Hudson Valley Sports Report

YANKEES’ BRASS SAYS HERE’S WHO TO WATCH ON THE RENEGADES

These Players Could Be In The Bronx Someday

 

By Phil Sanzo
Special to HVSR
@Philip_Sanzo

The Yankees have some big names in their farm system, and a few will be donning a Hudson Valley Renegades uniform starting tonight against the Jersey Shore Blue Claws.

Kevin Reese, the Yankees Senior Director of Player Development, spoke to media on Monday about the next generation of Bombers, most of whom have been out of the public eye for more than a year. COVID-19 canceled all of minor league baseball last summer.

Reese touched on shortstop Oswald Peraza, second baseman Ezequiel Duran, right-hander Luis Medina and catchers Josh Breaux and Anthony Seigler, all of whom will be starting the season with the Renegades.

Peraza, ranked third in the Yankees organization by Fangraphs and fourth by MLB.com, is a 20-year-old middle infielder from Venezuela (Yankees starting shortstop Gleyber Torres hails from the same country).

“Peraza is one of our top prospects, he can do a little bit of everything, he can run, he can defend, he can hit for power,” Reese said. “I think those are the types of guys, not to put him in the same name as some of the best shortstops in the game right now in the big leagues, but he has that level of potential and excitement that he’ll bring to the park every single day.”

Peraza spent 2019 split between low-A Staten Island and single-A Charleston. In 65 games that season, he batted a combined .262 with a .332 on base percentage and .340 slugging. He collected one hit in 15 plate appearances at major league spring training this season.

Turning double-plays with Peraza could be Ezequiel Duran. Duran is a 21-year-old second baseman who ranks eighth in the Yankees organization according to Fangraphs and 15th according to MLB.com.

“He’s probably one of our hardest working players,” Reese said. “He hustles all the time, just a ton of energy, huge power. He’s not a huge guy, but he hits the ball as hard as just about anybody in our organization, at least on the minor league side. He’s an exciting player, he works hard is going to move all around the infield probably, be a top of order type guy and I think he’ll perform well there.”

In 66 games with Staten Island in 2019, Duran had 13 home runs and a slugging percentage of .496.

 

On the mound, the most exciting Renegade to start the season will be Luis Medina, a flame-throwing righty who ranks sixth in the Yankees organization according to Fangraphs and seventh according to MLB.com.

“Luis can throw 100 miles per hour and he has really good secondary stuff,” Reese said. “Control has been a focus of ours for a number of years now, he pitched really well in the Puerto Rican league, I think he was the MVP or pitcher of the year in that league and he continued to pitch well for us in spring training. But yea, he has electric stuff.”

Catching Medina will be a combination of Josh Breaux and Anthony Siegler, a former second and first round pick respectively by the Yankees. Both players saw time in major league camp this spring. “It’s almost like with the pitchers, these guys haven’t played in full games in a long time and so

a little bit of a split was going to be happening anyways regardless of what the prospect status was,” Reese said. “So, I think it will allow us to get rolling, one of the big question marks that we have to fill in is basically what these guys did and what they developed themselves during the down time… Both of those players are very talented, and I imagine one of them is going to have a little bit more success earlier than the other and that puts some pressure on us to kind of continue moving forward.”

Leading up to this past weekend, one of the biggest minor league questions among Yankee fans was the destination of 18-year-old phenom Jasson Dominguez. We know now that it will not be at high-A Hudson Valley, but at extended spring training.

“We’re in a different world,” Reese said. “We didn’t play last year. Jasson is an 18-year-old that we’re all excited about, he’s got a lot of talent and a lot of skill. He hasn’t played in a ton of games, so we wanted to put him in the best place to succeed and normally extended spring training is a little bit of a cluster. There’s a ton of people and a lot of craziness, this year we’re going to have a lot less people and that will provide an environment for more individual attention where we could iron out anything that he needs to work through. Once he gets going, I’m sure he’ll be a steamroller through the minors.”

Reese noted that there is certainly a possibility that Dominguez ends up with an affiliated team this season and that the most logical destination would be the low-A Tampa Tarpons, but that decision has yet to be made.

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