You alrey know about Agustin Ramirez, but can I interest you in a starter who’s previously touched 100?

New York Yankees v Miami Marlins

Photo by Rich Storry/Getty Images

Welcome to the second edition of the 2024 weekly minor league roundup, where I review each Yankees affiliate from the week before and the prospects playing there. Last week, I mentioned that future editions of this series would be shorter. As you’ll see, that isn’t the case (sorry/not sorry). It was a mixed bag for the Yankees’ affiliates last week, with some crushing and others being crushed. Let’s get this show on the ro!

Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre RailRiders

Record: 10-4, two games up in the International League East after going 6-0 against the Norfolk Tides (Orioles)

Run differential: +20

Coming up: Home for six games against the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies) starting Tuesday, April 16th

In last week’s column, I noted how Scranton’s team ERA was likely to jump after a week’s worth of games against the Norfolk Tides given how loed their lineup is. Fast forward a week and the RailRiders are coming off a sweep against that loed Tides offense and are tied for the least runs allowed in the International League with 57. Baseball, man. Clayton Beeter and Yoendrys Gómez h standout performances as starters, with Beeter looking especially impressive and earning the International League Pitcher of the Week award.

Pitching over five scoreless innings on Saturday, the right-hander struck out eight while surrendering just one hit and no walks. That last tidbit is notable given how much of Beeter’s minor league career has been plagued by an inability to fill up the zone early in counts. Beeter’s rising fastball, 12-6 curve, and slider — all of which gre out as plus — present a starter’s repertoire should he continue to tame his wildness. The bullpen also h a bit of a rebound week led by Ron Marinaccio — who was recalled by the Yankees to the big-league club — and Duane Underwood Jr.

Offensively, Brandon Lockridge h another notable week, so much so that his OBP through 42 plate appearances is a whopping .524. His walk rate is a staggering 31 percent. Wow! Jose Breaux, who’s in a timeshare with Carlos Narvaez behind the dish, swatted two homers on Sunday to solidify the epic sweep. The 2018 second-round pick has never lived up to the expectations associated with such a high pick, but he has plus raw power which seems to be a running theme amongst Yankees catchers. Elsewhere, the ever-baller Caleb Durbin, Jose Rojas, and Jeter Downs also contributed to the beatdown in Norfolk. This was a statement series for Scranton, beating a team in the Tides whom many think could beat the worst teams in the majors.

Prospects of note (notable stats are season totals at the level):

2B Caleb Durbin: 66 PA, .340/.455/.547 (161 wRC+), 1 HR, 15 RBI, 8 R, 9 SB
OF Brandon Lockridge: 42 PA, .310/.524/.448 (171 wRC+), 0 HR, 6 RBI, 9 R, 11 SB
OF Everson Pereira: 60 PA, .216/.333/.490 (109 wRC+), 4 HR, 9 RBI, 8 R, 2 SB
C Carlos Narvaez: 55 PA, .175/.382/.325 (99 wRC+), 1 HR, 7 RBI, 7 R, 1 SB
LHP Edgar Barclay: 13.0 IP, 2.77 ERA, 23.7 K%, 10.2 K-BB%, .306 BABIP

RHP Will Warren: 9.1 IP, 8.68 ERA, 27.7 K%, 12.8 K-BB%, .261 BABIP
RHP Clayton Beeter, 8.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 39.4 K%, 24.2 K-BB%, .200 BABIP
RHP Yoendrys Gómez, 6.0 IP, 3.00 ERA, 30.8 K%, 19.2 K-BB%, .357 BABIP
RHP Yorlin Calderon: 7.2 IP, 1.17 ERA, 16.1 K%, 6.5 K-BB%, .143 BABIP

Double-A Somerset Patriots

Record: 4-5, 2 GB in the Eastern League Northeast after going 2-4 against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Blue Jays)

Run differential: -6

Coming up: Home for six games against the Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies) starting Tuesday, April 16th

Somerset’s 2-4 week in New Hampshire left a lot to be desired, particularly on the pitching side. The giant heline, pun intended, was the return of Spencer Jones. It wasn’t Jones who me the biggest impact over the weekend, though he h a nice season debut in his own right. That distinction belongs to Agustin Ramirez, aka Señor Inevitable. Let’s call a spe a spe: Ramirez is having an epic start to his campaign, as he’s now up to six homers in eight games. Per Yankees Prospect Watch on X, Ramirez is first among non-Triple-A hitters in home runs, and he’s only a couple short of Triple-A mashers who’ve h an extra week of games. As I wrote yesterday for Baseball Prospectus, we’ve always known he can mash, but his early season proclivity for lifting the ball could be a seismic development for him and the Yankees. His start is one of the biggest helines in the minors thus far.

Benjamin Cowles h three multi-hit games and is now hitting .419 through 37 plate appearances. He has below-average power but could be a Jon Berti clone as a speedster with defensive utility and a keen eye at the plate. Each of Aaron Palensky, J.C. Escarra, and T.J. Rumfield also h a strong series against an mittedly porous New Hampshire pitching staff. Spencer Jones will be the focal point of the offense so long as he remains in Double-A, but this roster goes deep with bats.


The pitching, as we alluded to before, has been inconsistent outside of a few guys. Through nine games, Somerset’s 57 runs allowed are second most in the Eastern League. Only Reing (Phillies) has allowed more runs to date, and they play in one of the most hitter-friendly environments outside of the Pacific Coast League. Blane Abeyta started two games throughout the series (Tuesday and Sunday) and surrendered ten runs in eight innings, really struggling to locate much of anything. Zach Messinger was having a good outing on Friday until he was curiously left in the game entering the seventh inning, where the wheels proceeded to fall off. The Fisher Cats wound up scoring five runs en route to their 10-8 victory on Friday night. In dition to some shaky starts, the bullpen has also been a mess as evidenced by their collective 5.64 ERA. If and when Chase Hampton returns from right shoulder inflammation, he’ll be a welcomed reinforcement to a group that’s been struggling out of the gate.

Trystan Vrieling, however, continues to shine after he tossed another six innings of one-run ball on Saturday. I mentioned last week that the shaky command of his slider leaves him susceptible to hard contact if he misses up in the zone. Well, he missed a few times up in the zone again, but New Hampshire is a very top-heavy lineup and Vrieling worked around to minimize the damage. When he was locating, his slider looked extremely good and it pairs nicely with his fastball and change, both of which got whiffs. Vrieling is the biggest pitching storyline in the farm system through mid-April.

Prospects of note (notable stats are season totals at the level):

OF Spencer Jones: 4 PA, .667/.750/1.000 (356 wRC+), 0 HR, 1 RBI, 3 Rm 0 SB
C Agustin Ramirez: 38 PA, .281/.395/.844 (215 wRC+), 6 HR, 13 RBI, 9 R, 2 SB
2B Benjamin Cowles: 37 PA, .419/.514/.613 (209 wRC+), 0 HR, 6 RBI, 6 R, 2 SB
C Ben Rice: 39 PA, .200/.282/.286 (63 wRC+), 1 HR, 1 RBI, 5 R, 2 SB
1B T.J. Rumfield: 34 PA, .321/.441/.357 (135 wRC+), 0 HR, 2 RBI, 5 R, 1 SB
RHP Chase Hampton: Has not played (shoulder)
RHP Trystan Vrieling: 2 GS, 11.0 IP, 0.82 ERA, 28.6 K%, 19 K-BB%, .192 BABIP
RHP Zach Messinger: 2 GS, 12.0 IP, 5.25 ERA, 25 K%, 21.2 K-BB%, .303 BABIP
LHP Brock Selvidge: 1 GS, 4 IP, 4.50 ERA, 26.3 K%, 15.8 K-BB%, .583 BABIP
RHP Jack Neely, 3 G, 4.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 47.4 K%, 31.6 K-BB%, .143 BABIP

High-A Hudson Valley Reneges

Record: 5-3, .5 GB in the South Atlantic League League North after going 3-2 against the Rome Emperors (Braves)

Run differential: +15

Coming up: Home for six games against the Aberdeen Ironbirds (Orioles) starting Tuesday, April 16th

It rained, rained again, and then rained some more in Rome, Georgia. Games were postponed, and then the makeup games for those postponed games were also canned. As the skies finally cleared up on Friday, Hudson Valley and the aptly re-branded Rome Emperors proceeded to play five games in three days. The Reneges won three of the five, two of which were part of doubleheers and were thus seven innings apiece. Each of the five games were close and low-scoring, which was a deviation from how Hudson Valley’s first series of the year went in which they scored plenty of runs. Atlanta’s farm system is very pitching-heavy, with 12 of their top-15 or so top prospects being pitchers, so I’m not surprised with the dearth of offense.

I think this series speaks more to the Reneges’ pitching staff, which h some highlight performances from Brian Hendry, Cam Schlittler, and Sebastian Keane. Hendry, a 24-year-old 10th-round pick out of Oklahoma State last year, me his professional debut on Friday and proceeded to throw five shutout innings while allowing just two hits, one walk, and striking out eight. Hendry’s fastball was sitting in the mid-90s and getting up to 98 with ease. His curve and slider looked legitimately good. This is loud, loud stuff, and looks like yet another guy the Yankees might’ve struck gold on. If he does this for a few more starts, he’s going to be within the top 10 of my internal org ranking before midseason.

Schlittler continued his torrid start to the campaign with another encouraging performance in Rome on Sunday, tossing five innings and surrendering three unearned runs. His command woes popped up in this outing as he struggled to get ahe in counts for most of his outing but suppressed hard contact en route to another quality outing. Meanwhile, Keane struggled mightily in his first start of the season but rebounded nicely on Saturday, going 4.1 innings with no runs, three hits, seven strikeouts, and just one walk. Most impressive of all, the right-hander h 20 whiffs off 72 pitches: a huge number.

Though his stuff isn’t on par with Hendry, the whiffs Schlittler generated suggest there’s some deception is his delivery. Alas, he has long arm action and features great extension, which makes him trickier than dominant. Still, this was a nice bounce-back performance. I was yet again disappointed with Kyle Carr, who struggled to command his arsenal for the second outing in a row. He has a very simple mechanical process and threw strikes in college, so it’s difficult for me to assess what’s going on without seeing him in person, which I hope to do soon.

While offense came at a premium last weekend, Roc Riggio, who I noted as a prospect to watch last week, h a couple of multi-hit performances over the weekend. Though he didn’t hit a homer, he was generating hard contact in the gaps that resulted in a double and triple apiece. Rafael Flores, Omar Martinez, and Kiko Romero also h solid weekends that didn’t yield much home run power but did result in runs via extra-base hits and superb baserunning. Suddenly, Hudson Valley looks far more balanced than I anticipated this time last week.

Prospects of note (notable stats are season totals at the level):

2B Roc Riggio: 25 PA, .294/.480/.529 (194 wRC+), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R, 0 SB
1B Rafael Flores: 24 PA, .348/.375/.609 (190 wRC+), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R, 0 SB
C Omar Martinez: 31 PA, .310/.355/.586 (177 wRC+), 2 HR, 4 RBI, 4 R, 0 SB
SS Jared Serna: 31 PA, .200/.290/.440 (112 wRC+), 2 HR, 5 RBI, 6 R, 0 SB
SS Alexander Vargas: 19 PA, .200/.316/.400 (109 wRC+), 0 HR, 5 RBI, 1 R, 1 SB
LHP Kyle Carr: 2 GS, 6.0 IP, 1.59 ERA, 10.7 K%, -17.9 K-BB%, .235 BABIP
RHP Brian Hendry: 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 42,1 K%, 36.8 K-BB%, .200 BABIP
RHP Cam Schlittler: 2 GS, 11.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 28.6 K%, 16.7 K-BB%, .087 BABIP
RHP Sebastian Keane: 2 GS, 6.0 IP, 6.00 ERA, 26.7 K%, 13.3 K-BB%, .471 BABIP
RHP Trent Sellers: 2 G, 6.1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 52.2 K%, 39.1 K-BB%, .125 BABIP

Low-A Tampa Tarpons

Record: 2-7, 5 GB in the Florida State League West after going 1-5 against the Dunedin Blue Jays

Run differential: -31

Coming up: On the ro for six games against the St. Lucie Mets starting Tuesday, April 16th

Tampa’s gotten off to as b a start as one could’ve imagined, even when considering how short-handed they are since a decent number of anticipated contributors are still in extended spring camp. Tampa has a 5.63 team ERA thus far and has scored just 29 runs, tied for last in the Florida State League. Given how the FSL is a notoriously pitcher-friendly environment, the pitching woes are especially inauspicious. Though Ce Smith somewhat bounced back from his uneven season debut in Fort Myers (Twins), the rest of the rotation has struggled.

Even for FSL standards which are mittedly low, the command that Tampa’s pitching staff has exhibited is astoundingly b. Through nine games, the Tarpons have hit eight batters and thrown ten wild pitches. They’ve walked 54 batters in 80 innings. Ce Austin is the highlight of the pitching staff so far, and he impressed over the weekend with 3.2 innings in relief. He allowed a run on two hits, one walk, and six strikeouts. His sinker-slider-change trio generated an impressive 12 whiffs, and he limited hard contact.

Bry Rose is a 6-foot-5 southpaw from Dallas Baptist who doesn’t throw very hard but has a lot of fringe-average pitches at his disposal. He h a respectable showing on Sunday where he went 4.2 scoreless innings with one walk and five K’s. Make no mistake, though: it’s been ugly on the mound for Tampa thus far.

The offense has been next to non-existent as well, though each of Dylan Jasso, Taylor Aguilar, and George Lombard Jr. have gotten off to very good starts by FSL standards. Roderick Arias, the man whom Twitter has deemed the next crown jewel of the Yankees’ farm system, is striking out almost half the time in his 41 plate appearances so far: I tried telling you guys how problematic his swing is. Specifically, his swing is so long and steep that the barrel stays in the zone for a very short amount of time. I mit that his damage on contact is impressive, but he’s going to be eaten alive by pitchers at higher levels if he doesn’t make efforts to trim his swing.

Prospects of note (notable stats are season totals at the level):

SS George Lombard Jr.: 45 PA, .207/.489/.207 (142 wRC+), 0 HR, 3 RBI, 5 R, 5 SB
SS Roderick Arias: 41 PA, .194/.293/.417 (105 wRC+), 1 HR, 3 RBI, 5 R, 1 SB
3B Dylan Jasso: 33 PA, .292/.455/.417 (158 wRC+), 0 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R, 0 SB
INF Enmanuel Tejeda: 34 PA, .300/.353/.300 (96 wRC+), 0 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R, 5 SB
RHP Ce Smith: 2 GS, 5.2 IP, 3.18 ERA, 37.0 K%, 14.8 K-BB%, .300 BABIP
RHP Luis Serna: 1 GS, 4.1 IP, 8.31 ERA, 25.0 K%, 15.0 K-BB%, .333 BABIP
LHP Bry Rose: 1 G, 4.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 33.3 K%, 26.7 K-BB%, .000 BABIP

Prospect of the week: Agustin Ramirez

Ramirez’s ascension is yet another reason why age is simply a number. What do I mean? Ramirez has been dinged in prior years because he was old for the levels he played at. What people seem to forget is that COVID uprooted nearly a year and a half for some guys. d in that Ramirez is a catcher — the most demanding spot on the field — and you’ve got a perfectly valid explanation for why it took a guy who signed in 2018 to break out last year. We should begin putting more weight into the reps a player has accrued as opposed to just their age because you end up with success stories like Ramirez.