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The Yankees’ youngest prospects take the field as the rookie levels start their season

High ceiling arms and exciting bats are hitting the field for the Yankees at the lowest levels of the minor leagues.

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

With the opening of the Florida Complex League (FCL) and Dominican Summer League (DSL), the youngest prospects in the Yankees system have now hit the field for the season. While it is only occasionally that a video sneaks out from their games, their daily box scores and statistics are available and scouts will be scouring the complexes that they play at and filing fresh reports. Let’s take a look at the most promising prospects in the Yankees system who are playing at the lower levels.

The most well-known name at the lower levels of the Yankees system is Roderick Arias, and he has yet to play in an official game for the team. The highly touted shortstop was ranked by many observers as best International Free Agent in the most recent international signing class. So far, Arias’s official debut has yet to take place as he suffered a minor injury in the leadup to the season. Even with that being the case, all the reviews from the Yankees’ Dominican academy are very positive and he is still projected to be a switch hitting offensive force who also has plus defense at the shortstop position.

When the Yankees inked Anthony Rizzo and looked to move on from Luke Voit, the return in the deal was talented right-handed pitcher Justin Lange. Lange was originally selected in the supplemental first round of the 2020 draft by the San Diego Padres. He was limited in his professional debut due to a knee injury, but he still has a ton of potential with a high-90’s fastball and a promising slider.

In the third round of last year’s draft the Yankees selected left-handed pitcher Brock Selvidge. He saw limited action late last season and made his FCL debut earlier this week. Selvidge is routinely rated as one of the Yankees’ top-30 prospects and viewed as one of the higher upside arms in the Yankees system.

Hans Montero was the Yankees top international signee in the January 2021 signing class. He struggled in his professional debut but is returning to the DSL this season and hitting at the top of the lineup. Concerns about his very low exit velocities showed that he will need to add some strength and make more solid contact as he starts his second professional season.

Right-handed pitcher Denny Larrondo was a highly touted shortstop and center fielder before settling on the mound as a professional. The young Cuban pitcher is known as one of the better athletes in the Yankees system and has really good spin metrics on his pitches. Larrondo is still a project, but opponents have hit just .187 off him in 58 career innings to this point.

One player who has turned heads in his first couple of games of the 2022 season is shortstop Dayro Perez. Known for his speed on the bases last season when he stole 35 bases, Perez cranked two home runs in his first two games of the season. He is said to have very good range at shortstop, but has problems with errors that are common among young middle infielders.

Playing alongside Perez in the FCL is second baseman Jared Serna. Serna stole 24 bases in 28 attempts last season playing in the DSL. He showed strong bat-to-ball skills, striking out just 13.9 percent of the time, while walking in 17.6 percent of his plate appearances. He is off to a solid start in the FCL this year reaching base eight times in his first four games.

Also making the jump to the FCL this year is center fielder Daury Arias. After a strong professional debut in the DSL last season where he walked more times than he struck out, and posted a .902 OPS, he is picking up where he left off in the FCL.

Catcher Manuel Palencia signed with the Yankees as part of their 2019 IFA signing class. During his professional debut in 2021 he slashed .302/.374/.371 in the DSL while striking out just 15 times in 131 plate appearances. His high contact rate comes with little power, which is something the team will likely be looking for from the 19-year-old.

There are numerous other strong prospects in the Yankees system. On Thursday the Yankees saw two 6-foot-7 teenagers take the mound for their respective DSL teams. Both Angel Benitez and Henry Lalane have the potential to be pitching prospects we start seeing on prospects list by the end of this season.

The lowest levels of the minor leagues have kicked off and with it a number of intriguing prospects are hitting the field, some for the first time as a professional. The Yankees have a number of players who have already caught the eyes of scouts, but others will step on the field and show the progress that has come from their work behind the scenes.