We are less than two weeks out from the Dominican Summer League’s Opening Day on June 5th. That said, it’s time to start looking at position players who could make some noise and put themselves on the radar. Last season, most Yankees fans were mostly looking at Roderick Arias, and then Keiner Delgado emerged along with a few other guys like Enmanuel Tejeda, Henry Lalane, Carlos Lagrange, Omar Gonzalez, and Jordarlin Mendoza to name a few. Those players have now graduated to the Florida Complex League.
Being a top prospect in his International Free Agent class, the Cuban teen Brando Mayea is a must watch player heading into the season. Many are eager to see how well he plays and if he could potentially arrive in the FCL at some point during the short season. With this new crop of prospects, some will emerge and could command attention such as Gabriel Lara and Gabriel Terrero.
In no specific order, here’s the list of Yankees DSL prospects to keep an eye on heading into the 2023 season:
Brando Mayea – 17 | 5’11 180 lbs | RH/RH – CF
Brando was a Top 10 IFA Prospect, and was Baseball America’s No.2 prospect going into IFA Day. The Cuban teen phenom was the Yankees’ top international free agent signing during the off-season. Brando comes into his professional career with a lot of buzz and expectations. Undoubtably, there will be a lot of eyes on him.
Juan Matheus – 18 | 5’10 160 lbs | RH/SH – SS/2B/3B
2022: .252/.442 – .914 OPS | 17 XBH – 4 HR – 33 RBI | 15 SB | 23.8% BB% – 21.5% K% | 20.5 LD% | 46.1% Pull Rate
Matheus had an excellent debut season. Juan busted out the gate slashing .319/.515/.596 in June with 2 HR and 19 RBI. Although he struggled in July, he bounced back in August to close out the season. One thing Matheus continued to exhibit through his struggles was his ability to get on base via the walk, he put up almost 24% walk rate.
Matheus seems to have a flair for the dramatic, as he continued to provide clutch hits time and time again. He slashed .395/.557 with runners in scoring position, and in 8 ABs with bases loaded, he hit .500 with 12 RBI.
David Beckles – 18 | 6’3 215 lbs | RH/RH – OF
2022: .276/.388 | .785 OPS | 11 XBH – 5 HR – 28 RBI | 10 SB | 14.8 BB% – 27.8 K% | 20.9 LD% | 40.7% Pull Rate
Beckles’ rookie season in the Dominican Summer League was a successful one. He was one of DSL Yankees leaders in many offensive categories, such as DSL Yankees team in HR with 5, his 28 RBI and his 35 runs scored were both second highest on the team.
Santiago “Gallito” Gomez – 18 | 5’11 160 lbs | RH/RH – SS/2B
2022: .230/.394 | .771 OPS | 10 XBH – 3 HR – 14 RBI | 22 SB | 18.1% BB% – 25.2% K% | 26.3 LD% | 55.4% Pull Rate
Santiago Gomez had a solid rookie season in the Dominican Summer League. Gomez slashed: .230/.394/.377 with a .771 OPS. He smacked 10 XBH, including 3 HR. The 18-year-old also stole 22 bases, placing him 2nd on the team. Gomez showed off good plate discipline as noted by his 18.1 BB%.
Edinson Duran – 20 | 5’7 180 lbs | RH/RH – C/1B
2022: .341/.437 | 1.084 OPS | 14 XBH – 5 HR – 30 RBI | 10.7% BB% – 18.4% K% | 25.8 LD% | 60.3% Pull Rate
Edinson repeated the the DSL and this time around, he was a completely different player. Duran’s XBH increased jumped from 9 in 2021, including 4 HR to 14 XBH with 5 HR. The Venezuelan made a lot more contact, cut down his strikeouts, increased his line drive rate and his slash line jumped from .233/.333 w/.766 OPS to .341/.437 with 1.084 OPS.
As Edinson heads into this season as a 20 year old, he should be making his way towards the FCL this season.
Luis Ogando – 19 | 5’10 180 lbs | RH/RH – 3B
2022: .300/.417 | .857 OPS | 9 XBH – 2 HR – 17 RBI | 15 SB | 12.4% BB% – 15.7% K% | 27.8 LD% | 46.9% Pull Rate
Ogando had a solid rookie season in the DSL. The then 18-year-old made the most of his opportunities. In 34 games he slashed: .300/.417/.440 w/.857 OPS. Ogando tallied 9 XBH including 2 HR, while driving in 17. After showing that his bat belongs, Ogando should get more opportunities this season. It’ll be interesting to see how much more his production improves with more playing time.
Abrahan Ramirez – 18 | 5’9 160 | RH/LH – SS/2B/3B
2022: .333/.440 | .940 OPS | 7 XBH – 0 HR – 16 RBI | 14.7% BB% – 20% K% | 27.3 LD% | 37% Pull Rate
Ramirez had a very good debut last season, and made the most of his opportunities. Ramirez didn’t get much playing time because of the guys ahead of him, which have now moved onto the FCL. This opens the door for Ramirez to claim a starting position in the infield and continue to show off his hit tool.
Johan Contreras – 18 | 6’1 220 | RH/RH – C
2022: .327/.393 | .884 OPS | 5 XBH – 2 HR – 12 RBI | 9.8% BB% – 31.1% K% | 18.2 LD% – 47.1% Pull Rate
Contreras’s rookie campaign in the DSL was a solid debut. The 17-year-old catcher got limited opportunities but made them count. He slashed .327/.393 with 5 XBH in 55 At Bats. Contreras had a fair walk rate, but needs to cut down on the strikeouts. Johan should see more action this season and a potential move to the advanced DSL team is on the horizon.
Andres Lacruz – 17 | 5’10 160 | LH/SH – OF
2022: .190/.340 | .602 OPS | 2 XBH – 0 HR – 7 RBI | 1 SB | 15.1 % BB% – 22.6 K% | 19.2 LD% | 56.7% Pull Rate
Last season, Lacruz played less than half of the DSL games, due to his late arrival and likely because of the glut of prospects ahead of him in the pecking order. This season, Lacruz should see a significant increase in playing time with many of the guys that played on the advanced DSL Yankees teams moving onto the FCL. Lacruz has already hit 2 HRs during the pre-season extended spring training games going on in the D.R.
Gabriel Lara – 17 | 5’9 170 | LH/LH – OF
Lara was a 2023 IFA that signed in January. According to Baseball America, Lara is one of the fastest players in professional baseball as noted by his 80 Grade speed. If he’s able to get on base consistently, he should be a terror on the bases. To go with his speed, Lara posses a slasher stroke with some power to drive the ball into the gaps. He’s also got excellent defensive range in CF.
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