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New York Yankees Top Prospects To Watch

Introducing the Yankees Top Prospects to watch as we look ahead to the 2022 season. Which top prospects are on the way for the Bronx Bombers?

The Yankees farm system ranked 13th, according to Baseball America, in their preseason 2022 Farm System Rankings. The Yankees have found their way into the playoffs each of the last five seasons but failed to advance to a World Series in every season since 2009. It has been twelve seasons since the Bronx Bombers have played in the World Series, their longest span since 1981-1996. That marks the second-longest span between World Series Appearances since 1921 when New York first appeared in the Fall Classic.

The difference now versus the Yankees teams of the past is their willingness to build the Big League Roster through the farm system. No longer are the Yankees simply buying their top talent as we saw in previous runs. Since 2016, the Yankees have graduated top prospects Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Gleyber Torres. Even with some heavy firepower in the lineup, the Yankees ranked just 10th in the AL in runs scored in 2021. With some new talent on the horizon, the Yankees will look to continue to build around the young talent already reaching the major leagues and once again push themselves back to the World Series.

Here are the top Yankees prospects to watch in 2022:

1. Jasson Dominguez / OF / ETA: 2024

Jasson Dominguez entered the Yankees system after signing as the top prospect in the 2019 international class. His signing bonus, a franchise-record $5.1 million, accounted for nearly all of the Yankees’ international spending. At 5’10” 190-pounds, Dominguez boasted five-tool talents and elite bat speed at just 16-years old. Dominguez missed the entire 2020 season due to the canceled Minor League season as a result of COVID. Thus, he made his professional debut in 2021.

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At age 18, the young phenom made his debut between Rookie-level and Low-A Tampa. Dominguez spent most of the season in Low-A where he appeared in 49 games. He posted a pedestrian batting line of .258/.346/.398 with just 5 home runs and a 31.3% K%. He walked 21 times, however, which is a promising sign despite the high number of strikeouts.

Many have fallen on Dominguez. When signed, some were comparing him to a “teenage Mike Trout.” He didn’t exactly look like Mike Trout in his debut last season which has unfairly dropped his value. Dominguez still boasts five-tool skills and got on base at an elite level despite playing in Low-A at just 18-years old. The power will come for Dominguez, that’s for certain. The concern with his game remains the swing-and-miss but I’m much less concerned with the strikeouts because the walks are there. As Jasson matures at the plate, the K’s should come down and with it, the home runs will follow. In just 2 years, Dominguez should burst onto the Major League stage and take the league by storm.

2. Anthony Volpe / SS / ETA: 2023

Anthony Volpe was drafted 30th overall by the Yankees in the 2019 MLB Draft. Volpe was drafted out of High School and was immediately placed at Rookie-ball where he appeared in 34 games for the Yankees affiliate before missing the 2020 minor league season due to COVID. At just 20-years old, the Yankees placed Volpe in Low-A to start the 2021 season. He appeared in 54 games before earning a mid-season promotion to High-A Hudson Valley.

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Volpe’s stellar play in 2021 has skyrocketed his prospect rankings as we head into the 2022 season. Baseball America lists the young phenom as their tenth-best prospect. Baseball Prospectus has him at fourteen on their top-100 list. The hype is for good reason. In 2021, Volpe posted a season line of .294/.423/.604. In 109 games, Volpe hit 27 home runs, stole 33 bases, and walked 78 times. Volpe’s 68 extra-base hits ranked among the minor league’s best. The strikeout rate increased some with his promotion to High-A, but not enough to be highly concerning.

The biggest question in Volpe’s game is his defense. He doesn’t have the arm to stick at shortstop and will almost certainly make the change to second base as he progresses in the minors. His 27 home run campaign in 2021 is not a likely projection for the future, as I think he’s nearly found his power ceiling early in his career. Volpe will likely settle in at a 20-25 home run pace in the major leagues. This is my biggest reason for still having him behind Dominguez; the ceiling isn’t quite as high. Volpe is going to be an elite addition to the Yankees lineup, possibly as early as 2023. He carries All-Star level potential and his ceiling is likely a 4-6 WAR second baseman.

3. Luis Gil / SP / ETA: 2022

Luis Gil signed as an international free agent back in 2015. He played in the Twins organization until 2018 when he was traded to the Yankees in return for Jake Cave. His arsenal includes a strong three-pitch mix, including one of the best fastballs in all of the minor leagues. Gil throws a plus-plus fastball that sits consistently in the high-90s. The Yankees replaced Gil’s curveball with a slider that has become a second plus-offering for the young phenom. Gil’s third offering, his changeup, is much more inconsistent and he struggles to control it at times. With more use, he should be able to throw it for more strikes.

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The biggest knock on Gil has always been his ability to throw strikes. He can miss bats with the best of them; posting a 12.0 SO9 through 5 seasons in the minors. However, he misses the zone far too often, walking just over 5 batters per nine in that span. Gil started the 2021 season in AA Somerset for the Yankees where he dominated. In 7 starts, Gil posted 50 strikeouts and just 13 walks through 30 innings. The walks crept back up after his promotion to AAA and continued in his eventual promotion to the majors.

Luis Gil made his major league debut for the Yankees in August of last season. His career started at a record pace; 15 2/3 scoreless innings to start his career, the most of any Yankee since the 1960s. No other pitcher in history has posted a scoreless start in all three of their first MLB starts. The results were strong in his Yankee debut last season. Gil started 6 games for the Bronx Bombers, pitching 29 innings and posting a 3.07 ERA. He struck out 38 batters (11.7 SO9) but walked 19 (5.8 BB9). Gil’s FIP indicates some possible decline is in store for him as we enter 2022. I don’t expect it. The walks should come down for Gil with more exposure to the major leagues and the stuff is elite. He profiles as a mid-rotation starter with front-of-rotation upside.

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Written By

I'm a life-long Chiefs and Royals fan from Liberty, MO. I've since moved to Seattle, WA. I love the west coast life with my wife, two beautiful children, a german shepherd, and chihuahua. It's my pleasure to grow Stadium Rant as Director of Content, but I still love writing as well about what topics I'm passionate about.

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