The New York Yankees’ farm system had a phenomenal year across the board in 2021. The Low A, High A, and AA teams all won their divisions and the AAA squad finished second. The Yankees’ farm system is the most loaded it has been since 2017, when Gleyber Torres, Clint Frazier, and Justus Sheffield were still prospects. So without further ado, let’s see go over the top five prospects in the Yankees’ system.
5. Luis Medina: RHP, 22
Coming in at number five I have starting pitcher Luis Medina. The 22-year-old, 6’1” right-hander spent time at both High-A and AA in 2021. In seven games with Hudson Valley, he posted a 2.76 ERA. He was then called up and completed his season with Somerset, where he started 14 games and had a 3.67 ERA.
Medina has some of the filthiest stuff you will ever see. His fastball velocity sits in the high 90s and he has topped out at 102 at times. His best off-speed is his devastating curveball, which is around 80 mph, and he also features a plus changeup. He has ace-like potential, but the question is whether he will be able to put everything together. Throughout his minor league career, he has had command issues, which has led to inconsistency. That being said, in 2021 he seems to have taken a step forward in this regard. His overall ERA of 3.39 this year is the best of his career.
All in all, despite the concerns, Medina just has too much potential to leave off this list.
4. Luis Gil: RHP, 23
Next up I have another starting pitcher, Luis Gil, who is very similar in a lot of ways to Luis Medina. The 6’2” right-hander also has an impressive fastball and sharp breaking pitches. While his main breaking pitch is his slider, he also has a solid changeup. But, like Medina, he has had issues with command.
Gil, a year older than Medina, is more advanced. He even made the big leagues this season where he has made six starts with a 3.07 ERA. However, he has a 14.7 walk percentage in the majors this year which is considered “awful” by Fangraphs.
Gil is higher on the list than Medina simply because he is more developed. If the Yankees’ pitching coaches can positively continue his development, Gil could end up being a mainstay in the Yankees’ rotation.
3. Oswald Peraza: SS, R, 21
Oswald Peraza is the second-best infielder in the Yankees’ system and had a solid year at mostly AA in 2021. This year he slashed .297/.358/.483 with 17 home runs and 36 stolen bases, which is very solid for a young shortstop at AA. Peraza plays a good enough shortstop but may end up moving to second or third in the future. He has been moved up aggressively through the Yankees’ system and was even on their taxi squad at one point this year. He may end up making the majors sooner than you would think.
2. Jasson Dominguez: CF, S, 18
Jasson “The Martian” Dominguez is one of the most hyped prospects in recent years. He got his nickname because scouts have called his tools “out of this world”. As if that’s not high enough praise, he’s been getting player comparisons to the likes of Bo Jackson, Mickey Mantle, and Mike Trout.
The 18-year-old Dominguez made his pro-debut for the Low-A for the Tarpons in 2021. The switch-hitting center fielder only slashed a mediocre .252/.353/.379 on the season. However, his numbers as a left-handed batter were much better than as a righty. Anyway, the fact that he was able to be an average hitter in a league where the average age of each player is two years older than him is impressive enough. We can still expect big things out of The Martian.
1. Anthony Volpe: SS, R, 20
Finally, at number one, the only pick here can be Anthony Volpe. The 2019 Yankees first-round draft selection was ailed by mononucleosis in his pro-debut season in 2019 and did not perform well. The following minor league season being shut down by Covid sent him further under the radar. However, in 2021 he just had one of the best seasons in Minor League Baseball. In 109 games split between Low-A and High-A, Volpe slashed a monstrous .294/.423/.604 with 27 home runs and 33 stolen bases. Volpe also has an extremely slick glove at shortstop and projects to stay there long term.
Players who have this good of a minor league season at as young an age as Volpe just don’t not become productive big leaguers. Volpe is one of the highest-rising prospects in all of baseball. He went from unranked in 2020 to 15th overall in 2021. With concerns about Gleyber Torres’s abilities, Volpe may end up being the next franchise shortstop for the New York Yankees.