2021 Somerset Patriots Opening Day Roster: Infielders

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OswaldoCabreraOswaldo Cabrera

Cabrera was an internatonal free agent signing for the Yankees all the way back in 2015 — when he was just 16 years old — out of Venezuela, and the diminutive infielder has made the climb up the farm system ladder ever since.

Listed at just 5-foot-10 and 145 pounds, Cabrera has spent his last three full seasons playing stateside; he split 2017 between Staten Island and Charleston, spent all of 2018 with the RiverDogs and earned a promotion to Tampa for the 2019 campaign.

With the Tarpons, Cabrera played second base, shortstop and third base — he committed 25 total errors between the three positions — and hit .260 while setting new career highs with eight home runs and 56 RBI.

DiegoCastilloDiego Castillo

Castillo is another Yankees international free agent signing, this one coming in 2014.

Still only 23 years old, he’s since earned multiple invitations to Yankees big league camp, and actually has a .484 average in 31 MLB Spring Training at-bats.

Primarily a shortstop who’s also seen plenty of time at second base, Castillo graduates to Double-A after spending the entirety of his last two seasons at High-A Tampa.

Over the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Castillo was a .254 hitter who averaged three homers and 42 RBI per year.  He committed 27 errors last season, with 22 of them coming at the shortstop position.

DermisGarciaDermis Garcia

Garcia is another international free agent signing that eventually made his way to the Yankees Double-A infield, although he’s out of the Dominican Republic and not Venezuela.

The 23-year-old brings a bat worth watching to Somerset; he earned an All-Star Game nod in the Florida State League in 2019 thanks to a season in which he hit .247 with a team-high 17 homers and 54 RBI.

Garcia is primarily a first baseman with some time at third base as well, and figures to slot into the middle of the order in manager Julio Mosquera’s lineup.

HoyJunParkHoy Jun Park

Park is, you guessed it, an international free agent signing, this time out of South Korea, who has performed well at every stop of the minors, earning mid-season All-Star honors in both Charleston and Trenton.

Park has also been an invite to big league camp in each of the last four seasons for the Yankees, including this most recent spring training, where he got into 11 games.

Park, 25, is a middle infielder, who saw the majority of his time come at second base last season with the Thunder.  He’ll repeat the Double-A level this year, and looks to improve on a solid year in which he hit a career-high .272 with three homers and 41 RBI in 2019.

current-20Matt Pita

Pita was the Yankees 12th rounder in 2018, and has progressed quickly as a college draft guy.

After a standout collegiate career at the Virginia Military Institute, the 24-year-old has been a jack of all trades in the system at every level he’s been at, and likely will settle into a super utility role to start the season in Somerset.

He’s played all three outfield positions, plus second base and third base during his two years in the organization and split time between Staten Island, Charleston and Tampa last season, where he hit a combined .203 in 86 games.

current-22Brandon Wagner

Hey, another local guy!

Wagner brings some more local flavor to the Patriots, and is the third Jersey native on the roster.

Originally from Princeton, the 25-year-old was the Yankees sixth-round pick back in 2015 — he’d previously been drafted by the Phillies two years earlier out of Immaculata HS, which is only an eight-minute drive from TD Bank Ballpark — and will be spending his third year at the Double-A level.

Wagner hit just .177 with eight homers and 37 RBI in 117 games for the Thunder in 2019, and, just one year removed from a 20-bomb campaign with Tampa in 2018 — was sent to the Arizona Fall League in attempt to further his development after that.  He mostly played first base in Trenton, but did see significant time at both second and third as well.

He may be the odd man out of the lineup when Luke Voit is rehabbing, but figures to likely platoon with Garcia in an alternating first baseman/designated hitter role.

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