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Player Reports

  1. 1. Anthony Volpe | SS
    Anthony Volpe
    Born: Apr 28, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: HS-- Morristown, N.J., 2019 (1st round).
    Signed By: Matt Hyde.
    Minors: .294/.423/.604 | 27 HR | 33 SB | 412 AB

    BA Grade: 60/High

    Track Record: Entering the 2021 season, Volpe’s career could be best described as incomplete. Drafted in the first round in 2019, his first test in pro ball at Rookie-level Pulaski was marred by a case of mononucleosis. The 2020 season was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the Yankees did not hold a domestic instructional league, which left Volpe to do as much development as he could through independent training and via remote work with the organization’s coaches. He emerged from the shutdown with renewed health and added strength, which he used to produce one of the finest seasons in the minor leagues. In a season split evenly between Low-A Tampa and High-A Hudson Valley he hit .294/.423/.604 with 27 home runs and 33 stolen bases in 109 games. What Volpe did in 2021 not only positioned him as a clear piece of the organization’s long term plans, it exceeded even the Yankees’ wildest expectations.

    Scouting Report: Volpe entered what appeared to be a standard minor league offseason in 2020 with the goal of increasing his peak exit velocity. He had much longer than expected to achieve that goal, but quickly showed off his more powerful swing by producing average and maximum exit velocities of 91.5 and 108.3 mph before a move from Low-A to High-A. He’s gone all-in on the Yankees’ internal motto of “Hit Strikes Hard” and produces some of the highest quality at-bats in the organization. He controls the conflict from the moment he gets in the box and does not relent no matter the count. He shows no fear with two strikes and is content to foul off pitches until he gets something he can damage. Whether he’s facing premium velocity, high spin or extreme changes of speed, Volpe stays balanced and on time, often resulting in a ball hit with authority. The combination of increased strength and a mature approach have produced a player who earns future plus grades for both his hitting and power. In the field, Volpe shows quick actions and instincts as well as solid hands and footwork, all of which make up for fringe-average range and a near-average arm boosted by strong accuracy and a solid internal clock. Scouts disagree about whether he can remain a shortstop, mostly because of his arm, but even his doubters acknowledge that his outstanding work ethic could help him work to increase his arm strength. Volpe is an above-average runner as well—his stolen base totals were somewhat inflated in Low-A due to the rules designed to promote increased activity on the bases—but he’s got enough speed and aptitude to steal double-digit bases. From the first day of minor league spring training, scouts buzzed about Volpe’s combination of skills, instincts and makeup. They never stopped singing his praises.

    The Future: After conquering both levels of Class A, Volpe’s next test will be the upper levels, beginning with Double-A Somerset. The biggest question he’ll have to answer is whether he faces a move to second base, either in deference to fellow prospect Oswald Peraza or a free agent import.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 60. Power: 60. Speed: 55. Fielding: 50. Arm: 45.

  2. 2. Oswald Peraza | SS
    Oswald Peraza
    Born: Jun 15, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 186
    Drafted/Signed: Venezuela, 2016.
    Signed By: Roney Calderon/Jose Gavidia.
    Minors: .297/.356/.477 | 18 HR | 38 SB | 465 AB

    BA Grade: 55/High

    Track Record: Peraza inked signed in 2016 and quickly opened evaluators’ eyes with a burgeoning hit tool and the chops to stick up the middle. He held his own as a 19-year-old in his first test of full-season ball toward the end of 2019 at Low-A Charleston. Added to the 40-man roster after the 2020 season, Peraza produced a breakout in 2021, when he eclipsed his career totals for doubles (26) and home runs (18) in his first games at the upper levels.

    Scouting Report: After the 2020 season, the Yankees’ hitting department suggested that Peraza could get more out of his game simply by changing his approach. He hit the ball plenty hard but needed to get the ball in the air more often. The changes worked. In 2019, Peraza carried one of the highest groundball rates in the minors. He moved to the middle of the pack in 2021. In other words, he’s getting the most out of his quality contact. His next hurdle will be hitting against breaking balls. Multiple scouts noted he was vulnerable to spin, though he showed improvement and adjustability as the season wore on. Peraza is likely to stick at shortstop, though he’s not the twitchiest athlete. Instead, he relies on above-average speed, strong instincts and reaction times to make plays.

    The Future: Peraza has taken the leap and upped his prospect status in the process. The next step will be to add polish to his game and prepare for his big league debut, which should come sometime in 2022.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 60. Power: 50. Speed: 55. Defense: 55. Arm: 55.

  3. 3. Jasson Dominguez | OF
    Jasson Dominguez
    Born: Feb 7, 2003
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 210
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2019.
    Signed By: Juan Rosario/Lorenzo Piron/Edgar Mateo.
    Minors: .252/.353/.379 | 5 HR | 9 SB | 206 AB

    BA Grade: 60/Extreme

    Track Record: Some scouts labeled Dominguez as one of the best international prospects they had seen when he signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2019. The lost season in 2020 pushed his debut back further but only increased the anticipation. He started the year in the Florida Complex League before moving to Low-A Tampa, where he held his own as one of a handful of 18-year-olds in full-season ball. Despite his inexperience, Dominguez participated in the 2021 Futures Game.

    Scouting Report: One of the first things evaluators note about Dominguez is the way his body has changed. He has thickened up considerably into a much stockier player, which leads to questions about whether he can stick in center field. He’s already slowed down and now earns grades closer to average than the double-plus times scouts once saw. If Dominguez moves to a corner, his average arm, which has also backed up, would play in right field. At the plate, Dominguez went through the expected growing pains of dealing with pitchers who were more experienced and knew how to attack him with spin. The quality of his at-bats and swing decisions got better as the season went on, culminating in a .777 OPS in September. Outside evaluators noted plenty of excellent impact on contact, and he produced average and maximum exit velocities of 86 and 111 mph during his time in Low-A.

    The Future: Though he did not show the star-level performance that would be expected of a player with his hype, Dominguez certainly held his own, especially considering the long layoff after signing. There’s quite a bit of polish still to apply, but Dominguez still could reach a ceiling of MLB regular.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 55. Power: 60. Speed: 50. Fielding: 50. Arm: 50.

  4. 4. Luis Gil | RHP
    Luis Gil
    Born: Jun 3, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2014.
    Signed By: Luis Lajara (Twins).
    Minors: 5-1 | 3.97 ERA | 117 SO | 45 BB | 80 IP

    BA Grade: 50/Medium

    Track Record: Four years after signing with the Twins, Gil was dealt to the Yankees for outfielder Jake Cave in 2018. He entered 2019 as part of a pack of talented righthanders that also included Luis Medina, Roansy Contreras and Alexander Vizcaino. Contreras and Vizcaino have since been traded, while Medina continues to show flashes of dominance. Gil put together a strong season thanks to further development of his changeup and was rewarded with a six-start look in the big leagues.

    Scouting Report: Gil is a hard-throwing starter with a classic pitcher’s frame built to withstand the rigors of a high workload. He was excellent in Double-A for seven starts before moving to Triple-A, where his spotty control started to catch up with him and he walked 15% of hitters. Gil’s hallmark is a lively fastball that averaged 96 mph in the big leagues and roughly the same in Triple-A, where he spent part of the season pitching through a stiff neck. His mid-80s slider continues to be his best secondary weapon and a potential plus pitch. The key to his future will be his low-90s changeup, which needs to show more movement and separation from his fastball to be an effective third pitch.

    The Future: After a taste of the big leagues in 2021, Gil should battle for a spot on the Opening Day roster. If his changeup reaches his ceiling, he can be part of a rotation. If not, he could be an effective late-inning reliever.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60. Slider: 60. Changeup: 50. Control: 45.

  5. 5. Austin Wells | C
    Austin Wells
    Born: Jul 12, 1999
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: Arizona, 2020 (1st round).
    Signed By: Troy Afenir.
    Minors: .264/.390/.476 | 16 HR | 16 SB | 382 AB

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: Wells has long been on the Yankees’ radar. The team drafted him out of high school in 2018, then again in 2020 when he was an eligible sophomore at Arizona. The allure both times was a hitter who could provide immense offensive value from the left side as well as a chance to remain behind the plate. The pandemic cost Wells most of his final collegiate season and limited him to remote training during the regular season. In his pro debut, he showed hitting ability, power and patience and produced one of the best overall years in the system.

    Scouting Report: Wells came as advertised at the plate. He showed a smooth, loose, repeatable swing capable of producing loud contact to all sectors. Inside and outside evaluators were also pleased with the way Wells managed the strike zone, which showed up in his strikeout and walk totals, though they were somewhat buttressed by spending the first part of the season in Low-A Southeast, which used automated balls and strikes. The Yankees did tweak his approach to make him more aggressive in two-strike counts. There are few outside the organization who believe Wells can stick behind the plate. Those scouts point to a lack of twitchiness, struggles blocking pitches and well below-average arm strength that plays up a touch because of a quick release. Even so, Wells threw out just 13% of basestealers. Even if he moves off catcher, he has the bat to profile at either first base or left field.

    The Future: Wells got extra reps in the Arizona Fall League, but his next step will come when he gets his first try at the upper levels.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 60. Power: 50. Speed: 50. Fielding: 40. Arm: 40.

  6. 6. Hayden Wesneski | RHP
    Hayden Wesneski
    Born: Dec 5, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 210
    Signed By: Brian Rhees.
    Minors: 11-6 | 3.25 ERA | 151 SO | 36 BB | 131 IP

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: A Rays 33rd-round pick in 2016, Wesneski made it to Sam Houston State, where he got in better shape and saw a corresponding jump in stuff. That led the Yankees to take him in the sixth round in 2019. He got his feet wet in Rookie ball in his pro debut, then made great strides via remote training during the lost 2020 season before rocketing from High-A to Triple-A in 2021.

    Scouting Report: Wesneski works with a five-pitch arsenal of four- and two-seam fastballs, a slider, a changeup and a newly added cutter. The four-seamer, which parks in the mid 90s and has peaked at 99 mph with heavy sinking life. His slider has shorter, sweepier break, while his curveball is potentially plus and acts more like a powerful slurve with horizontal and vertical break. His changeup is a potentially average pitch and is thrown in the low 80s. Wesneski’s delivery features a deep shoulder load, a three-quarters slot and a wider release point. Some scouts believe he’ll have to improve his direction to the plate in order to help his stuff maintain its consistency.

    The Future: After reaching Triple-A for his last two starts of 2021, Wesneski is likely to return to the level. There, he’ll work on continuing to develop his cutter, learning how to better sequence his wide arsenal and honing control and command to reach his ceiling as a No. 4 or 5 caliber starter.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 70. Curveball: 60. Slider: 50. Changeup: 50. Control: 45.

  7. 7. Trey Sweeney | SS
    Trey Sweeney
    Born: Apr 24, 2000
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 200
    Signed By: Steve Lemke.
    Minors: .261/.384/.548 | 7 HR | 4 SB | 115 AB

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: Undrafted out of high school, Sweeney showed enough improvement during his time at Eastern Illinois for the Yankees to draft him 20th overall in 2021. He signed for $3 million, about par for his draft slot. Sweeney got his feet wet in pro ball, mostly at Low-A Tampa, where he showed the same hitting ability and plate discipline that were his hallmarks in college.

    Scouting Report: In his first test as a pro, Sweeney lived up to his billing. Scouts both inside and outside the organization praised his polished offensive skill set and ability to command the strike zone and get pitches to drive. He blasted three homers during the regular season with Tampa, then added one more during the playoffs. The Yankees have identified areas for improvement, including smoothing out his bat path—amateur scouts pointed out a bat tip and a big leg kick, too—and working to make his exit velocities more consistent. He shows fringe-average speed but scouts believe his instincts make his overall run tool closer to plus. On defense, there are areas to improve but his average athleticism and baseball IQ could allow him to stick up the middle.

    The Future: Given his pedigree, Sweeney will likely begin 2022 at High-A Hudson Valley. He’s now firmly part of a part of impressive middle-diamond Yankees prospects, including shortstops Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 60. Power: 50. Speed: 45. Fielding: 50. Arm: 55.

  8. 8. Oswaldo Cabrera | 2B/3B
    Oswaldo Cabrera
    Born: Mar 1, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 145
    Signed By: Borman Landaeta.
    Minors: .272/.330/.533 | 29 HR | 21 SB | 467 AB

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: Cabrera was signed by the Yankees way back in 2015 and slowly wound his way through the system. He always made plenty of contact but failed to produce much in the way of impact. That changed in 2021. He relocated to Tampa for the 2020 season and added strength and power to his game. His hard work paid off, and his 29 home runs in 2021 eclipsed his overall career total by seven and tied him for second in the organization behind Dermis Garcia.

    Scouting Report: Cabrera’s transformation centers around the strength he gained since the shutdown. Overall, he gained 55 pounds since signing. He showed up to minor league spring training visibly stronger and more filled out, and the results followed. The ball jumped off his bat in ways it never had before, including a 5 mph jump in average exit velocity over the past two seasons. Cabrera also changed his batted ball profile to lean more toward getting the ball in the air than in any of his previous seasons. He maintained his excellent bat-to-ball skills—his swinging-strike rate was just 13% at Double-A—while exponentially increasing his impact. His bigger body has led to a bit of a slowdown on the bases and in the field. Those changes are likely to keep him from playing shortstop—he’ll still be able to play there in a pinch—and move him into more of a super utility role in which he could see time at second and third base. He has the potential to be an above-average or plus defender at either of the latter two positions.

    The Future: A year ago, Cabrera was part of a host of Yankees farmhands who were left unprotected for the Rule 5 draft and then showed up renewed for 2021. He will likely start the season back at Triple-A.

    Scouting Grades: Hit: 40. Power: 50. Speed: 40. Fielding: 60. Arm: 55.

  9. 9. Luis Medina | RHP
    Luis Medina
    Born: May 3, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 195
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2015.
    Signed By: Juan Rosario.
    Minors: 6-4 | 3.39 ERA | 133 SO | 60 BB | 107 IP

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: Medina’s path through the minors has been bumpy, to say the least. He was celebrated for his pure stuff—including a triple-digit fastball—as an amateur, and has shown bursts of true dominance as a pro. His command and control were truly ghastly until late in the 2019 season, when physical and mental tweaks helped him find the strike zone more often without any sacrifice to stuff. The pandemic cost him a chance at an immediate encore, but he did get development time at the team’s alternate training site. He continued down the same path this year with high strikeout and walk rates.

    Scouting Report: Medina’s pure stuff is tremendous. His fastball lives in the upper 90s and peaked at 103 mph, and he paired it with a hard, downer curveball and an improving changeup. When it’s on, his breaking ball is a true wipeout pitch that can generate plenty of swings and misses. By contrast, Medina’s changeup doesn’t have big-time movement but can upset hitters’ timing because of the conviction with which he throws it as well as the velocity separation. As ever, command and control are going to be the keys to his success. If he can find the zone more often—he had a nearly 60% strike rate in his time with Double-A Somerset—then he could keep alive his future as a starter. To do so, he’ll have to find more consistency with his delivery and work to keep his arm more on time and in sync.

    The Future: Medina is already on the 40-man roster, so his big league debut could come as soon as next season. He still has to conquer Triple-A, where he’ll face much more seasoned hitters who will give his command its biggest test yet.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 70. Curveball: 60. Changeup: 50. Control: 40.

  10. 10. Ken Waldichuk | LHP
    Ken Waldichuk
    Born: Jan 8, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 220
    Signed By: Tyler Robertson.
    Minors: 6-3 | 3.03 ERA | 163 SO | 51 BB | 110 IP

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: Waldichuk went undrafted out of high school, then brought his stock up dramatically by pitching three years at St. Mary’s. The Yankees drafted him in the fifth round in 2019, then let him get his feet wet at Rookie-level Pulaski. He developed remotely during the lost 2020 season, then came out of the gate on fire in 2021, when he went the first 34 innings before allowing a run. He finished the year with 163 strikeouts, tied for fourth in the minors.

    Scouting Report: Waldichuk is the organization’s preeminent king of funk. He stymies hitters not only with his stuff, but a slinger-type delivery that confuses hitters with arms, legs and angles. All of that movement allows his stuff to play up. His arsenal starts with a four-seam fastball that sits in the 92-93 mph range but peaked this year at 98 and shows tailing action at times but also carry at the top of the zone. Waldichuk backs up his fastball with an array of average offspeed pitches with no clear best. Some scouts prefer his slider, which flashes excellent depth at the bottom of the zone. He also has a slurvier curveball which tends to blend in with the slider, with the velo separation being the only distinguishing characteristic. Other scouts saw his changeup flash above-average to plus. Waldichuk’s command and control will be the true key to his success. His delivery is difficult to repeat, and his lack of a true out pitch was part of the reason he was less successful after moving to Double-A.

    The Future: Waldichuk should move to Triple-A to begin 2022. He’ll need to improve his command and control and find a separator offspeed pitch in order to remain a starter. If he can’t stick there, he should be able to find a spot as a reliever who is poison to same-side hitters.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60. Curveball: 45. Slider: 50. Changeup: 55. Control: 45.

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