups for Krook, two names to keep an eye on for the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate are shortstop Ronny Mauricio and third baseman Mark Vientos. Mauricio will be making his Triple-A debut while Vientos got the chance to play 11 games with Syracuse a year ago (.278, 3 HR, 4 RBIs, .978 OPS).
As for the Mets, Szapucki will be going into his age-26 season. The fifth-round pick back in 2015 for New York ended up making his MLB debut last year. Unfortunately for him, his season ended early last year due to needing ulnar nerve transposition surgery.
While in Triple-A last year, Szapucki went 0-4 with a 4.10 ERA in ten games (nine starts) and had 41 strikeouts (28 walks) in 41.2 innings pitched.
When looking at the potential RailRiders lineup tonight, the focus will be on the infield who are on the Yankees’ 40-man roster in Oswald Peraza and Oswaldo Cabrera. Both of them ended 2021 in Triple-A and will look to make an impression in their first full year in Scranton.
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