Yankees MiLB Report: Somerset drops 22 runs, top pitching prospect dominates, first-rounder debuts

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The Yankees dropped a pretty ugly game against the Boston Red Sox, but thankfully, their farm system is at least churning out great results. In yesterday’s slate of MiLB action, there were plenty of important storylines, including the professional debut of the Yankees’ first-round pick George Lombard Jr. Drew Thorpe toed the slab in his second Double-A start, Jasson Dominguez looked to continue his red-hot second-half, and Everson Pereira was surprisingly left in Triple-A for another matchup with the Worchester WooSox. All of that and more is covered in today’s edition of the MiLB Report.

Clean Sweep in Dominican Summer League Action

The Yankees had two of their three Dominican Summer League affiliates play yesterday with the DSL Bombers and DSL Yankees both grabbing victories on the ledger. The DSL Bombers won 6-2 over the Rangers’ affiliate, with Mexican-born righty Alejandro Gomez tossing 4.2 innings of two-run baseball, allowing five hits and two walks in the process. The 21-year-old lowered his ERA on the season to 3.78, and Michael Peres from the Dominican Republic recorded the final out of the game.

On the offensive side of the ball, Venezuelan native Abrahan Ramirez drove in a run on two hits, scoring twice himself and raising his OPS on the season to .863. Ovandy Frias and Luis Puello also added RBIs, with Puello being a 17-year-old born in 2006, even younger than myself! As for the DSL Yankees, they won 4-2 in a seven-inning contest against the Rockies, as Brando Mayea went 1-3 with a double, Luis Ogando collected two hits of his own in three trips, and Joshua Leito drove in two more runs of his own.

We saw an extremely impressive start by Sabier Marte, who’s the standout player of the day for the Yankees’ DSL affiliates as he tossed five frames, allowing two unearned runs and striking out five, lowering his ERA on the season to 2.43. Marte could be headed stateside next season to play in the Florida Complex League ahead of his age-20 season.

Yankees’ Recent Draft Picks Help Guide Their Teams to Big Wins

The Florida Complex League had a huge game between the Yankees and Phillies as they battled in a crucial game for the standings. The Yankees sat at 30-21 entering the game, and the Phillies were 28-23, with a win for the Phils putting them just a game back of the Yankees with the playoffs starting next week. George Lombard Jr. would make his much-anticipated professional debut, and he got his career started with a double and two walks. Keiner Delgado had a huge game as well, going 1-2 with two walks and two RBIs and continuing his great season in the FCL.

Jackson Castillo went 2-4 with 3 RBIs and Hans Montero went 2-3 with a walk and an RBI as well, guiding the Yankees to a 8-4 win over the Phillies, and now their magic number to clinch the division and a trip to the playoffs sits at just one.

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Aug 28, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, US; East infielder George Lombard (21) during the Perfect Game All-American Classic high school baseball game at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

For the Tampa Tarpons, they had to fend off another Daytona rally as they held on to win 11-8 after the Tortugas scored five unanswered runs in the eighth and ninth innings. Roc Riggio went 1-5 with a walk and an RBI, Kiko Romero went 2-5 with a walk, and Jose Colmenares continues to hit well with the Tampa Tarpons, as he hit his 6th HR of the season in just 16 games. Colmenares didn’t play a game at the professional level in 2022 but returned with a purpose in the summer.

They were able to collect a much-needed win, and while it’s unlikely that they’ll make the postseason, they could get new arrivals through the FCL ending in the next couple of weeks. Tampa sits at 24-22, six games back of the Tigers’ Single-A affiliate in Lakeland.

Hudson Valley Has Bullpen Implosion, Fail to Capitalize on Early Offensive Explosion

The Hudson Valley Renegades have lost some key pieces to their pitching staff this season, with Chase Hampton and Drew Thorpe being promoted and Juan Carela being traded to Chicago. They’ve asked starters like Leonardo Pestana to step up, and while he had a valiant effort in his four frames of two-run baseball, the Hudson Valley bullpen coughed up six runs en route to a 8-5 loss to the Brooklyn Cyclones on the road.

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Brooklyn Cyclone’s Matt Rudick (23) slides safely into home past Renegades catcher Carlos Narvaez during a game against the Hudson Valley Renegades at Dutchess Stadium in Wappingers Falls July 27, 2022. Renegades Vs Cyclones Baseball

They saw a two-hit performance from Jared Serna, who’s struggled since coming up from Single-A, Christopher Familia continues to mash at the High-A level, with two hits of his own, raising his wRC+ in High-A to 117. He crushed the Single-A competition, and while he’s 23 years old, he could be a candidate for another promotion to Double-A late in the season if Jasson Dominguez gets promoted and opens a spot in their outfield for him. He’s slashing .309/.413/.647 with 7 HRs in his last 18 games, and Somerset would love to add him to their playoff-bound squad.

Drew Thorpe and Jasson Dominguez Provide Glimmer of Hope for the Yankees

You may have read the title of this article and thought that there was no way the Somerset Patriots actually scored 22 runs, at least not in nine innings. Well, if you aren’t already a Somerset Patriots superfan, consider becoming one, as they’ve maintained dominant play despite losing key pieces to promotions like Clayton Beeter, Will Warren, Austin Wells, and Everson Pereira. Somerset also has a star-studded IL list, with Trey Sweeney, Tyler Hardman, and TJ Rumfield all currently inactive with injuries.

Drew Thorpe just blitzed the Reading Fightin Phils lineup, striking out 12 batters and allowing just two solo shots as his blemishes across 6.2 frames. He was brilliant once again and his ERA on the season sits at 2.62 with a MiLB-best 159 strikeouts. He hasn’t skipped a beat in Double-A, as those two solo shots were the first two runs allowed since being promoted, as he has 21 strikeouts to just one walk in the 14.2 innings he’s tossed across two starts. He’s their best pitching prospect currently, and that’s with Chase Hampton’s meteoric rise to Double-A at age 21.

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Oct 26, 2022; Surprise, Arizona, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Jasson Dominguez plays for the Mesa Solar Sox during an Arizona Fall League baseball game at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

As if to try and outdo what Thorpe accomplished, Jasson Dominguez went ballistic, going 4-6 with a walk and three RBIs, hitting his 15th HR of the season and swiping his 37th base as well. He’s completely turned his season around, after a first half where he hit just .203 with a 95 wRC+, Dominguez is hitting .351 with a 161 wRC+, striking out just 19.9% of the time as well. Dominguez continues to make elite-level swing decisions, and his speed and raw power make his profile at the plate stupendous.

He still needs to tap into his game power more in order to generate more extra-base hits and home runs, but that’s a swing path issue that the Yankees could certainly adjust as he gets better. The Martian has been downright unstoppable for Double-A pitching lately, but he’s not the only red-hot bat they have in Somerset. After starting 3-22 with no walks and five strikeouts, Agustin Ramirez has picked up where he left off in High-A, as he went 3-5 with his first Double-A HR and two walks.

Ramirez is 7-22 in his last five games with three walks and four strikeouts, raising his wRC+ as a whole on the season to 137. He torched the South Atlantic League with Hudson Valley, and the elite-framing 21-year-old could push himself into top-100 prospect talks with a great finish to his season in Somerset. He’s one of the Yankees’ most polished contact bats, striking out just 16.7% of the time while also having an insane 113.9 Max Exit Velocity and 17 HRs in just 93 games.

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Designated hitter Ben Rice jogs to first base after being walked during the August 25, 2023 game against the Bowie Baysox at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, (N.J. Sal DiMaggio / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Ben Rice went 2-6 with a double and an RBI, Elijah Dunham added two hits and two RBIs of his own, Caleb Durbin collected two hits in four trips, Max Burt hit his 11th HR of the season going 4-6, and Eduardo Torrealba drove in seven RBIs in his 3-6 performance, capping his night with a ninth-inning grand slam to just add salt in the wound for Reading. The Somerset Patriots are looking to capture their second-straight Eastern League title, and they’ll have to do so with an entirely different rotation and lineup than the one that guided them to their first as a Yankee affiliate.

Scranton Offense Goes Quiet, Everson Pereira Still Not Promoted

The Scranton RailRiders fell 3-1 to the Worchester WooSox, with Andres Chaparro hitting his 22nd HR of the season and it representing the entire Scranton offense for the night. Scranton had to go with a bullpen game, and while they held Worchester to just three runs and did their job, a big two-run HR by Enmanuel Valdez gave the WooSox a lead they’d never relinquish. Everson Pereira went 1-2 on the night with two walks, and yet it feels like that isn’t even the biggest storyline from tonight’s game.

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Feb 24, 2023; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Everson Pereira (93) warms up before spring training practice at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida. Mandatory Credit: Dave Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

In a stunning decision, the Yankees chose to keep Everson Pereira in Triple-A despite yesterday representing the date when teams can promote prospects without losing their rookie eligibility. With the Yankees’ struggles in LF and an apparently banged-up Billy McKinney dealing with back stiffness, it would make sense for the Yankees to promote a prospect with top-100 status in Baseball America and MLB Pipeline, but instead, they opted to keep him in Scranton.

An illness sidelined Pereira in Thursday’s contest, so perhaps that factored into the decision, but it seems more likely that the Yankees just don’t want to call him up yet. Whatever the reason, it’s going to be a heavily-debated topic in the New York media world, and I imagine he’ll eventually get the call.

That’ll wrap up our prospect report, and we’ll get to see Matt Sauer, Zach Messinger, and Edgar Barclay take the mound tonight across the affiliates, with hopefully a lot to talk about in Sunday’s report.