The long wait of no minor league baseball is about to finally come to a close. It’s been almost 20 months since the 2019 MiLB season came to a close, and holy hell, has a lot happened in the world since then. The entire 2020 campaign was wiped out due to the coronavirus, and minor league teams are still recovering from the lasting effects of a lost season.
The governance behind MiLB has changed too, as MLB now simply runs the show rather than working in tandem. The league is trying out different rules at different levels, so that will be something to watch in 2021. A whole bunch of teams were culled, short-season A teams like the Staten Island Yankees were mostly eliminated, and Advanced Rookie ball has gone the way of the dodo, too. This is going to hurt a whole bunch of baseball communities around the country, but for better or for worse, this is the new normal.
On Tuesday, the Yankees’ four minor league teams will begin play and our minor league recaps will return the following morning. They had not yet announced their rosters, but on Sunday morning, the Yankees’ player development Twitter account revealed how the players will line up in Triple-A Scranton, Double-A Somerset, High-A Hudson Valley, and Low-A Tampa:
Here’s how Scranton Wilkes-Barre (AAA), Somerset (AA), Hudson Valley (A+), and Tampa (A) are lined up to start the 2021 season: pic.twitter.com/oSHZmY6Lxe— NYYPlayerDev (@NYYPlayerDev) May 2, 2021
Some scattered thoughts on the minor league teams:
- Don’t waste your time searching for uber-prospect Jasson Dominguez, as he is not listed on any roster. He’ll begin 2021 in extended spring training. Remember: This is an 18-year-old who has yet to even play a single game stateside, so before putting him in Tampa, they might end up trying him in Rookie ball first when that gets underway.
- Expect Deivi García, Nick Nelson, and Albert Abreu to spend some time riding the “Scranton Shuttle” back and forth from the minors to the majors, though García could certainly end up seeing significant time in the majors eventually (same goes for Clarke Schmidt, though he is not listed as he’s beginning the season on the injured list).
- At the doorstep of the majors, Scranton also has a number of veterans who, though not on the 40-man roster, could still possibly pop up in The Show here and there throughout 2021 — the Derek Dietrichs, Robinson Chirinoses, and Adam Warrens of the world. Somewhat-forgotten 2018 hero Miguel Andújar will also begin his season in Triple-A. Now that he’s supposedly healthy again (and off the IL), he’ll have to fight his way back into the Yankees’ roster considerations from afar.
- In its debut season with the Yankees’ season, Somerset isn’t getting a very exciting bunch to kick off 2021. MLB Pipeline’s No. 5 prospect, Luis Gil, will toe the rubber there, and No. 10 prospect Estevan Florial will also man the Double-A outfield, but other than that? Not a lot to write home about unless you’re a big Glenn Otto guy (and good on you if you are!)
- High-A Hudson Valley has some fun names in tow — No. 4 prospect Oswald Peraza at shortstop, No. 7 prospect Luis Medina in the rotation, two notable catching prospects in Josh Breaux and Anthony Seigler, and infielder Ezequiel Duran as well. No. 9 prospect Alexander Vizcaino is also listed in Hudson Valley on the Renegades’ website but was not noted here, which makes me suspect that there is either a typo, or he’s injured.
- Down in Low-A, Tampa has No. 6 prospect Austin Wells at catcher, and he was the Baby Bomber who caught the most eyes in spring training. He’ll be battling skeptics who say that he can’t stick at catcher, but we’ll see how he fares in actual games. No. 11 prospect Anthony Volpe will also be in Tampa at shortstop. Like Vizcaino in High-A, No. 8 prospect Yoendrys Gómez is listed on the Tarpons’ website but was not noted here, so the same situation might be going on with him.
- Other notable prospects with unclear destinations as of now: outfielders Everson Pereira and Kevin Alcantara and lefty pitcher T.J. Sikkema. Infielder Josh Smith (the second-round pick in 2019) isn’t listed anywhere either, though Scranton beat writer Conor Foley tweeted that Smith injured his hand
- If you’re interested in any or all of these players, please check out the prospects section of our Season Preview Series!