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Yankees Prospects: Week 11 minor league review

Dominant starting pitching performances and fireworks from T.J. Rumfield and Christopher Familia were highlights of last week.

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays
T.J. Rumfield
Photo by George Kubas/Diamond Images via Getty Images

In a week that saw all of the Yankees’ affiliates bring their run differentials for the season onto the positive side, there were more outstanding starts from the names you are beginning to expect, and the explosive bats of T.J. Rumfield and Christopher Familia drew some attention.

Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders

Record: 29-33 and 14 games back in the International League East after losing three out of five games to the Norfolk Tides (Orioles). One game in the series was not played due to extremely poor air quality.

Run Differential: +26

Coming up: On the road for six games against the Rochester Red Wings (Nationals) starting on Tuesday, June 13th

With former RailRiders Jake Bauers, Willie Calhoun, and Billy McKinney now all up with the big club, some new faces are beginning to establish themselves with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. One of them belongs to Brandon Lockridge, who arguably could have broken camp in Triple-A but was not promoted until last week. Lockridge was having a terrific season with Somerset, and the center fielder brings defense, speed, and hopefully some offensive disruption to the lineup. The outfield group of Estevan Florial, Franchy Cordero, Elijah Dunham, and now Lockridge figures to be a productive one, or at least it was last week as the quarter combined for 4 homers, 3 doubles, 12 runs scored, and 13 RBI.

The pitching staff also got a little help from Somerset as reliever Tanner Myatt was brought to Triple-A. With Matt Krook and Nick Ramirez in the Bronx and Ryan Weber likely out for the year, the bullpen was in need of a little help. Myatt had struck out 25 in 22.2 innings with the Patriots, and he has the stuff to be competitive at the higher level, but he also walked 20 in those innings and showed that control issue while laboring through 1.1 innings of a scoreless Triple-A debut.

Players of note (stats are season totals):

3B Andrés Chaparro: .769 OPS, 11 HR, 36 RBI, 10 2B, 38 R, 24 BB

OF Estevan Florial: 1.028 OPS, 14 HR, 34 RBI, 40 R, 34 BB, 12 SB, 67 K

SS Oswald Peraza: .980 OPS, 10 HR, 21 RBI, 21 R, 4 2B, 7 SB (missed Saturday & Sunday with illness)

C Rodolfo Durán: .837 OPS, 7 HR, 27 RBI, 11 2B, 18 R

SP Will Warren: 7.08 ERA, 20.1 IP, 23 H, 10 BB, 21 K

SP Mitch Spence: 4.21 ERA, 62 IP, 59 H, 23 BB, 53 K

RP Aaron McGarity: 4.91 ERA, 29.1 IP, 17 H, 12 BB, 40 K

RP Greg Weissert: 2.89 ERA, 18.2 IP, 13 H, 10 BB, 26 K

Double-A Somerset Patriots

Record: 34-22 and a half-game back in the Eastern League Northeast after taking five out of six from the Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies)

Run Differential: +59

Coming up: Home for six games against the Altoona Curve (Pirates) starting Tuesday, June 13th

WIth Clayton Beeter ablaze this week (more below) and named Eastern League Pitcher of the Week, it would be easy to overlook the work of Richard Fitts. It’s easy to take a backseat to someone who puts up the numbers Beeter did against the Yard Goats, but Fitts can put a gold star next to his start last week as well. In eight innings, he gave up three hits, two walks, and a run while striking out 10. He’s been stringing together good outings, and in an update of their Top 30 Yankees prospects last week, Baseball America had Fitts at number 15. The arrow is pointing up for the 23-year-old, and it would not be a surprise if he is generating attention outside the Yankees organization as we enter the summer.

There’s some cautious optimism for Yoendrys Gómez is appropriate after his third successful appearance. He’s yet to give up a run in almost a complete game’s worth of work as he builds back up after missing nearly all of the first two months of the season. Gómez seems to be throwing his fastball in the low-90s, and perhaps he’ll pick up a tick or two in the coming weeks.

Fitts is not the only Somerset prospect climbing the prospect rankings at Baseball America. T.J. Rumfield entered their updated list at No. 17, in a week that saw him blast four home runs against Hartford and not a cheap one in the bunch. It would appear Rumfield is tapping into the power potential the Yankees have seen in him since they acquired him from the Phillies last year, and considering the 23-year-old barely has above 500 at-bats in his career, he’s likely just getting started.

Players of note:

OF Jasson Domínguez: .756 OPS, 9 HR, 36 RBI, 46 BB, 15 SB, 40 R

C Austin Wells: .861 OPS, 8 HR, 28 RBI, 7 2B, 18 R (30 games)

1B T.J. Rumfield: .800 OPS, 10 HR, 31 RBI, 5 2B, 26 R

3B Tyler Hardman: .789 OPS, 11 HR, 30 RBI, 27 R, 5 2B, 2 3B

SP Clayton Beeter: 2.13 ERA, 55 IP, 41 H, 69 K, 29 BB

SP Richard Fitts: 4.25 ERA, 59.1 IP, 59 H, 65 K, 15 BB

SP Yoendrys Gómez: 0.00 ERA, 8.2 IP, 4 H, 9 K, 3 BB (3 starts)

High-A Hudson Valley Renegades

Record: 33-24 and leading the South Atlantic League North by one game after winning four out of six with the Jersey Shore BlueClaws (Phillies)

Run Differential: +61

Coming up: Home for six games against the Rome Braves beginning Tuesday, June 13th

While the Hudson Valley bats have cooled off from their early-season thunder, the pitching rotation continues to roll. The names of Chase Hampton, Drew Thorpe, Zach Messinger, and Juan Carela should be familiar right now, and the numbers they are putting up are eye-popping. The “worst” start of the four last week came from Carela, and that was in a game where he struck out 10 in 5.2 innings pitched. He did allow three earned runs, which isn’t bad, but the other three guys combined only let up a single run in 17.1. That’s good competition to have in your own clubhouse. Thorpe* followed his best outing of the season by perhaps topping it, punching out 12 in 7 innings without walking a batter.

*My colleague Andrés will have more on Thorpe later today.

We should also not ignore the Renegades’ bullpen. Not a single earned run allowed in the series against Jersey Shore is some terrific work. Things should be looking even better for that bullpen as they welcome the arrival of Luis Velasquez from Low-A Tampa. The right-hander got a much-deserved promotion after striking out 33 in 25.2 innings and allowing only seven hits all season.

On offense, as the slides of Spencer Jones and Alexander Vargas continue, players like Benjamin Cowles and Grant Richardson are stepping up. The duo combined to go 14-for-30 against the BlueClaws, scoring eight times and driving in five.

Players of note:

SS Alexander Vargas: .671 OPS, 6 HR, 23 RBI, 7 2B, 3 3B, 8 SB, 25 R

1B Spencer Henson: .858 OPS, 8 HR, 27 RBI, 10 2B, 32 R

OF Spencer Jones: .803 OPS, 18 2B, 3 3B, 7 HR, 30 RBI, 14 SB, 31 R

2B Benjamin Cowles: .800 OPS, 6 2B, 6 HR, 17 RBI, 23 R

SP Chase Hampton: 2.68 ERA, 47 IP, 31 H, 77 K, 16 BB

SP Zach Messinger: 2.68 ERA, 50.1 IP, 42 H, 61 K, 24 BB

SP Drew Thorpe: 2.91 ERA, 58.2 IP, 48 H, 71 K, 20 BB

SP Juan Carela: 3.28 ERA, 49.1 IP, 37 H, 62 K, 18 BB

RP Jack Neely: 1.57 ERA, 23 IP, 12 H, 34 K, 12 BB

Low-A Tampa Tarpons

Record: 26-31 and 14.5 games back in the Florida State League West after winning five of six games with the Lakeland Flying Tigers

Run Differential: +5

Coming up: Over the Courtney Campbell Causeway for 6 games with the Clearwater Threshers (Phillies) beginning Tuesday, June 13th

It was arguably the best week the Tarpons’ offense has had all season, and much of that is thanks to Florida State League Player of the Week Christopher Familia. After jumping onto the scene two weeks ago with a couple of home runs in his first series, Familia exploded for a performance that has to be considered intriguing. He went 10-for-25 against Lakeland with 4 homers, 3 doubles, 11 RBI, and 10 runs scored. He did strike out nine times, and that’s something to watch, but so are his exit velocities. He’s routinely hitting the ball north of 100 mph, and that makes what he’s done so far nothing close to a fluke. There are reasons to temper enthusiasm, of course. The K-rate is one, the fact that Familia is 23 in Low-A is another, but he has fewer than 500 career at-bats under his belt, so the optimistic view would have Familia as a late-blooming, left-handed hitter with power.

Not to be ignored is the continued stellar showing of Jared Serna, as he homered three times against the Flying Tigers, and the under-the-radar Jesus Rodriguez, who went 10-for-21 with an OPS of 1.304 last week. Also perhaps living in the shadow of other outstanding performances in the Yankees’ system is left-handed starter Brock Selvidge. He put up another solid outing against Lakeland, striking out eight in five innings while allowing only an earned run. Selvidge now owns an ERA of 1.71 for the last month, and he’s emerged as the top starter in the Tarpons’ rotation.

Players of note:

2B Jared Serna: .925 OPS, 38 R, 11 HR, 36 RBI, 11 2B, 13 SB

OF Anthony Hall: .809 OPS, 3 HR, 17 RBI, 25 R, 7 2B, 2 3B, 26 BB

OF Christopher Familia: 1.357 OPS, 6 HR, 15 RBI, 3 2B, 13 R (10 games)

1B/3B/C Jesus Rodriguez: .783 OPS, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 26 R, 6 SB

SP Justin Lange: 4.30 ERA, 37.2 IP, 20 H, 65 K, 30 BB

SP Brock Selvidge: 3.02 ERA, 50.2 IP, 46 H, 56 K, 12 BB

RP Yorlin Calderon: 1.80 ERA, 30 IP, 21 H, 38 K, 8 BB

RP Matt Keating: 3.16 ERA, 25.2 IP, 22 H, 39 K, 13 BB

Prospect of the week: Clayton Beeter

There was an argument to be made for Beeter starting the year in Triple-A, and the argument that he should be promoted to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at midseason is even stronger. It was a heck of a week for the right-hander: 2 wins, 11 innings pitched, 6 hits allowed, 4 walks, no runs, 17 strikeouts. That’ll do. That performance brings Beeter’s ERA for the season to 2.13 and for the last month down to 1.03, and it may be time to challenge the 24-year-old at a higher level of competition. With Hudson Valley starters also pitching lights-out, we could be close to some upward movement in the minor league rotations.

FCL Yankees: W, 7-0 at FCL Blue Jays

2B Keiner Delgado 2-5, 2 R, 2 SB
SS Roderick Arias 0-3, 2 BB, R
CF Willy Montero 1-3, BB, RBI, SF
3B Hans Montero 0-4, BB, R
DH Enmanuel Tejeda 0-3, BB, RBI, SF
RF John Cruz 2-3, BB, RBI, SB, first hits of the season for the 17-year-old
LF Dayro Perez 0-3, BB, R
C Manuel Palencia 0-3
PH-C Edinson Duran 1-1, R
1B Kelvin Espino 0-3, BB

Brendan Beck 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K — First career appearance for 2021 second-round pick after Tommy John surgery that September
Sebastian Keane 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K (win)
Allen Facundo 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K
Nolberto Henriquez 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

A shutout with 18 K is nice work from the pitching staff!

DSL Bombers: W, 16-6 vs. DSL Rangers Red

SS Juan Matheus 2-4, 2B, 3B, 2 BB, 3 R, 2 RBI
SS Johan Ferreira 0-0
CF Ramiro Altagracia 2-5, BB, R, RBI
PR-CF Darwin Castillo
DH Edgleen Perez 0-4, 2 BB, 2 R, RBI, 2 R
2B Gabriel Terrero 2-5, HR, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI
2B Abrahan Ramirez 1-1, R
C Johan Contreras 0-3, 3 BB, 2 R
3B Kevin Verde 2-5, RBI, R, HBP
LF David Beckles 1-3, 2B, 2 BB, RBI, R, SF
RF Luis Puello 3-5, 3B, BB, 3 RBI, 2 R, 2 SB
1B Adrian Gonzalez 0-3, 2 BB, RBI, R, HBP

Chalniel Arias 4.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 9 K — catching attention with 21 K in 10.2 IP so far
Yordanny Sosa 2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 3 K
Keninson Diaz W (1-0) 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 4 K
Michell Chirinos 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K

DSL Yankees: W, 3-0 (7) at DSL Miami

SS Luis Suarez 0-4
3B Santiago Gomez 1-3, 2B, BB, 2 R
C Josue Gonzalez 1-4, 3B, R, RBI
1B Luis Ogando 1-4, 2B, RBI
RF Jhon Imbert 0-2, BB
2B Luis Escudero 0-2, BB, RBI
CF Andres Lacruz 0-3, SB
DH Jelson Coca 0-3
LF Andry Javier 1-3, SB

Christian Zazueta W (2-0), 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K
Pedro Rodriguez S (2), 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K