|The Yankee Stadium facade. Photo by Jason Schott.|
With just about a week until spring training commences, the Yankees announced on Monday morning that they have invited 19 non-roster players to 2020 Major League Spring Training.
The invitees are listed here in alphabetical order:
RHP Domingo Acevedo
OF Trey Amburgey
LHP Luis Avilan
C Kellin Deglan
INF Chris Gittens
OF Zack Granite
RHP David Hale
INF/OF Rosell Herrera
INF Kyle Holder
C Chris Iannetta
C Erik Kratz
LHP Tyler Lyons
OF Thomas Milone
RHP Dan Otero
C Winston Sawyer
RHP Clarke Schmidt
C Josh Thole
RHP Nick Tropeano
RHP Alexander Vizcaino
14 of the non-roster invitees have been signed (or re-signed) minor league contracts for the 2020 season: Acevedo, Avilan, Deglan, Granite, Hale, Herrera, Iannetta, Kratz, Lyons, Milone, Otero, Sawyer, Thole, and Tropeano.
The remaining five players in the group are in the Yankees organization - Amburgey, Gittens, Holder, Schmidt, and Vizcaino. Of this group, Amburgey and Holder were in big league camp last year, while Gittens, Schmidt, and Vizcaino will be experiencing their first MLB camp.
In addition, five of the 19 non-roster invitees - Acevedo, Deglan, Hale, Kratz and Lyons - spent time in the Yankees organization last year.
The number of players scheduled to report to Major League Spring Training is 59.
Two of the Yankees' non-roster invitees are among the organization's top-10 prospects by Baseball America entering the 2020 season, with Schmidt ranked second and Vizcaino ninth. The other top-10 prospects who will be in camp as members of the Yankees'40-man roster: RHP Deivi Garcia (No. 3), RHP Luis Gil (No. 4), RHP Luis Medina (No. 7) and RHP Albert Abreu (No. 10).
Kratz (born June 16, 1980) is expected to be the oldest player in camp, while Garcia (born May 19, 1999) will be the youngest.
Biographies of some of the non-roster invitees:
Iannetta, 36, has made a total of 1,032 starts behind the plate during his 14-year Major League career. With a total of 1,197 games with Colorado (2006-11, ’18-19), Los Angeles-AL (2012-15), Seattle (2016) and Arizona (2017), the Providence, R.I., native is one of seven active catchers with at least 1,000 games played. He hit .222 (32-for-144) over 52 games with the Rockies in 2019.
Avilán, 30, has held left-handed batters to a .203 batting average (120-for-590) over his eight-year career with the Braves (2012-15), Dodgers (2015-17), White Sox (2018), Phillies (2018) and Mets (2019). A native of Caracas, Venezuela, he limited lefties to a .102 mark (5-for-49) while posting a 4-0 record and 5.06 ERA (32.0IP, 18ER) in 45 appearances with the Mets last season.
Otero, 34, is a veteran of eight Major League seasons with the Giants (2012), Athletics (2013-15) and Indians (2016-19), going 22-8 with a 3.39 ERA (403.2IP, 152ER) and three saves over 358 relief appearances. The Miami native’s 4.68 career strikeouts-to-walks ratio (262K, 56BB) ranks eighth among active pitchers with at least 400.0 innings pitched. In 25 appearances with Cleveland in 2019, he posted a 4.85 ERA (29.2IP, 16ER).
Thole, 33, has played in parts of eight Major League campaigns with New York-NL (2009-12) and Toronto (2013-16). On June 1, 2012, he caught Johan Santana’s no-hitter vs. St. Louis. The Breese, Ill., native played in 72 minor league games in 2019, batting a combined .243 (55-for-226) at Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City in the Dodgers system and Triple-A Salt Lake in the Angels system.
Kratz, 39, returns to the Yankees after a 2019 season that saw him play for his eighth and ninth Major League clubs (San Francisco, Tampa Bay) before joining the Yankees' Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre affiliate at midseason. The 10-year Major League veteran is one of six active players (and the only position player) to have played for at least nine franchises (Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Toronto, Kansas City, Houston, Yankees, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Tampa Bay). Following the season, he played for the USA Professional National Team in the 2019 WBSC Premier12 Tournament in México and Japan.
Lyons, 31, joined the Yankees late in the 2019 campaign, going 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA (8.2IP, 4ER) in 11 regular season relief appearances. A member of both the ALDS and ALCS rosters in 2019, the Lubbock, Texas, native made his postseason debut and struck out four of his five batters across two appearances (ALDS Game 2 vs. Minnesota, ALCS Game 4 vs. Houston). He owns a 13-12 record with three saves and a 4.20 ERA (281.0IP, 131ER) in 161 games (20 starts) over seven Major League seasons with the Cardinals (2013-18), Pirates (2019) and Yankees (2019).
Tropeano, 29, has made 42 Major League appearances (39 starts) with the Astros (2014) and Angels (2015-16, ’18-19), going 12-14 with a 4.51 ERA (217.1IP, 109ER). A graduate of West Islip (N.Y.) High School, Tropeano was originally selected by Houston in the fifth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Stony Brook (N.Y.) University.
Hale, 32, was re-signed by the Yankees after he went 3-0 record with two saves and a 3.11 ERA (37.2IP, 13ER) in 20 relief appearances for the club in 2019. Despite missing most of the second half with a lumbar spine strain, he still completed 2.0 innings pitched in 13 of his 20 outings. In parts of six Major League seasons with Atlanta (2013-14), Colorado (2015-16), the Yankees (2018-19) and Minnesota (2018), the Atlanta native is 13-10 with a 4.27 ERA (230.0IP, 109ER) over 90 games (20 starts).
Gittens, who turns 26 on Tuesday, won the 2019 Eastern League MVP award with Double-A Trenton, hitting .281/.393/.500 (112-for-398) with 58R, 16 doubles, 23HR, 77RBI and 71BB. He led both the Eastern League and all Yankees minor leaguers in RBI.