<— He probably won’t be one of them. Not yet, anyway.
But that’s certainly not to say that this year’s Somerset roster won’t be prospect-laden, particularly on the mound, where the starting rotation could contend to be one of the best in the Northeast League.
Using Baseball America’s list of the top Yankees prospect in their annual Prospect Handbook — which is an invaluable asset and you should totally grab this year if you can — as a guide, here’s who you might end up seeing in pinstripes (I mean, there’s no way the yet-to-be-unveiled new jerseys don’t have them, right?) at TD Bank Ballpark this season.
1) Jasson Dominguez
It would take the absolute perfect storm for Dominguez, who is just 18 and has yet to play in an official minor-league game, to reach Double-A this season. That isn’t doubting a potentially generational talent. That’s simply pointing out how rare it is for anyone that age and that inexperienced to get there that quickly. Only one player under 20, Washington’s Luis Garcia, broke a Double-A Opening Day roster last year.
2) Deivi Garcia
Nope. Garcia’s Double-A days are behind him, as he’s competing for a spot in the Yankees rotation.
3) Clarke Schmidt
I wouldn’t be completely shocked to see him make a short stay here this season. Schmidt opened camp in contention for that final rotation spot, but a right elbow strain sidelined those hopes immediately. When he gets healthy enough to return, keeping in mind the 25-year-old only has 25.1 career innings at 2A or above, it might make sense to work him back slowly with a trip to Somerset after Tampa if a rehab assignment is needed.
4) Luis Gil
For sure. Gil could very well be Somerset’s Opening Day starter, and is so far their first and only player officially assigned to the roster to date.
5) Austin Wells
Most likely not. Wells, the Yankees first rounder in 2020, will turn 22 this year and could move quickly, but it would be hard to see him getting past Tampa this season.
Possibly at the end of the season. Still only 20 years old, Peraza wasn’t at the alternate site last year, and split 2019 between then-short season Staten Island and then-Low A Charleston. The shortstop will begin his year either back in Low-A in Hudson Valley, or at High-A Tampa.
7) Alexander Vizcaino
Yes. Vizcaino would seem poised to open this year in Somerset’s rotation. He’ll turn 24 years old this season, and as a 40-man roster member, could move quickly if performance warrants.
8) Miguel Yajure
Nope. Yajure was one of four prospects dealt in the Jameson Taillon deal.
9) Yoendrys Gomez
Most likely no. Gomez is just 21 years old, and is almost surely going to return to Low-A to start the season.
10) Luis Medina
Medina may get to Somerset at some point this season, but likely won’t be exploring Bridgewater on Opening Day. The oft-wild righty has just two High-A outings under his belt, and will surely need to prove his command has gotten better before being moved up another level.
11) Roansy Contreras
No. Contreras was dealt to the Pirates this off-season.
The oft-injured outfield prospect made his big league debut last season before even getting to the Double-A level. 23 years old, Florial would be a perfect fit in Somerset, and should be a staple in their outfield this season.
13) Ezequiel Duran
Probably not. Duran’s only professional experience came in short season ball in 2019, meaning he’s on track for a Hudson Valley or Tampa assignment this year.
14) Kevin Alcantara
He’s 18 years old. No. 2023 ETA seems more likely.
15) Alexander Vargas
Vargas is only 19 years old and, like Alcantara, likely a few years away from ever visiting Somerset should he progress that far.
16) Canaan Smith
Smith was one of the key pieces in the Taillon deal.
17) Andrew Volpe
Team officials would love it if Volpe made his way to Somerset sooner rather than later, but it’ll likely be a slow burn for the Jersey-born shortstop. A slow start in pro ball in 2019 didn’t help his stock in the organization, who may send him to Low-A this year.
Very, very possible. Sikkema could move quickly through the organization after the lefty starter blew through New York-Penn League competition in a very small sample size in 2019. It wouldn’t be shocking to see a Double-A assignment early on to challenge him, but Tampa to begin the year seems far more likely.
19) Beck Way
Probably not? Way was the Yankees fourth rounder in 2020, and has yet to throw a pitch in their organization, making it a bit hard to project where the 21-year-old could end up.
20) Albert Abreu
Well…it all depends. Things would have had to have gone pretty poorly for Abreu, 25, to return to Double-A if he remains a starter. He made his big league debut last year after a full season in Trenton, and the only reasonable way he sees this level again is if the Yankees need a place for him to get some innings if they convert him to a reliever.
21) Matt Sauer
Probably not. The 22-year-old will likely be brought along slowly after not having thrown a pitch in over two years by the time Opening Day rolls around thanks to elbow surgery in mid-2019.
22) Everson Pereira
No. Pereira, 20, last played in short season ball with Staten Island and will need to hit the full season Class A levels first in his development before Somerset is in consideration.
23) Antonio Cabello
Nope. 20 years old, Cabello’s last time on the field was in rookie ball. Give him a few years to get here.
24) Raimfer Salinas
Also no. Salinas had a solid showing in the GCL in 2019, but will need a few years before he’s ready for TD Bank Ballpark.
25) Antonio Gomez
Gomez is likely at least two years away from making his way to the Double-A level, and won’t turn 20 until November.
Yes. Although many places have Smith slotted for Tampa to begin the year, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see him up here on May 4 instead. Already 23 years old, time is of the essence for the LSU standout, who played exclusively at shortstop for Staten Island in 2019.
27) Anthony Seigler
Maybe. The Yankees first rounder in 2018, Seigler has struggled at the plate professionally, and hit just .175 with Charleston in 2019. Injuries have sidetracked him as well. His defense may continue to earn him opportunities to climb the ladder, but it seems more likely you’d see Josh Breaux here first.
28) Michael King
Nope. King made nine big league appearances last season, and will surely either be with the big club again or in Scranton.
29) Nick Nelson
No. Same thing, Nelson is 25 years old and established himself nicely in the Yankees bullpen last season.
30) Brooks Kriske
Kriske, 27, will likely only be an option at the upper levels this year. He struggled in his brief big league stint last year, but will either end up back there or in Triple-A.
31) Ryder Green
Probably not. A third-rounder of the Yankees back in 2018, Green has yet to play full season ball, and would seem to be a solid candidate to open up in Hudson Valley.
32) Maikel Escotto
Escotto was sent to the Pirates in the Taillon deal.
33) Trevor Hauver
Hauver was a third-rounder of the Yankees last year out of college and, at 22 years old, could move quicker than others if performance warrants. Having no pro ball experience, it’s hard to see him anywhere other than Low-A or High-A to start the year.
34) Barrett Loseke
Maybe. A former Arkansas standout, Loseke is already 24 years old, and performed well in Staten Island out of their bullpen in 2019. Likely a candidate to open up in Tampa with the chance for a quick promotion.
Probably not. Wesneski, 23, last pitched in Pulaski in 2019, but could potentially pitch his way to Tampa before the season is over.
36) Ken Waldichuk
Same deal as Wesneski, although his stuff and being a lefty may get him here a little bit more quickly. He’ll need to prove it in A-ball first.
37) Mitch Spence
Another young arm who hasn’t gotten past rookie ball, it seems unlikely he’ll make the jump past High-A this year.
38) Anthony Garcia
Just 20 years old, the young outfielder is at least a year or two away from getting an opportunity in Somerset, and it would be surprising to see him advance to High-A Tampa this year.
39) Brandon Lockridge
Very possible. Lockridge, 24, spent the entire 2019 season at Low-A Charleston and performed relatively well. Especially with Canaan Smith now out of the picture, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him in the Somerset outfield this season.
40) Matt Krook
Krook was taken by the Yankees in the minor league phase of this past winter’s Rule 5 Draft. A first-rounder of the Marlins back in 2013 who didn’t sign, Krook hasn’t pitched above the Double-A level in his career and could, at 26 years old, be coming here as the organization looks to see what he can do in game action.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com