The Dominican Summer League (DSL) is one of the most intriguing levels of minor league baseball.
Founded in 1985, this 35-team league has been the initial gateway for many major league players.
For Yankees fans, the future looks bright, for Brian Cashman and Co. boast five hot prospects that are having excellent seasons in professional ball.
These prospects are highlighted below.
With iconic shortstop Derek Jeter retiring in a few years, the Yankees will be actively searching for a shortstop to fill his shoes.
While it is obviously still too early to tell, the Yankees have an outstanding shortstop prospect in Christopher Tamarez.
According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, the Yankees signed the Dominican born Tamarez to a $650,000 contract in 2010. After enduring a very difficult first season with NYY2 in 2011, Tamarez has applied lessons learned in 2012.
And boy are things paying off for Tamarez at the next level.
In 34 games, Tamarez is batting .367 (54-for-147) with four home runs and 21 RBI. Tamarez also has 16 doubles to go with an OBP/SLG/OPS of .420/.571/.991.
Still just 18, this 6’2” 170-lb prospect has a wealth of potential. It will certainly be interesting to see how this young man progresses.
Tamarez’s 19-year-old teammate Jose Figueroa has been equally impressive for NYY1. The 5’10” 170-lb outfield prospect from Mexico has tortured DSL 1 pitching this year.
Through 34 games, Figueroa is batting an eye-popping .385 (42-for-109) with three homers and 31 RBI. But check this out! Figueroa also has 10 doubles, 10 triples and an OBP/SLG/OPS of.485/.743/1.228.
Can someone say future stud?
OK, maybe it is a little too early to ordain Figueroa the next great Yankees outfielder. But if you are a Yankees fan, it is very hard not to get excited about this kid.
Not to mention, NYY1 also has a second baseman in Jose Javier that brings yet more excitement. This guy is batting .342 with seven doubles, three triples and 17 RBI. Javier also has 11 stolen bases to go with an OBP/SLG/OPS of .426/.479/.905.
Rafael De Paula
But what about pitching? Surely the Yankees have pitching prospects beyond hot names like Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances.
Boy do they!
One prospect is Rafael De Paula. This 6’2” 212-lb right-handed hurler has dominated batters for NYY1 this season.
Using an upper-90s fastball, De Paula is 5-1 with a 1.51 ERA in 35.1 innings of work. He has given up just six earned runs all season. This while striking out 47 and walking just 11. Opponents are hitting just .146 against De Paula. And De Paula’s WHIP—0.81.
Christopher Cabrera (P/NYY2)
The Yankees also have an excellent prospect pitcher at DSL 2 in Christopher Cabrera. While not as dominant as De Paula, Cabrera has regained form after struggling in 2011.
This 6’0” 180-lb right-hander is 4-1 with a 2.59 ERA. In 31.1 innings pitched, Cabrera has struck out 28 and walked 12. This 2010 DSL All-Star’s WHIP is 1.12.
Not bad for an undrafted free-agent.
Like Tamarez, Bryan Cuevas is also a gifted shortstop playing in the Yankees organization. While not as big as Tamarez, Cuevas has nonetheless been impressive for NYY2.
While this 18-year-old was born in the Dominican Republic, he graduated from St. Mary’s High School in Western New York as a dual-threat starting pitcher/shortstop.
Currently, Cuevas plays for DSL Yankees2. Through 32 games, Cuevas is batting .348 (48-for-138) with one home run and 23 RBI. A player with impressive speed, Cuevas also has nine doubles, six triples and five stolen pillows. His OBP/SLG/OPS is .396/.522/.918.
The future is indeed bright for the New York Yankees.