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Yankees prospects put together strong seasons at minors’ lower levels

The Yankees saw some of their youngest prospects put together strong seasons in the lower levels of the minors this season as the DSL and FCL regular seasons come to a close

MiLB: JUL 16 FCL Toronto Blue Jays at FCL New York Yankees
Brock Selvidge
Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Florida Complex League (FCL) and Dominican Summer League (DSL) wrapped up their regular seasons on Tuesday afternoon. The Yankees saw a number of strong performances from their youngest prospects at the two levels. Let’s take a look at some of the standout performers in the FCL and DSL from this season.

The FCL Yankees finished 38-16, which was good for a division title and the second-best record in the entire league. They have advanced to the league championship series to be played over the coming days. Led by a powerful offense, the team’s 367 runs was tops in the league by 23 runs, and they outpaced the third highest scoring team by 76 runs on the summer.

The best offensive performer for the FCL Yankees this season was Jesus Rodriguez. Rodriguez played mostly first base, but also spent some time behind the plate as a catcher. He hit .348/.434/.576 on the season with four home runs, four triples and 10 doubles. More impressively is that he struck out just 14 times in 152 plate appearances, while walking 15 times.

Also impressing during the season was infielder Jared Serna, who hit .302/.438/.527 on the year with six home runs. He was briefly promoted to Low-A Tampa before returning to the FCL to finish the season. Previously known for his speed, Serna displayed an ability to connect with the ball this summer.

Behind the plate for most of the FCL Yankees games was catcher Agustin Ramirez. He posted an .892 OPS for the team, while his strong arm gunned down 33 percent of would-be base stealers.

Luis Serna signed with the Yankees in May of 2021 to little or no fanfare. He started his career in the Dominican Summer League and excelled, earning a spot in the FCL this season. He is known for his elite changeup that has a significant velocity difference from his fastball. This makes his low-90’s velocity play up with that pitch.

For the season, the 18-year-old Serna recorded a 1.96 ERA with 56 strikeouts in 41.1 innings pitched. He was briefly listed on the Low-A roster, indicating a callup to the higher level, but he never pitched at the level. He is now ranked as one of the Yankees top-30 prospects by both Baseball America and and is the second-youngest player on each list.

Osiel Rodriguez allowed six earned runs in his first two outings of the season, lasting just a combined two innings. After that he turned a corner and was lights out the rest of the way. Over his last nine outings of the season Rodiguez posted a 1.80 ERA, with a 0.87 WHIP in 30 innings pitched. Rodriguez was one of the highest rated pitchers in the 2018 international free agent class but has battled injuries and inconsistencies early in his career.

Much like Rodriguez, Brock Selvidge struggled out of the gate but then turned it on over his last seven outings. In those game he posted a 1.82 ERA with 31 strikeouts in 24.2 innings pitched.

In the DSL the Yankees field two teams, the DSL Yankees and the DSL Bombers. The DSL Yankees posted a 30-28 record, while the DSL Bombers finished 27-33 on the season. The Bombers’ pitching staff led the league in strikeouts on the season, while the Yankees finished fourth in the league.

Middle infielder Keiner Delgado put together an amazing season for the DSL Yankees. He hit .310/.504/.506 on the year with three home runs, four triples and 16 doubles. He made a lot of contact, striking out just 11.7 percent on the time while earning 58 walks on the season, helping him finish second in the league in on-base percentage. He also stole 34 bases in 42 attempts on the season. Delgado manned shortstop early in the season before shifting to second base when Roderick Arias returned from injury.

Arias missed the first couple of weeks of action with an injury and then played in just 31 games on the DSL season. He never fully got his bat going, hitting just .194/.379/.370 on the season. Still considered to have elite tools, Arias will likely stateside next summer to the FCL.

The Yankees teams also received strong offensive performances from catcher Manuel Palencia (.323 BA), shortstop Enmanuel Tejeda (.956 OPS, seven triples) and second baseman Abrahan Ramirez (.940 OPS).

On the pitching side the Yankees had some exciting arms in the system but several of them did not make it through the entire season. One arm that did is that of 6-foot-7, lefty Henry Lalane. He tossed 48.1 innings pitched with a 2.98 ERA and 52 strikeouts. Leading the league in strikeouts was 18-year-old Jordarlin Mendoza, who sat down 77 batters in 55 innings on the year.

The lower levels of the minor leagues wrapped up their regular season this week. The FCL Yankees put together a very strong campaign and still have a chance to win the league championship in the coming days, while there were bright spots on both of the DSL teams. The standout performers will soon get their chance to prove what they can do at the higher levels of the system.