The first week where all four of the full-season affiliates were playing six-game series yielded a mixed bag of results, with a few hitters having big weeks but several strong performances coming on the pitching side.
Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders
Record: 7-8 after losing four of six to the Syracuse Mets
Coming up: 6 games in Minnesota against the St. Paul Saints (Twins) starting on Tuesday, April 18
It was a tough week for RailRiders pitchers, as they gave up 47 runs to the Mets in six games. The starters in particular struggled to hold down Syracuse throughout the week, and only relievers Matt Krook, Barrett Loseke, Nick Ramirez, and James Norwood left the week unscored upon. On the offensive side, the names of Jake Bauers and Andrés Chaparro stand out. Bauers had a three-homer game and drove in eight runs in the first game of a Sunday doubleheader, and Chaparro (more on him below) broke out in a big way with five home runs in the series. The RailRiders got an unexpected boost with the return of outfielder Estevan Florial, who was DFA’d but cleared waivers and was then outrighted to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He responded with two home runs and nine walks in his first four games.
Players of note (stats are season totals):
OF Elijah Dunham: .308/.368/.442, 4 2B, 4 SB
1B Jake Bauers: .325/.481/.875, 6 HR, 13 RBI, 12 BB, 3 SB
SP Randy Vásquez: 11 IP, 9 ER, 8 BB, 15 K
RP Matt Krook: 8 IP, 1 ER, 13 K
RP James Norwood: 7.1 IP, 2 ER, 13 K’s
An update from down on the farm:— Max Goodman (@MaxTGoodman) April 16, 2023
Jake Bauers was 3-for-3 with 3 HR and 8 RBI today in Triple-A SWB.
Bauers is now hitting .333 (13-for-39) with 6 HR, 7 R, 13 RBI and a 1.355 OPS so far this season. pic.twitter.com/YPHAapHQFX
Double-A Somerset Patriots
Record: 5-4 after splitting six games with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Mets)
Coming up: Back home to take on the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays) starting Tuesday, April 18
Somerset averaged over five runs a game offensively, and that includes getting shut out on Sunday, but the contributions were spread throughout the roster. Catcher Anthony Seigler had a nice week at the plate, going 6-for-18, scoring five times, driving in five, and getting on base with three walks. Infielder Max Burt only had 12 plate appearances, but he got on base seven times and drove in six runs. The Patriots’ pitching was highlighted by starters Clayton Beeter (6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 7 K) and Blas Castano (5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 6 K), and though Richard Fitts got roughed up for six runs, he continued to rack up the strikeouts by getting 10 more in 4.2 innings. On an unfortunate note, reliever Alex Mauricio, who showed loud stuff and created some buzz in his spring training appearances, was placed on the 7-day injured list.
Anthony Seigler adds some insurance with an RBI double to give us a 2-0 lead in the fourth!— Somerset Patriots (@SOMPatriots) April 15, 2023
Seigs now has a five game hit streak with five RBI over that span pic.twitter.com/JRUbyb3eUY
Players of note:
SS Trey Sweeney: .259/.375/.481, 3 2B, 3 SB
3B Tyler Hardman: 4 for 24, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 12 K
C Carlos Narvaez: 5 for 20, 2 HR, .998 OPS
UT Max Burt: 8 for 17, 2 HR, 1.453 OPS
SP Richard Fitts: 8.2 IP, 8 ER, 18 K
LEADOFF SWEENEY BOMB— Somerset Patriots (@SOMPatriots) April 12, 2023
Yankees No. 7 prospect Trey Sweeney gets us started with his first homer of the year! pic.twitter.com/lCtH5bGNms
High-A Hudson Valley Renegades
Record: 5-4 after taking four out of six from the Aberdeen IronBirds (Orioles)
Coming up: On the road to face the Rome Braves for six games beginning Tuesday, April 18
If it can be said that in a week where you posted an OPS of 1.055 you came back toward Earth, you are off to a really good start. Spencer Jones did nothing to douse the excitement of his opening weekend by going 5-for-19 against the IronBirds, with all of his hits going for extra bases. Jones was helped by solid performances from Ben Rice and Spencer Henson, and maybe we started to see some positive signs from Anthony Garcia and Marcos Cabrera, who both homered this week. The pitching side saw three terrific starts from Juan Carela, Chase Hampton, and Zach Messinger, who combined for 14.2 innings of shutout ball, allowed eight hits and striking out 24 among them, and watch out for reliever Carlos Gomez, who struck out eight in four scoreless innings this past week.
MAMA, THERE GOES THAT MAN!!!— Hudson Valley Renegades (@HVRenegades) April 11, 2023
Spencer Jones with a MONSTER 3-Run HR for his third of the season in just 3.5 games pic.twitter.com/2XPl4ekEkz
Players of note:
C Ben Rice: 6 for 17, .353/.577/.471
2B Caleb Durbin: 8 for 28, .429 OBP, 4 SB
1B Spencer Henson: 6 for 24, .875 OPS, 2 HR, 9 RBI
SP Drew Thorpe: 10.2 IP, 5 ER, 5 BB, 15 K
SP Juan Carela: 7.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 BB, 13 K
Juan Carela can struggle with command, but fired 4.1 scoreless innings today, walking 3(2 of the first 4 batters) and striking out 9. Carela had 17 whiffs and a 37.3% CSW. Fastball sat around 92-93. Flashed a solid change and slider. Also throws a cutter. pic.twitter.com/SYJ9qeSPn1— Chris Clegg (@RotoClegg) April 16, 2023
Low-A Tampa Tarpons
Record: 4-5 after splitting a series with the Dunedin Blue Jays
Coming up: Back to George M. Steinbrenner Field for six games with the Clearwater Phillies beginning Tuesday, April 18
It was a quiet week for the Tarpons’ bats, as they scored only 13 runs in their six games against the Blue Jays. Infielder Brenny Escanio led the team with five hits for the week, and the team only hit two home runs, one each from catcher Agustin Ramierz and outfielder Nelson Medina. The pitching staff fared better, which accounts for the three wins despite the lack of offense, and the performance of starter Justin Lange jumps out from the group. Building off of his first successful outing, Lange threw five innings and allowed no runs on three hits while striking out 10. What’s most eye-catching is that he’s walked only two batters so far this season after averaging over seven walks per nine last year in the Complex League.
Justin Lange dominated this afternoon. He tossed 5 scoreless striking out 10 w/ 3H & 2 BB. FB sat 95-97 mph T98 mph, mixed CT at 86-90 mph, CHG 85-88 mph & SL 81-83 mph. Generated 25 whiffs. CHG up to 22 inches of HB, FF up to 18 inches of IVB, SL up to 13 inches of sweep #RepBX pic.twitter.com/8fhX85JzrI— Geoff Pontes (@GeoffPontesBA) April 17, 2023
Players of note:
OF Nelson Medina: 6 for 25, 1 HR, 2 2B, .785 OPS leads the team
2B Jared Serna: 6 for 27, 2 2B, .364 OBP leads the team
SP Sean Hermann: 10.2 IP, 0.84 ERA, 0.75 WHIP
RP Manny Ramirez: 4 IP, 0 ER, 7 K
*After reliever Harrison Cohen was promoted to Hudson Valley, right-hander Ocean Gabonia took his place on the roster.
Harrison Cohen 2022 NDFA out of George Washington tossed a clean 1.1 IP last night striking out one. FB was up to 94.6 mph, mixing mostly his changeup w/ up to 16 inches of run. Cohen was a Cotuit vet in the Cape Cod League, love seeing him finding success as a pro. #RepBX pic.twitter.com/Cjr5BzGKWo— Geoff Pontes (@GeoffPontesBA) April 15, 2023
**Outfielder and one-time top prospect Raimfer Salinas was released and later was suspended under baseball’s minor league rules for testing positive for a performance enhancing drug.
Prospect of the week: Andrés Chaparro
There was no way Chaparro was going to continue struggling the way he did in the first two series of the year. Off to a 1-for-31 start, Chaparro entered last week looking to get himself going, and did he ever. In six games against the Syracuse Mets he went 10-for-24, hit five home runs and a double, and scored eight times. His outrageous slugging percentage of 1.083 in the series brought his OPS for the season up near .800 already. Chaparro can’t be expected to rake like this every week, but the series with the Mets is more indicative of his talent than what we saw the two weeks prior. Even with Giancarlo Stanton down, the Yankees are unlikely to reach for Chaparro because he’s not on the 40-man roster, but should they feel a power drain in the lineup that could change.
How about this start for Yankees prospect Andres Chaparro at Triple-A.— Kyle Glaser (@KyleAGlaser) April 18, 2023
First seven games: 0 for 27, 13 strikeouts
Last seven games: 11 for 28, 6 HR, 3 strikeouts.