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Yankees pitching prospect Beck Way speaks with the media (John Brophy/Pinstriped Prospects)

Yankees MiLB Previews

Pinstriped Previews: Velocity on Display Saturday

On the first full day of action in the New York Yankees system, the affiliates combined to go 4-1 in the five games (Scranton Wilkes-Barre had a doubleheader). It is clear the system is picking up right where it left off a year ago.

So, what is in store on Saturday night? Find out who is getting the ball in tonight’s Pinstriped Previews:

Luis Gil (Photo by Matt Bufano)

Triple-A

Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (4-0) vs. Syracuse Mets (0-4)

6:35 PM ET I NBT Bank Stadium

RHP Luis Gil vs. RHP Connor Gray

On Friday, the RailRiders offense hit five home runs in 15 innings en route to a doubleheader sweep of the Syracuse Mets. Ender Inciarte hit two home runs in Game 2 and Greg Bird had a home run of his own in Game 1.

The RailRiders will look to continue their first-week winning streak with Luis Gil on the mound. Gil made three appearances in spring training and was 1-0 with a 6.14 ERA as opponents hit .323 against him.

While at Triple-A a season ago, the 23-year-old right-hander went 4-0 with a 4.81 ERA in 13 games (10 starts). In 48.2 innings of work, he had 67 strikeouts and 32 walks. Gil does have the stuff to dominate opposing hitters, but the walks can be an issue at times (3+ walks in four Triple-A outings). He made his MLB debut a season ago, but now Gil will look to get off to a good start in 2022 as he tries to make it back to the Bronx.

The Mets will hand the ball to 27-year-old right-hander Connor Grey. Grey will be making his first Triple-A start as a member of the Mets organization. After being promoted to Double-A Binghamton in June 2021, he went 1-4 with a 4.55 ERA in seven outings (five starts).

In those seven games, Grey went at least five innings four times and he had five strikeouts in three of his final four starts of the year. Of course, Binghamton didn’t face Somerset a year ago, so most of these hitters will be seeing the right-hander for the first time.

Ken Waldichuk pitching for the Somerset Patriots on July 7, 2021. Photo by Chris Jones.

Double-A

Somerset Patriots (1-0) vs. Reading Fightin’ Phils (0-1)

5:15 PM I FirstEnergy Stadium

LHP Ken Waldichuk vs. RHP Adam Leverett

The Patriots began their 2022 season with a 6-2 win in Reading on Friday. There were three multi-hit games in the Somerset lineup. Anthony Volpe went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI in his Double-A debut. Elijah Dunham did not disappoint as well as he was 2-for-5 with an RBI and a stolen base.

Somerset will need more innings out of their starter today after Luis Medina only went 1.2 innings last night. Ken Waldichuk will get the start in this game. The 5th Round pick in 2019 was one of the better pitchers in the system in 2021. In 16 outings (14 starts) at Double-A, the 24-year-old went 4-3 with a 4.20 ERA and he had 108 strikeouts to 38 walks over 79.1 innings of work. While Waldichuk would have rough starts to begin his appearances, he would usually find a way to bounce back and turn it into a productive outing.

In fact, Waldichuk allowed two runs or fewer in four of his final five starts of 2021. For more on what Waldichuk is looking to improve on for his first start, check out what he said on Media Day written by our own Matt Kardos.

Reading will give the ball to 23-year-old right-hander Adam Leverett. Leverett was a 15th Round pick of the Phillies in 2019. Last year, he appeared in 32 games (23 starts) across three levels (High-A, Double-A, Triple-A). In those outings, he was 5-7 with a 3.68 ERA and he had 118 strikeouts to 44 walks in 117.1 innings.

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Beck Way (Photo by John Brophy / Pinstriped Prospects)

High-A

Hudson Valley Renegades (0-1) vs. Greenville Drive (1-0)

7:05 PM I Fluor Field at the West End

RHP Beck Way vs. LHP Shane Drohan

It was a tough opening night loss for the Renegades as the Drive were able to rally to a 7-6 victory. Despite the loss, Trey Sweeney hit a home run in his first High-A at-bat and Pat DeMarco had a 4-for-4 evening at the plate with a RBI.

Beck Way will get the start in the second game of the season. The 4th -round pick in 2020 finished his 2021 season with the Renegades. In his four starts, Way was 1-2 with a 7.71 ERA. Despite the high ERA, the 22-year-old right-hander had 29 strikeouts to 9 walks in 16.1 innings of work and he had six or more strikeouts in each of his four starts.

The Drive will go with 23-year-old southpaw Shane Drohan. Drohan was selected in the 5th Round of the 2020 MLB Draft out of Florida State. At Low-A Salem a year ago, he went 7-4 with a 3.96 ERA in 23 starts and he had 86 strikeouts to 45 walks in 88.2 innings of work.

Despite the high walk total, Drohan did cut down on the walks to end the year as he had a total of five walks in the last four starts of the year. According to our friends at Sox Prospects, Drohan has a fastball that is usually between 88-92 mph in velocity to go with a curveball and a changeup.

Low-A

Tampa Tarpons (1-0) vs. Lakeland Flying Tigers (0-1)

6:00 PM I Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium

TBD vs. TBD

In Rachel Balkovec’s managerial debut, the Tarpons used a four-run seventh inning to help them defeat the Lakeland Flying Tigers, 9-6. The difference in the game was a grand slam off  of the bat of Anthony Garcia. Marcos Cabrera added a home run of his own in the top of the second and Antonio Gomez gave Tampa the lead in the fifth with a bases-clearing triple.

As for who stood out on the mound, Danny Watson picked up the win in relief. The 15th Round pick in the 2021 MLB Draft got his first professional win as he threw two scoreless innings, allowed one hit, struck out four, and walked one on 32 pitches (21 strikes).

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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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