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Volpe, Domínguez charging toward the Bronx

Yankees see big seasons from farm system's brightest stars
Anthony Volpe was the only player in the Minors with at least 20 homers and 50 stolen bases this season. (Benjamin Rush/
November 2, 2022

Each offseason, goes position by position across each organization and honors the players -- regardless of age or prospect status -- who had the best seasons in each farm system. Next up in our 2022 Organization All-Stars series are the New York Yankees.

Each offseason, goes position by position across each organization and honors the players -- regardless of age or prospect status -- who had the best seasons in each farm system. Next up in our 2022 Organization All-Stars series are the New York Yankees.

2022 Organization Summary

Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre: 83-67
Double-A Somerset: 83-53 (Eastern League champions)
High-A Hudson Valley: 71-59
Single-A Tampa: 61-67
DSL Yankees: 30-28
DSL Bombers: 27-33
FCL Yankees: 38-17 (league champions)
Overall record: 395-325 (.549 winning percentage, third among MLB organizations)

Yankees Organization All-Stars

Catcher: Austin Wells

The 2020 first-rounder took a major, albeit painful, step forward as he finished the year in Double-A. Wells was hot out of the gate with Hudson Valley, batting .323 with a 1.005 OPS in 28 games, but was sidelined for five weeks after being hit in the groin by a foul tip. He played nine games in Tampa before being sent straight to Somerset, where he finished with an .839 OPS and 12 homers in 55 games.

“He's been a leader and a worker,” said Yankees director of player development Eric Schmitt, who noted Wells’ improved blocking and receiving. “What he's done in the weight room, in the cages and the different defensive work that he's continued to work on, it really played out this year for him.”

The Yankees’ No. 4 prospect finished with a personal-best 20 homers and a .277/.385/.512 line. He’s also proven to be athletic for his position, swiping 16 bases without getting caught for the second consecutive season.

First base: Ronald Guzmán

The most encouraging development for the 28-year-old was likely the 105 games played. Guzmán played his way onto the Rangers' roster in 2018 and was a valuable bat off the bench entering last year, but suffered a meniscus tear in April. Guzmán returned to play winter ball in his native Dominican Republic and was named a Caribbean Series All-Star before signing a Minor League deal with the Yankees in March. He matched a career high with 16 homers for the RailRiders and elected free agency last week.

Second base: Keiner Delgado

Even in the smaller sample size of the DSL, Delgado’s numbers stand out. The 18-year-old was one of only two Minor Leaguers with more than twice as many walks as strikeouts in at least 150 plate appearances, drawing 58 free passes and whiffing just 28 times in 52 games. The 5-foot-8 Venezuelan was also the only Minor Leaguer with at least 150 plate appearances to compile an on-base percentage and slugging percentage better than .500, and his .504 OBP ranked second to Reds prospect Carlos Sanchez. Delgado had as many total hits as games played, 23 of which went for extra bases, and stole 34 bags, second-most in the DSL behind fellow Yankee prospect Fidel Montero.

Third base: Andres Chaparro

Chaparro hit another gear toward the end of the season after a couple months on the injured list. The 23-year-old batted .333 with a 1.092 OPS, 11 homers and 36 RBIs over the final 34 games after returning to Somerset on Aug. 4. Chaparro earned a spot at Double-A following a strong 2021 season and Arizona Fall League showing but was batting .239 in 30 games before the injury. He did hit the ball hard, however, collecting eight homers and five doubles in that span. Chaparro finished with an Eastern League championship and personal bests in homers (20), average (.296) and slugging percentage (.592).

Shortstop: Anthony Volpe

Since he was drafted in 2019, Volpe has shown an ability to fill up a box score. MLB Pipeline’s No. 5 overall prospect was the only player in the Minors with at least 20 homers and 50 stolen bases this season. There are other statistical combinations that put Volpe in a class of his own, but the 21-year-old's growth can perhaps most clearly be measured by his midseason promotion to Triple-A.

“When he came into the organization, we heard: high makeup, high work ethic, just a great all-around person. And that's continued. From Day 1, we've seen this with him, he's a leader on and off the field,” Schmitt said. “The team really rallies behind him. He's well respected by his teammates, the staff and coordinators are all very fond of Volpe and the work he does.”

Volpe saw a spike in his strikeout rate as he faced advanced competition, but he didn’t see much of a drop in his numbers as he moved up. Overall, he finished with 21 homers, 35 doubles, 86 runs scored and five triples -- the only player in the Minors to reach all those thresholds. Defensively, he played the entire season at shortstop and committed 13 errors in 127 games.

Outfield: Jasson Domínguez

In his second professional season, Domínguez began to better meet the sky-high expectations he garnered as one of the most sought-after amateur prospects ever.

“The tools obviously … have been off the charts. The strength and speed are very impressive,” Schmitt said. “[He] really focused on plate discipline and learning the strike zone and learning what pitches he could do damage on. And he learned a better approach of knowing which pitches he could do damage on and laying off the pitches that were out of the zone and not things he could optimize.”

After struggling in his first tour of the Florida State League, the Yankees’ No. 2 prospect opened the year in Tampa and saw a 69-point jump in his OPS from 2021. After homering at the Futures Game, Domínguez was elevated to Hudson Valley and hit .306 with a .907 OPS in 40 games. The 19-year-old earned another promotion to Somerset for the end of the season and went 9-for-20 (.450) with three long balls, including a two-homer performance in the title clincher.

Domínguez is currently playing with Mesa in the Arizona Fall League and working with the Yankees’ top defensive and baserunning coordinator, Jose Javier.

Estevan Florial

The 24-year-old was regarded as the club’s best prospect as recently as 2019 and arguably had his best full season in the Minors this year. Florial was one of only 13 players in the Minors with at least 15 homers and 39 stolen bases, and he batted .283 with an .849 OPS over 103 games at Triple-A. Florial, who set career highs in stolen bases, walks (54) and slugging percentage (.481), was recalled to the Majors five times and collected three hits in 31 at-bats with New York. Florial played all three outfield positions in the Minors but mainly stuck in center, where he was no stranger to highlight-reel grabs.

Elijah Dunham

The-24-year-old made a name for himself last fall after being selected as the AFL Breakout Player of the Year. He maintained that success over a full season at Somerset, collecting 46 extra-base hits while stealing 37 bases and driving in 63 runs. The Yankees’ No. 19 prospect was mostly a first baseman at Indiana University but has shifted to the corner outfield since signing as a free agent after the shortened 2020 Draft. Dunham split time between left and right field for the Patriots and had six outfield assists.

Right-handed starting pitcher: Richard Fitts

The 22-year-old was already putting together a nice pro debut in Tampa before his lights-out performance down the stretch in Hudson Valley. Fitts went 4-0 in five starts for the Renegades, allowing two earned runs over 33 innings (0.55 ERA) with 38 punchouts and a .152 opponent’s batting average. He struck out at least seven batters and went at least 5 ⅔ innings in each of his starts at High-A.

Schmitt said the Yankees’ pitching, performance science and strength and conditioning departments saw some opportunities for the already muscular Fitts, if he could pack more strength onto his 6-foot-3 frame.

“It really helped his command of his pitches, added velocity. And then he focused more on his four-seam fastball and a harder slider. … The command was outstanding and got a lot of swing and miss,” Schmitt said. “He's really a student of the game and had a good plan of attack.”

The Yankees’ No. 29 prospect was named Pitcher of the Week twice in the FSL and once more in the South Atlantic League. Overall, he posted a 3.70 ERA with 131 strikeouts in 121 innings.

Left-handed starting pitcher: Matt Krook

The 28-year-old finished second to Sean Boyle for the most strikeouts in the system. In his two seasons with the organization since being selected in the Triple-A phase of the 2020 Rule 5 Draft, Krook has also completed the most innings at 244 ⅔. Overall, he compiled a 4.09 ERA with 155 punchouts in 138 ⅔ innings at Triple-A this season. He posted 10 scoreless outings and reached double-digit strikeouts on July 1.

“The pitching department talked to him about using his strengths and how to attack the zone,” Schmitt said. “He's got a real heavy two-seam fastball and a sweeping slider and learned how to attack the zone even more.”

Reliever: Edgar Barclay

The 24-year-old southpaw embraced the swingman role as only five of his 28 appearances this season lasted one inning or shorter. Barclay finished with a 1.74 ERA for Hudson Valley, compiling 86 strikeouts over 67 ⅓ innings while holding opposing batters to a .177 average. The club’s No. 27 prospect had the lowest ERA among all pitchers in the Yankees’ system to complete at least 50 innings.

Gerard Gilberto is a reporter for