The road to Yankee Stadium now runs through Somerset and Hudson Valley.
The Yankees announced sweeping changes to their Minor League affiliation structure on Saturday, identifying the Somerset Patriots as their new Double-A farm club and the Hudson Valley Renegades as their Class A Advanced affiliate. The Tampa Tarpons will transition into the organization’s Class A club.
“Restructuring our Minor League affiliations — especially with the additions of Somerset and Hudson Valley — gives us greater continuity to streamline and improve the development of our Minor League system,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said in a statement. “The relationships we have formed with all of our teams will allow for a more consistent application of training with similarly aligned facilities in terms of structure, quality and ease of travel.”
The home stadiums for the top three levels of the Yankees’ Minor League system (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Somerset and Hudson Valley) are now located within easy driving distance of The Bronx.
According to the team, the changes resulted from the expiration of the Professional Baseball Agreement between the Majors and Minors and the creation of the Prospect Development Pipeline. The Yankees are reducing their overall number of Minor League teams from 10 to six.
The Yankees will maintain their Triple-A affiliation with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, whose home diamond of PNC Field in Moosic, Pa., hosted the club’s alternate training site during the 2020 season. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre has been a Yankees affiliate since ’07.
Somerset plays its home games at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, N.J. The team said that it selected Somerset over continuing an 18-year affiliation with the Trenton Thunder “strictly on the basis of what we believe to be the best facility to develop our young players.” The Thunder, based in Trenton, N.J., will be offered Somerset’s membership within the Atlantic League.
NEW YORK YANKEES STATEMENT:
Statement from the New York Yankees regarding their new Minor League affiliation structure. pic.twitter.com/DN9oPbfdt3
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) November 7, 2020