Yankees Triple Up On Young Pitchers
The Yankees had four spots open on their 40-man roster and used all four to shield a trio of righthanders plus a shortstop from being eligible in the Rule 5 draft. None of the players has reached Double-A.
Venezuelan Yoendrys Gomez and Dominicans Alexander Vizcaino and Roansy Contreras were all members of the low Class A Charleston rotation in 2019, while Oswald Peraza was the RiverDogs' shortstop in the second half of the season.
Vizcaino is the oldest—he turns 24 next season—and throws the best changeup in the system. Signed in 2016, he made 16 of 21 appearances for Charleston in 2019, peaking at high Class A Tampa to finish the season. He recorded a 4.38 ERA while striking out 128 and walking 38 in 115 innings.
Vizcaino made three relief appearances for the Yankees at big league spring training, then spent the year working out at the alternate training site in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
A scout who saw the 6-foot-2, 160-pound Vizcaino at Charleston said: “He reminds me of (Domingo) German.’’
The 21-year-old Gomez might have the highest upside of the trio because of his youth projectable frame.
“His fastball touches the mid 90s, but because of his (6-foot-3, 175-pound) frame you can bet there is more fastball in there,’’ Yankees vice president of baseball operations Tim Naehring said. “His curveball and changeup have shown flashes for having more there.’’
Gomez signed in 2016 and shined at Rookie-level Pulaski in 2019 to earn a late-season bump to Charleston. In 12 total starts he posted a 3.99 ERA with 53 strikeouts and 19 walks in 56.1 innings.
Gomez worked remotely in 2020 and did not participate in the Yankees' alternate training site.
Peraza handled himself capably as a teenager at Charleston in 2019, hitting .273/.348/.333 with 18 stolen bases in 46 games after being promoted from short-season Staten Island. He turns 21 in 2021.
— The Yankees did not shield switch-hitting shortstop Oswaldo Cabrera from the Rule 5 draft. He can also handle second base and third base. The 21-year-old Venezuelan hit .260/.310/.378 with eight home runs in 120 games for high Class A Tampa in 2019.