It’s been nearly two months since the Hudson Valley Renegades suited up in their new pinstriped uniforms and began a new era as the New York Yankees High Class A affiliate.
Minor League prospects from all walks of the world were assigned to the Fishkill-based team at the beginning of May, and appear to be settling in just fine.
“I’m loving it, it’s fun here,” said catcher Anthony Seigler, a Georgia native who was a Yankees’ first-round draft pick three years ago. “It’s a great environment, we have a packed house a lot of the time. Obviously, we got 100% capacity now, so it’s always loud here and I’m loving it. We’re just coming out here, doing our job and playing every day.”
Making the atmosphere more enjoyable, perhaps, is how well the Renegades have been performing. Entering play Saturday, the Renegades were on a seven-game winning streak, sitting in first place atop the High-A East North Division standings.
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Seigler played a major role in the Renegades’ win at Dutchess Stadium on Friday, swatting a three-run double in the eighth inning to break an 8-8 tie and propel Hudson Valley to an 11-9 win over the Wilmington Blue Rocks. The Renegades had trailed 8-3 after six innings before they staged a late rally.
“It’s been great so far,” said catcher Josh Breaux, who didn’t play Friday, but had a career night at the plate Thursday.
Breaux smacked two home runs and drove in three, lifting the Renegades to a 6-1 win over Wilmington. He had six home runs and 19 RBI entering Saturday.
Seigler had also provided heroics on Wednesday, as he laced a walk-off double to center field to beat the Blue Rocks, 9-8, in 11 innings. The game was tied 2-2 after 10 frames before Wilmington struck for five in the top half of the 11th. But Seigler’s walk-off extra base hit capped a six-run rally in the bottom half to win it for the ‘Gades.
Seigler, who was the 23rd overall pick in the 2018 draft, had been placed on the injured list at the start of May. However, he returned at the beginning of this month and has been one of the team’s top offensive stars.
Shortstop Ezequiel Duran is, too, among those who are swinging a hot bat. Duran was slashing .284/.373/.892 after Friday, with seven home runs, 26 RBI and 11 stolen bases.
While Breaux, Seigler and Duran are fueling the Renegades now, a slew of players who dominated in Hudson Valley earlier this season have already moved up the minor league ladder.
Oswald Peraza, the Yankees’ fourth-ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline, flourished in the 28 games he played this year for the Renegades. He slugged five home runs, knocked in 16 runs and batted .306 before he was called up to Double-A Somerset on June 8.
Pitchers Luis Medina, Ken Waldichuk and Hayden Wesneski received the same treatment, each being promoted on June 15.
Medina is ranked seventh on the Yankees’ list of top prospects, and he went 2-1 with a 2.71 ERA in seven starts with Hudson Valley. He racked up 50 st
rikeouts in 32 2/3 innings and opponents hit a meager .162 against him.
During the offseason, Medina pitched in the Puerto Rican Winter League, where he was named Pitcher of the Year. He’s drawn acclaim for his live fastball, which has been clocked at 100 mph.
Waldichuk, meanwhile, didn’t allow a run in the seven games he pitched for the Renegades. The burly lefthander collected two wins, struck out 55 batters and allowed just 12 hits in the 30 2/3 innings he tossed.
Wesneski appeared in seven games and befuddled the opposition, striking out 47 hitters in 36 1/3 innings. He kept the ball in the strike zone for the most part, issuing just nine walks in that span with a 1-1 record and 0.91 WHIP.
The Renegades will finish up their 12-game homestand on Sunday in a 4:35 p.m. game against Wilmington, before hitting the road for a six-game series in Jersey Shore against the BlueClaws.
The ‘Gades will then return to Dutchess Stadium July 6-11 for a six-game set against the Brooklyn Cyclones.
A.J. Martelli: 845,437-4836, firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @AJ_Martelli