Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
Double-A Affiliate
The Official Site of the Somerset Patriots Somerset Patriots

The Rise of Randy Vasquez

October 4, 2022

Bridgewater, NJ -- The Somerset Patriots were crowned Eastern League Champions for the first time in franchise history on September 28, 2022, behind one of the most dominant all-around championship-clinching performances in recent baseball history. On a night where the Patriots dropped a season-high nine runs in the first inning

Bridgewater, NJ -- The Somerset Patriots were crowned Eastern League Champions for the first time in franchise history on September 28, 2022, behind one of the most dominant all-around championship-clinching performances in recent baseball history.

On a night where the Patriots dropped a season-high nine runs in the first inning of their winner-take-all championship game and rocketed out to a 15-0 lead featuring four home runs in the first four innings, the offensive firepower was merely an afterthought.

In the most unlikely of circumstances, Yankees No. 14 prospect RHP Randy Vasquez stole the show.

In the background of the Patriots' highest run-scoring output of the season, Vasquez began game three of Somerset's best of three championship series vs. the Erie SeaWolves by hurling six perfect innings.

Vasquez wound up permitting one baserunner in the game, a walk with one out in the seventh inning of his career-best performance. Beginning the game with eight hitless innings, Vasquez started the third no-hitter in Somerset Patriots franchise history.

Following the eighth inning and Vasquez' 93rd pitch of the night, he descended into the Patriots' dugout for the final time. A curtain call in the bottom of the eighth inning confirmed that Vasquez's sensational performance had reached its end.

The celebration, however, was just beginning.

Yankees No. 30 prospect, RHP Carson Coleman polished off the no-hitter with a hitless ninth inning that sealed a 15-0 Eastern League Championship clinching victory.

Along Somerset's first ever Eastern League Championship run, Vasquez was the winning pitcher in both Somerset's first and last postseason games.

He started the first affiliated playoff game in Somerset Patriots franchise history on September 20 at Hadlock Field in Portland, allowing three runs over 5.2 innings in a 9-4 victory over the Portland Sea Dogs.

In that game, Vasquez gave up a set of back-to-back home runs, before retiring the next 12 batters he faced--a sign of things to come in his next start.

It was a poetic ending to a roller coaster 2022 season for Vasquez, who ended the season as the Patriots' lone remaining starting pitcher from the 2022 Opening Day roster.

The crowning achievement of Somerset's 2022 season happens to coincide with the crowning achievement of Vasquez's young career.

Having just finished his fourth season with the Yankees organization, Vasquez owns a career record of 15-13 with an ERA of 3.10 in 68 career regular season games (64 starts).

Coming off his third pro season in 2021, Vasquez led all qualifying Yankees minor leaguers with a 2.52 ERA across 23 games (21 starts).

Three months into 2022, he was on track to do the same. Through the end of June (13 starts), Vasquez had posted a 2.73 ERA for the Patriots, the lowest among qualifying Patriots pitchers.

On May 13, Vasquez took a no-hitter into the sixth inning vs. Altoona and was awarded Eastern League Pitcher of the Week honors for his effort.

After this impressive start to the season, Vasquez endured one of the most difficult months of his career in July, posting an 11.66 ERA across four starts with Somerset.

In preparation for the playoffs, Vasquez rebounded with his strongest run of the season, starting eight games during August and September, compiling a 2.89 ERA with 49 strikeouts in 37.1 IP.

Over the past two years, Vasquez has cemented himself as a player to watch among the Yankees' minor league pitching depth.

Coming out of the 2022 season, MLB Pipeline has Vasquez ranked as its No. 14 Yankees prospect, marking his second straight season as a top-15 ranked prospect in the organization.

This wasn't always the case for Vasquez though. At 19-years-old out of Navarette, Dominican Republic, Vasquez was an un-signed catcher with no pitching experience in 2018.

It wasn't until a May 2018 tryout that a scout within the Yankees organization, Arturo Pena, realized the potential of Vasquez's arm strength, citing it as his only strength behind the plate. Pena instructed him to focus on pitching in preparation for their next tryout in two weeks.

After working hard to strengthen his arm over the course of the weeks leading up to his next tryout opportunity, Vasquez returned to prove his worth as a pitcher and at 19-years-old, he was signed by the Yankees for $10,000--humbling numbers for an international free agent.

In his first two professional seasons, Vasquez dazzled, posting a 1.78 ERA across nine starts his rookie season in 2018 and posting a 3.29 ERA across the following season in 2019.

Continuing to develop his new art of pitching, it was during this period that Vasquez began turning heads with his secondary pitches that were routinely exceeding spin rates of 3,000 RPMs.

Once known for the power arm that earned him a professional contract, Vasquez had developed a reputation for his breaking ball brilliance and it was no accident.

Born and raised in Navarette, Vasquez grew up playing a popular street form of baseball called Vitilla, in which you use bottle caps as the balls and broom sticks as the bats.

Vasquez's pitching excellence in this game growing up earned him the nickname "cuchilito" amongst his friends, which translates to "the knife." This was in reference to the violent movement that his bottle cap breaking pitches had in the game of Vitilla.

Upon becoming a professional pitcher, Vasquez tested these same wrist movements on his new craft and was surprised to see the effectiveness translated.

What started out as an innocent hobby evolved into a key attribute of Vasquez's success as a professional pitcher in the Yankees organization.

Now, following his fourth pro season, Vasquez has reached new heights as a pitcher, validated by his crowned jewel performance on September 28.

After ending the 2021 season in Somerset and spending all of the 2022 season with the Patriots, Vasquez has now started more games in a Patriots uniform (29) than any other Yankees affiliated pitcher.

Likewise, Vasquez has pitched more games as a member of the Somerset Patriots than any other professional team that he has ever been a part of.

The prime of Vasquez's rapid rise up the Yankees minor league ladder has coincided with the first two years of the Patriots' partnership with the New York Yankees, sealing a special connection between the Somerset Patriots and Randy Vasquez, one of the initial faces of the new era of Patriots in pinstripes.

This link has been immortalized by the Somerset Patriots' first ever Eastern League Championship, which culminated with one of the seminal achievements in franchise history, Randy Vasquez's championship-clinching, no-hit masterpiece.