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A glove on the field of TD Bank Ballpark (Chris McCormack)


The State of the Yankees Farm System – 2023 First Half (Double-A & Triple-A)

Overall, the minors are a mixed bag through the first 60-something games. Of the full-season affiliates, two of the four, High-A Hudson Valley and Double-A Somerset, had winning records and they also clinched the playoffs as a result of winning their respective divisions. Somerset was the best performer of the 4 teams with a 42-26 (.618) record, with Hudson Valley coming in second with a 39-27 (.591) record, Tampa came in third with a 31-35 (.470) record and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in last with a 34-40 (.459) record.

We continue the installment today with the Patriots and RailRiders.

Double-A Somerset Patriots – (42-26)

The Somerset Patriots capped off the first half of the season with a Northeast Division First Half Championship. They will go to the playoffs for the second year in a row and look to defend their title. There have been multiple standouts for the Pats this year and it’s been a fun start to the Summer in Bridgewater.

Standout Starters: Will Warren and Clayton Beeter

Clayton Beeter and Will Warren were two big aces for Somerset this year. Warren started 6 games going 3-0 with a 2.45 this year in Double A. In the 6 games, Warren was an absolute strikeout machine putting away 39 batters in those 6 games. Warren was quickly promoted to Triple A Scranton. When Warren was called up, Beeter became the Ace of the staff. Acquired by the Dodgers for Joey Gallo last year, Beeter has so far looked to be a steal for the Yankees; he has been the leader of the group and was also called up to Triple-A. Beeter went 6-2 with a 2.08 ERA and struck out 76 batters before being called up. While Warren and Beeter have both struggled since being called up to Triple-A, they should still see the big leagues within the year. This may happen as early as September, as a reliever when rosters expand just to see some work. 

A Lineup of Pure Power

Austin Wells 

The Bridgewater Bombers had no shortage of big bats. The team has slugged their way thorough most games and have had some surprising standouts, as well. While Jasson Dominguez may be the top prospect in the organization, Austin Wells (who now ranks 2nd among Yankees prospects via MLB Pipeline) was the prospect who stood out the most to me. Don’t get me wrong, there are players having better first halves, but in terms of needs for the Yankees, he is the hitter who could find himself in the show as early as next year. 

Jasson Dominguez (Chris McCormack)

Wells is slashing .246/11HR/40RBI to this point in the year. He started the year on the Injured List and, while you would like the average to be better, anyone watching him this year you would know he is way better than the numbers show. Wells has shown that he is a leader on the field, as he has been called on to catch rehabs for Luis Severino and Carlos Rodon. He has also shown that he can be a leader off the field, even with players who are no longer at the Double-A level. Austin is very close with both Anthony Volpe and the Volpe family as a whole. He lived with them last year during the season and this year Wells was even able to help the struggling Volpe with his swing during an off day. He has the drive, talent, and attitude that it takes to be a catcher for the New York Yankees. Look out for him, as it is very possible that he could be part of something special with Judge and Volpe in a few years.


Austin Wells has thrived as the #3 hitter in the Patriots lineup (Chris McCormack)

Trey Sweeney

Another offensive standout this year has been Trey Sweeney, who currently is on a tear in the leadoff spot. Having Dominguez and Wells behind him certainly helps, but he has been the table setter that the Patriots offense has needed. While at the moment he is blocked at shortstop by Volpe and Peraza, there is certainly a road that leads Sweeney to the big leagues, and the Yanks would be smart to hold on to him. 


Additionally, Tyler Hardman has been a staple in the middle of the lineup as well. The 3rd Baseman has slugged his way to a team-leading 16 home runs and has been no stranger to the dramatics. On June 1st he blasted a go-ahead Grand Slam against a Portland Sea Dogs team that was fighting for that Northeast Division First Half Championship. 

Player to Watch: TJ Rumfield 

While the above 3 prospects are all within the Top 30 in the organization according to MLB Pipeline, there is a player on the outside who has made waves in the Patriots lineup. 1st baseman TJ Rumfield was not a player the Yankees drafted; however, Rumfield was signed going into the 2022 season from the Phillies organization. He has ascended quickly and has been yet another key bat in the middle of Somerset lineup. 

Rumfield is 2nd in team home runs with 14 and leads the team in RBIs with 40! The average for Rumfield is only .214 but as we know with this organization, batting averages can be low as long as the long ball in OPS is there.  Rumfield’s big stretch came a few weeks back where he went deep in 5 straight games spanning over two series. He is easily the player on this team who can creep into the top 30 simply based on his play and how the depth looks after the trade deadline in a month. 

A Look Forward

The first half was one to remember for Somerset. From walk off wins to a Northeast Division First Half Title, it has been amazing to watch this young team grow before our very eyes. The second half should be more of the same for this team! While we may say goodbye to some key players and fan favorites as they get called up, new stars will be Somerset-bound before we know it! In the second half, look to see top prospects Spencer Jones and Drew Thorpe get called up to finish the year. By the end of the season, it is safe to say that we will have seen 9 out of the top 10 Yankee prospects appear in Somerset. It’s been a privilege to cover this team, let’s see what the second half has in store! 


2023 Northeast Division First Half Champions (Chris McCormack)


Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders – (34-40)

The first half of 2023 was filled with change for the RailRiders. Early injuries to the Yankees caused some call ups in the first half of the season which is amazing for the players getting a shot, however, for the team itself it left a chemistry void. What’s exciting about this team is there are some ball players with big league talent that are just one call away from going to (or returning) to the show. Scranton finished the first half 34-40 and 7th in the East Division in the International League. 

Scranton Starters

The starting pitching for Scranton did not have the kind of first half you want to see from a team that could have players make spot starts. Mitch Spence and Tanner Tully both lead the team in wins with 5 a piece, however their ERAs are both north of 4.00. 

Randy Vasquez has made some spot starts at the big league level and has seen success. While in Scranton however his numbers have not been up to snuff. Vasquez’s stats for the Yanks are 1-1 with a 1.74 ERA. When he is with the RailRiders, his record is 2-8 with a 5.11 ERA in 13 starts. What’s crazy is that his 5.11 ERA ranks 3rd on the team for starting pitchers that started the first half in Scranton.

Will Warren was called up from Double-A Somerset and made his first start for Scranton on May 11th. In 7 starts with the RailRiders, Warren is 3-3 with a 5.22 ERA which in total is not bad for a player who was called up just over a month back. The number that is bothersome are the home runs allowed as he has given up a whopping 7 long balls in only 7 games. If Warren can control that, there is a chance we see him in the bigs come year end perhaps as a reliever to get some work in.  

Big League Ready Hitters 

Oswald Peraza

When players reported to Spring Training, it was assumed that Oswald Peraza would be the starting shortstop for the Yankees. As we know, Anthony Volpe flashed onto the scene and won the job. Since losing the job, Peraza has been by far the best hitter in the Scranton lineup. He’s hit so well in fact, that many fans are calling for him to be brought up to the bigs. This year in 36 games with Scranton, Peraza is slashing .275/11HR/24RBI and is the clear next man up when/if that time comes.

Another option for Peraza, which many may not like, is that they may use him in a deal at the deadline. It is all a matter of opinion on whether this is smart for the team or not. On one hand with Donaldson being in his walk year and DJ being a shell of himself, hanging onto Oswald and trading a package that would include Donaldson (eating most of his contract) and most likely a prospect or two for say a left fielder may be the move. The second option would be packaging Peraza in a deal to acquire another top flight starter but that begs the question as to who? When it comes to trading a player like Oswald, you want to make sure the starter you get will be well with it. Is there a starter available who they would consider? 

Estevan Florial 

The second player who is having a great year in Scranton is a name Yankee fans are familiar with and that is Estevan Florial. Florial has been far and away the RailRiders best offensive player in 2023. His .290 batting average leads the team for qualified players, as well as his 20 home runs. Florial is also 2nd in RBIs on the team with 46. Once a top Yankee prospect, it looked like he was destined to be a center fielder for the Yanks for years to come. However his struggles when he’s been called up to the Majors have been eye opening. Last year his batting average was a putrid .097 with 13 strikeouts in 17 games with the Yankees. He seems likely to be someone they Yankees shop around at the deadline as both Jake Bauers and Willie Calhoun and even Greg Allen have all gotten the call over him this year. The Yankees should trade him now while his value is probably the highest it has been in years. 

Player To Watch: Andres Chaparro

The name that Yankee fans may be less familiar with is Andres Chaparro. Scranton fans will know him very well as he has played in the most games for the RailRiders this season appearing in 72 games this year. Chaparro also leads the team in RBIs at 49 on the year totaling 3 more than Florial. Chaparro has a bat that could easily spark the Yankee lineup, he has power and especially come year end can be someone they call up and get a big hit come September if they need depth. He may not be on MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 Yankee prospects but just like TJ Rumfield, he is a player to watch here in the second half of the year as he could be en route to the Bronx sooner than most think.

A Look Ahead

While the first half may have not been what RailRiders fans wanted to see, the second half looks a lot more promising. Look for more promotions from Somerset in the coming weeks and months. By the time the season ends, we should expect to see both Austin Wells and Jasson Dominguez rocking the RailRiders pinstripes. Others names who could be called up are Richard Fitts, Trey Sweeney, Tyler Hardman, and TJ Rumfield. It should be a fun summer out in the Electric City.

Jasson Dominguez and Aaron Palensky (Chris McCormack)

On a personal note: I will now be covering Scranton as well as Somerset moving forward. The rest of the season for both these teams promises to be an exciting and eventful one.

Written By

Father, Husband, Baseball Writer

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