The New York Yankees are continuing to clean up their minor league rosters as Spring Training starts to come to a close, releasing 5 more minor leaguers from their contracts this past Monday. Among those released was left-handed pitcher Conner Kendrick, catchers Matt Walsh and Alvaro Noriega as well as outfielders Junior Valera and Greidy Encarnacion.
Encarnacion, 21, has been in the Yankees organization since 2013 and played his first season in the United States in 2015 with the Gulf Coast League Yankees. In 125 minor league games, all at the Rookie-level, he hit for a .235 batting average with 11 doubles, 4 triples and 1 homerun while driving in 24 runs in that time.
Valera, 23, reached as high as Short-Season A Staten Island in 2015 where he hit .305 in 51 games for the Baby Bombers as an outfielder. The former second baseman has been with the Yankees since 2011, having spent 3 seasons in the Dominican Summer League before coming over to the United States in 2014 with the Gulf Coast Yankees. He is a career .296 hitter in the low-minors with 34 doubles, 22 triples and 3 homeruns while driving in 77 runners in 194 career games.
Noriega, 21, spent the 2015 season with 3 different teams, reaching as high as Single-A Charleston. The right-handed hitting catcher hit just .163 in 2015, and has a combined .241 batting average in 164 career games, with most of his at bats coming in the Gulf Coast League. He made his professional debut in 2012 with the Dominican Summer League Yankees.
Walsh, 23, was signed by the Yankees as a Non-Drafted Free Agent last season and played in 15 games for the Pulaski Yankees, hitting just .136 over 44 at bats.
Left-handed pitcher Conner Kendrick, 23, reached as high as Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2015 and was a former ninth round draft pick of the Yankees. He began his career in 2013 with the Staten Island Yankees before pitching for the Tampa Yankees in 2014 and in 2015 saw time with 4 different affiliates and all 4 levels of full-season ball. He owns a career 10-19 record with a 5.02 ERA in 62 games, 35 starts. In 3 seasons he threw a total of 211 2/3 innings, striking out 172 batters while walking just 90.