New York Yankees Minor League Affiliates

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A photo of PNC Field from behind home plate, the home of the New York Yankees Triple-A affiliate the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
PNC Field, home of the Yankees Triple-A affiliate, the Scranton/ Wilkes-Barre RailRiders was host to a doubleheader against the visiting Indianapolis Indians on August 15, 2018. After dropping game one with then-top pitching prospect Justus Sheffield on the mound, the RailRiders took the nightcap for a split of the twin-bill. Photo credit: Michael Stokes.

From top to bottom, the New York Yankees farm system features nine minor league affiliates. All levels of professional ball are represented, from Triple-A to foreign rookie leagues. The Yankees own all but two of the affiliates, with only the newly engaged Hudson Valley Renegades and Somerset Patriots being privately owned.

The Yankees farm system is now comprised of the following affiliates (and still in flux) on the heels of a major restructuring announced on November 6, 2020. See report below:

  • AAA : Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders
  • AA : Trenton Thunder   Somerset Patriots
  • Low A : Tampa Tarpons
  • A : Charleston River Dogs   Hudson Valley Renegades
  • A (Short Season) : Staten Island Yankees
  • Advanced Rookie : Pulaski Yankees
  • Rookie : Gulf Coast League Yankees 1
  • Rookie : Gulf Coast League Yankees 2
  • Dominican Summer League : Dominican Summer League Yankees

 

Major Changes to New York Yankees Minor League Affiliates

NOVEMBER 6, 2020 : Big news broke today on the status of multiple New York Yankees minor league affiliates. Starting with the 2021 season, gone will be the AA-level Trenton Thunder, replaced by the central-New Jersey based Somerset Patriots of the Atlantic League. The Class A Charleston RiverDogs will also be ending their relationship with the Yankees, replaced by the Hudson Valley Renegades of the New York-Penn League. There is also talk of the Class A Short Season affiliate Staten Island Yankees being removed as well. The Rookie-Level Pulaski Yankees will also get the axe in 2021.

logos of the Hudson Valley Renegades and Somerset Patriots - New York Yankees minor league affiliate teams
WELCOME TO THE YANKEES FAMILY! With an overall improved geographical proximity to the Big Apple, Yankee fans have fewer excuses to not pack these new affiliate parks and see the next generation of pinstripe heros on the way up.

If you can’t beat ’em, take their farm team! The Hudson Valley Renegades were previously affiliated with the Tampa Rays since 1996. They will be based in Wappingers Falls, N.Y. The Class AA Patriots will be based in Bridgewater Township, NJ. They were a founding member of the Atlantic League in 1998, and have won more league titles than any other organization.

The Trenton Thunder were part of the Yankees family since 2003, and have won four straight Eastern Division titles (2016-19) in the Eastern League. The RiverDogs have been the Bombers’ Class-A affiliate since 2005.

The AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders will remain in the Yankees system, while the Tampa Tarpons will be designated to Low A ball from Advanced A, and the Dominican Summer League will remain unchanged.

It’s not the Yankees alone turning their minor league system upside down — it’s a decision based on an agreement by Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball to reduce the amount of minor league affiliates. The Yankees will reduce their total from nine to six. (Corrected from the original post).

More on this in the coming days.

Trenton and Staten Island Clubs Rip Yankees for Ending Partnerships

UPDATE — November 9, 2020 : The big club was blasted by both Trenton Thunder owner Joseph Plumeri and Staten Island Yankees for both the decision to abandon the minor league affiliates and the manner in which it was done. Both said they learned of the decision through social media. See ‘Staten Island Yankees ‘shocked’ big-league team dumped them“. Also: “‘Betrayed’ Trenton Thunder Owner Calls Yankees ‘Despicable’.”

— •  —

Yankees Top Minor League Prospects

Here’s a list of the 30 most highly regarded players in the Yankees system at the moment, complete with in-depth scouting profiles and updated statistics: 2020 New York Yankees Prospect Watch.

The Early Years

It all began in 1931 when New York Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert purchased the Newark Bears of the International League. It would become the foundation of the Yankees player development, or ‘farm’ system. By 1932, Ruppert had 5 minor league teams under club control including the A-Ball Springfield Rifles (Massachusetts), Cumberland Colts (Maryland), Binghamton Triplets (Binghamton, NY), and the Erie Sailors (Erie, Pennsylvania).

The affiliate team total ballooned to 24 by 1948, and while over the years most locations were in proximity to the East Coast and South, some were as far West as the Amarillo Gold Sox (1960 Texas League) and the 1951 San Francisco Seals. Joe DiMaggio played his minor league ball for the Seals in the early 1930s, and retired from pro ball after the 1951 season, which would be the only year the Seals would be part of the Yankees organization.

By the early 1950s, the height of ‘the golden era of New York baseball’, the Yankees farm system would be cultivating the stars of what would be the organization’s last hurrah in the early 60s — until The Bronx Zoo clubs restored the roar in The Boogie Down in the mid-to-late 70s.

In 1950, the then-Triple A affiliate, the Kansas City Blues, fielded teams that included a 21-year-old Whitey Ford, Elston Howard (21), Mickey Mantle (18), Billy Martin (22), and Lew Burdette (23). To reflect how level classifications have changed over the years, in 1950 it was AAA, AA, A, then B, C, and D leagues. In 1950, with all of that budding talent, the KC Blues went 54-99 (.353).


The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (AAA)

The Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders celebrate their 2016 Tripe-A National Championship on September 20, 2016, defeating the El Paso Chihuahuas of the Pacific Coast League by a score of 3-1. Photo credit: Larry Hockett.

This storied minor league ball franchise debuted in 1919 and has bounced around the northeastern part of the country and Canada since.

Originating in Reading, Pennsylvania as the Reading Coal Barons the organization called home to numerous outposts in New York, New Jersey and Ottawa, Canada before settling in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 1989 as an affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.

In 2007 the organization became the Yankees new Triple-A affiliate and assumed the name of the parent club. Games are played at PNC Field in Moosic, Pennsylvania. In 2013, the name was changed to the ‘RailRiders’ in homage to the area’s historical connection to America’s railroad industry.

Official Website
RailRider Current Roster
Team Statistics
Schedule
Ballpark Directions
Purchase Game Tickets
• Local Radio Stations: The Game 93.5 FM | WICK 1400 AM
Listen Live Online
• League/Division: International League ; North Division
International League Standings
• League Championships: 2008, 2016
• Local Newspaper(s): Times-Leader (local news)
• Social Media: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | RSS

Players both drafted by the Yankees and played for SWB include:
• Joba Chamberlain (2007)
• Ian Kennedy (2007)
• Phil Hughes (2007)
• Brett Gardner (2007-2008)
• Ramiro Peña (2009)
• Kei Igawa (2007-2011)
• Hector Noesi (2010-2011)

// more to come shortly


The Somerset Patriots (AA)


Prior to joining the Eastern League, the Patriots were the most successful organization in the independent Atlantic League between 1998 and 2020. The Patriots are owned by auto industry entrepreneur and New Jersey Hall of Fame member Steve Kalafer, with Patrick McVerry serving as long-time General Manager. The team has been very active in local community affairs and charitable outreach.

Official Website
• Somerset Patriots Current Roster (To be announced)
• Player Statistics (coming soon)
• Schedule (2020 Home Schedule TBD)
• Going to a game? Seating Chart | Directions
• Purchase Game Tickets (coming soon)
Listen Live Online Radio (1450 AM, WCTC)
• League/Division: Eastern League | Eastern Division
• League Titles: 2001, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2015
• Local Newspaper Coverage: The Patch | Bridgewater, NJ
• Social Media: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube


The Tampa Tarpons (Advanced A)


Logo of the Tampa Tarpons, the New York Yankees A-ball minor league affiliateSince it’s inception in 1994, the Advanced A-ball affiliate played under the ‘Tampa Yankees’ moniker, but changed names before the 2018 season. Dipping into the rich history of minor league baseball in the area, the ‘Tampa Tarpons’ name was revived from the days prior to 1957 when the team was an independent minor league club.

Home games are played at George M. Steinbrenner Field where Spring Training for the Yankees is based.

Official Website
Tampa Tarpons Current Roster
Player Statistics
Schedule
• Going to a game? Ballpark FAQ & Directions
Purchase Game Tickets
Listen Live Online
• League/Division: Florida State League ; Northern Division
Florida League Standings
• League Championships: 1994, 2009, 2010
• Social Media: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | RSS

Players both drafted by the Yankees and played for Tampa include:
• Bernie Willams (1987)*
• Kevin Maas (1987)* / Yes, nomaas.org if you’re wondering
• Derek Jeter (1993)*
• Mariano Rivera (1992)*
• David Robertson (2007)**
• Joba Chamberlain (2007)**
• Ian Kennedy (2007)**
• Phil Hughes (2005)**
• Ramiro Mendoza (1994)*
• Chase Whitley (2010)**
• Dellin Betances (2010-2011)**
• Adam Warren (2010)**
• Jose Pirela (2010)**
• Rob Refsynder (2013)**
• Shane Greene (2012-2013)**
• Kyle Higashioka (2011-2012, 2014-2015)**
• Jonathan Holder (2015)**
• Thairo Estrada (2018)***

* = Fort Lauderdale Yankees
** = Tampa Yankees
*** = Tampa Tarpons


The Hudson Valley Renegades (High Single-A)

Dutchess Stadium Fishkill New York
Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill, New York as seen in August of 2010. Photo credit: Juliancolton

With the recent reorganization of MLB’s minor league affiliate system, the Hudson Valley Renegades will play in the Mid-Atlantic League — a new six-team league being formed to begin play in 2021. At this writing only the Renegades and the Brooklyn Cyclones (New York Mets) are the only members. The Renegades were previously connected with the Tampa Rays (1996-2020) and the Texas Rangers (1994-95). They play homes games at Dutchess Stadium, a 4,500 seat ballpark in Fishkill, New York.

Official Website
Hudson Valley Renegades Current Roster
Team Statistics
Schedule
• Going to a game? Ballpark Directions
Purchase Game Tickets
Listen Live Online
• League: Mid-Atlantic League (League will start in 2021)
• Social Media: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Here’s a list of players of note who rocked former Yankees Single-A affiliate Charleston RiverDog unis’ and made it to The Bronx (kept here for historical purposes):
• Greg Bird (2013)
• David Robertson (2007)
• Phil Hughes (2005)
• Aaron Judge (2014)
• Domingo German (2016)
• Gary Sanchez (2011-2012)
• Miguel Andujar (2014)
• Nestor Cortes (2016)
• Mike Ford (2014)
• Luis Severino (2013-2014)
• Tyler Austin (2012)
• Dellin Betances (2008)
• Tyler Wade (2014)
• Mason Williams (2012)
• Chance Adams (2015)
• Slade Heathcott (2015)
• Jordan Montgomery (2015)
• James Pazos (2013)
• Eduardo Nunez (2007)


The Staten Island Yankees: Whacked

Photo of Richmond County Ballpark on June 28, 2014 in a game between the visiting Brooklyn Cyclones and Staten Island Yankees.
Richmond County Ballpark on June 28, 2014 in a game between the visiting Brooklyn Cyclones and Staten Island Yankees. Photo credit: Doug Kerr.

Staten Island Yankees logoA favorite of the locals and pinstripe fans all across the New York metro area, the Staten Island Yankees were axed by the parent club in the November Minor League Massacre of 2020. There was a minute there when it looked like the organization might survive the carnage, but no luck. Things got nasty and went public between the ownership and the Yankees front office, and the Staten Island Yankees have since filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of New York State. While we welcome the new affiliates, it’s tough to see one happen.

Players of note who where both drafted by the Yankees and played with the Staten Island Yankees include:
• Robinson Cano (2002)
• Francisco Cervelli (2006)
• Brett Gardner (2005)
• Ian Kennedy (2006)
• Melky Cabrera (2001)
• Danny Burawa (2010)
• Andy Cannizaro (2000)
• Chance Adams (2015)
• Dellin Betances (2007)


The Pulaski Yankees (Advanced Rookie): Whacked

Photo of the pressbox at Calfee Park, in Pulaski Virginia, home of the Pulaski Yankees
The newly renovated pressbox at Calfee Park in Pulaski, Virginia, home to the Advanced Rookie League Pulaski Yankees. Photo credit: Calfee Park.

Also a casualty in MLB’s restructuring of the farm system, the Pulaski Yankees are now a footnote in pinstripe history. The organization itself has been around since 1942 and have been associated with 8 major league teams over the decades, but in the Yankees family since only 2015 — but did notch an Appalachian League title in 2019.


Gulf Coast League Yankees (Rookie)

New York Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes
Phil ‘The Franchise’ Hughes blazed through the New York Yankees minor league system, including a stop with the Gulf Coast League Yankees in 2004. Photo credit: Keith Allison.

Derek Jeter started here. So did Mariano Rivera. And a handful of others fortunate enough to not only reach mad heights of success in the Pinstripes, but to actually start out in the Yankees system. Since 1964, that system began with the Gulf Coast League.

Named after the ultimate destination of every player, since 2004 the Gulf Coast League Yankees have played home games in George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, shared by the Advanced A level Tampa Tarpons, as well as the official Spring Training facility of the big club.

Since 2013, there have been two Yankees squads in the GCL — East (1) and West (2), which compete in different divisions. This is where we’ll first see players just starting out in pro ball — from free agent walk-ons to advancing international free agent signings.

• Official Website(s): GLC Yankees East | GCL Yankees West
• Gulf Coast Yankees Current Rosters: East | West
• Player Stats: East | West
• League: Gulf Coast League
Gulf Coast League Standings
• League Championships: 12 (since 1966)

Players drafted by the Yankees and played for the Gulf Coast teams include:
• Joe Harvey (2014)
• Thairo Estrada (2014)
• Miguel Andujar (2012-2013)
• Tyler Austin (2010)
• Greg Bird (2011)
• Gary Sanchez (2010)
• John Ryan Murphy (2009)
• Ian Kennedy (2008)
• Austin Romine (2007)
• Ivan Nova (2006)
• Hector Noesi (2010-2011)
• Francisco Cervelli (2005)
• Phil Hughes (2004)
• Robinson Cano (2001)
• Juan Rivera (1998)
• Nick Johnson (1996)
• Derek Jeter (1992)
• Ricky Ledee (1990-91-92)
• Mariano Rivera (1990, 1993)
• Ramiro Mendoza (1993)
• Shane Spencer (1990-1991)
• Sterling Hitchcock (1989)
• Marcus Thames (1987) / Our 2019 hitting coach!
• Bernie Williams (1986)
• Jose Cano (1980) / Yes, Robinson’s dad!
• Roberto Kelly (1980)
• Fred McGriff (1980) / Don’t get me started about the trade!


Dominican Summer League

Dominican Summer League logoFounded in 1985, the Dominican Summer League (DSL) is a rookie league which packs a 64-game schedule into about 11 weeks between June 1 and late August.
The DSL Yankees play in the Boca Chica South Division against squads from the Angels, Cardinals, Nationals, Orioles, Phillies, Rockies and Twins. All told there are six divisions totaling 45 teams. The players are between the ages of 16 and 22, with the top prospects moving up to lower tiered minor league teams in the United States. The Yankees have been very active in recruiting international talent and many will begin their journeys to the big leagues in the DSL.

Official Website (in Spanish only)
Boca Chica South Division Rosters
Boca Chica South Schedule


 

Recommended Reading

For more great coverage on our up-and-coming Bronx Bombers, don’t miss Pinstripe Alley’s Yankees Minor Leagues and Prospects.