Anderson, 25, was the Yankees 40th round pick in 2018 out of Brown University, and gets a very ambitious for experience level, but perhaps not age assignment to Double-A after previously topping out at Rookie-level Pulaski in 2019.
In his lone pro season, Anderson, who was a starter in college, split his year with Pulaski between the rotation and the bullpen, and went 6-1 with a 3.28 in 11 appearances, including six starts.
He recorded 51 strikeouts in 46.2 innings of work with just 17 walks.
Curtis is a 25-year-old Alabama native who went 18 rounds earlier than Anderson in that same 2018 MLB Draft, but out of the University of Louisiana Monroe.
A righty reliever, this will be Curtis’ third professional season, and the numbers are impressive so far.
A solid first year in 2018 that was split between Staten Island and the GCL was backed up by a 2019 campaign where Curtis dominated Staten Island and what was then Low-A Charleston; he posted a 1.39 ERA between 16 appearances at the two levels, and recorded four saves en route to striking out 37 batters in 32.1 innings of work.
Espinal was signed by the Yankees as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic back in 2015, and has been working his way up the ladder ever since.
The 24-year-old reliever skips a level entirely with this assignment, going past High-A and directly to Double-A, and his 2019 numbers would seem to warrant it.
After spending his 2017 campaign exclusively at Rookie-level Pulaski, Espinal pitched well at Low-A Charleston in 2018 and earned a trip back there the following season. In 29 appearances — he finished 19 games for the Riverdogs and picked up five saves along the way — the righty went 1-2 with a 2.41 ERA, with 75 strikeouts in 59.2 innings of work.
Gadea’s story is an interesting one.
Now 26, he was taken by the Tampa Bay Rays as a Rule 5 selection prior to the start of the 2017 season, but elbow issues have kept him from throwing a competitive pitch ever since.
Yes, the Nicaragua-born starter has no stats since the end of 2016, where he was a fast-riser coming up through the Seattle Mariners system.
He’d previously topped out at the Low-A level during that 2016 season, where he went 3-0 with a 2.15 ERA with the Midwest League’s Clinton LumberKings. He recorded a career best 12.9 K/9 that year, and is a career strikeout per inning pitcher with 228 K’s in 225.2 innings of work.
From a prospect standpoint, Gil is your main attraction on this current Somerset Patriots roster and also your likely Opening Day starter.
A member of the Yankees 40-man roster, Gil is ranked as Baseball America’s number four prospect in the organization and tops among pitchers who haven’t already made their big league debut (Deivi Garcia and Clarke Schmidt are ahead of him).
Gil throws an upper 90’s fastball, slider and changeup and impressed during a brief stay in big league camp, striking out three batters in two innings of work over the course of two perfect outings.
Only 22 years old, Gil had made just three appearances at the High-A level back in 2019, and spent most of the year in Charleston, where he went 4-5 with a 2.39 ERA in 17 starts, racking up an impressive 112 strikeouts in 83 innings of work…although it’s also important to note that he averaged slightly less than five innings per start, likely the product of a strict organizational pitch count.
Gomez was a free agent signing by the Yankees during this most recent off-season after spending two seasons in the Philadelphia Phillies organization.
A 24-year-old righty reliever, Gomez played his college ball at Cal Poly and went undrafted, but signed with the Phillies in 2018 and spent that year in the GCL.
In the most recent year that Minor League Baseball was actually, you know, played, Gomez split time between three different levels of A-Ball; he pitched for Williamsport, Lakewood and Clearwater and performed well in each stop. In 18 appearances between the three teams last year, he put up a 2-0 record, 1.15 ERA and two saves along with 34 strikeouts compared to just eight walks in 31.1 innings of work.
The 25-year old was the Yankees 22nd round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft, and figures to end up somewhere in Somerset’s starting rotation this season after a slow climb up the organizational ladder ever since.
A 6-foot-1, 177-pound righty, Junk performed well at the GCL level in 2017, earning a promotion to Charleston for 2018, where he went 7-5 with a 3.77 ERA.
“Last year,” so 2019, things didn’t go quite as well, although he was called upon to help out at the Double-A and Triple-A levels with one start at each stop. However, he truly spent his season at High-A Tampa, where the numbers weren’t quite as good as the year before.
Junk posted a 4-6 record and 5.24 ERA in 20 outings for the Tarpons — 20 appearances, 12 starts — and a 1.654 WHIP is perhaps the best indicator of his overall struggles that year.
Krook was the Yankees first selection in this off-season’s Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft, and certainly has the pedigree to be one of the more interesting arms to watch this season.
Now 26, the Hillsborough, California native was taken with the 35th overall pick by the Miami Marlins back in 2013, but went to college after reportedly failing his physical, where he was a wild, but effective starter at Oregon.
The southpaw was drafted again, this time by the Giants, in the fourth round in 2016, but struggled in their organization and was traded to Tampa Bay as a part of the Evan Longoria deal.
Although command remained an issue, the pure stuff shown with Double-A Montgomery was enough to earn him an invite to the prestigious Arizona Fall League after the 2018 season. He returned to Montgomery in 2019, and was used both as a starter and reliever.
Hey, a local guy!
Toms River’s own Ron Marinaccio makes the easy trip to Double-A Somerset this season, and should be a stable force as a reliable righty in Julio Mosquera’s bullpen.
Marinaccio, 25, was taken in the 19th round of the 2017 MLB Draft out of the University of Delaware, and made a good first impression with a strong showing in his pro debut later that year in the GCL.
After splitting 2018 between Staten Island and Pulaski, Marinaccio spent all of 2019 with Low-A Charleston, where he put up a 0-0 record and 4.18 ERA out of the back end of their bullpen, striking out 40 batters in 32.1 innings of work.
With the assignment to Somerset, Marinaccio skips High-A entirely.
Although Gil will garner the majority of the attention, Otto is very much so worth watching and will likely find himself towards the front of Somerset’s starting rotation this season.
Despite now being 25 after spending three years playing college ball at perennial pitcher production palace Rice, Otto has been moved slowly, but surely through the Yankees system, and he’s set to make his Double-A debut sometime early in this upcoming homestand against Harrisburg.
Otto is a legitimate prospect — MLB Pipeline has him ranked #28, while he didn’t crack Baseball America and their top 30/40 — and has earned invites to big league spring training with the Yankees in each of the past two seasons; he spun three scoreless outings this year.
The Spring, Texas native has climbed the ladder one step at a time each year; he spent 2017 in Staten Island, 2018 in Charleston — that season was cut short very early after surgery to remove a blood clot in his shoulder — and 2019 in Tampa. Notably, he dazzled in Arizona Fall League competition after that 2019 season, going 3-1 with a 1.88 ERA in six starts.
Just as notably, he’s been used very sparingly from an innings standpoint. In 28 outings in the Yankees system (20 starts), he’s got just 91.2 innings under his belt.
Ridings was signed as a minor league free agent by the Yankees this past off-season, and it’ll be fascinating to see how it unfolds for the big 6-foot-8, 220 pound righty.
The 25-year-old was taken in the eighth round by the Chicago Cubs in the 2016 MLB Draft, but the Haverford College alum has very limited pro experience since then.
He spent two seasons in the Cubs organization, advancing to Low-A Eugene before heading to the Kansas City Royals farm system (via trade) in 2019, for whom he made 13 appearances in the-then Rookie-level Pioneer League.
The Double-A assignment is perhaps an ambitious one, but with Ridings also having been used as a starter and reliever during his three pro seasons, gives Somerset a versatile and intriguing arm.
A 2017 draft pick of the Seattle Mariners, Sears was included in a trade later that year that sent him to the Yankees organization in exchange for Nick Rumbelow.
The southpaw has mostly been used as a starter ever since; ten of the 11 appearances he made for Low-A Charleston in 2018 were as a starter, and six of the 13 for High-A Tampa the following year were as well.
5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, Sears has still racked up impressive strikeout numbers over his career despite being undersized — 150 K over 130.1 MiLB innings — and also has a career a whip just a tick over one.
Hey, another local guy!
Voorhees native Shawn Semple remains in the Garden State for a second straight season after finishing his 2019 campaign with a promotion to Double-A Trenton.
The 25-year-old pencils in as a middle-of-the-rotation starter in Somerset this season, and is coming off of a whirlwind year where he pitched at four different levels.
A hot start in Low-A Charleston earned him a quick promotion to High-A Tampa, where he went 1-4 with a 4.32 ERA over 13 starts to eventually get the call to Trenton in late July. He posted an 0-3 record and 5.00 ERA in seven appearances with the Thunder in 2019, and was also summoned to make one appearance at Triple-A Scranton earlier in the year as well.
Originally signed by the Colorado Rockies as an international free agent in 2015, Valdez was acquired by the Yankees after the 2018 season in exchange for Jordan Foley.
The 25-year-old righty reliever split the 2019 season, his first in the Yankees organization, between Low-A Charleston and High-A Tampa, and struggled at the latter.
In 13 appearances for the Tarpons, Valdez posted a 2-3 record and 6.98 ERA, with 14 walks and 22 strikeouts in 29.2 innings of work.
Weissert once again gets to pitch close-ish to home this season, as the Bay Shore, New York native will be in Double-A Somerset to start the season.
The 26-year-old righty reliever wrapped up his 2019 season with a successful stint in Trenton, where he went 1-2 with a 1.88 ERA while posting 28 strikeouts in 24 innings of work.
An 18th-round pick in 2016 by the Yankees out of Fordham University, Weissert enters his fifth season in their organization, and has been a steady bullpen presence wherever he’s been. In his first four MiLB seasons, Weissert has racked up 222 strikeouts in 173 innings of work.