It has been 10 months since the Staten Island Yankees lost in the first round of the New York-Penn League playoffs. Saturday afternoon the baby bombers were back at Richmond County Bank Ballpark for media day.
This year Staten Island Yankees roster features some newcomers from the Yankees Dominican Summer League. But for the first time in the team’s existence, none of the players from this years 2017 MLB draft made the roster.
The roster does include a handful of returning players many of whom took the 17-hour drive from extended spring training down in Tampa Bay, Florida. “It was pretty brutal, it rained the entire time. We probably shouldn’t have driven the entire time, but we did and we made it,” said catcher Manny Argomaniz.
The journey may have been long but these baby bombers are ready to get back to live action and back to the playoffs. “We’ve got a lot of guys with a lot of experience, guys that know how to win. So we’re looking forward to playing deep into the playoffs this year,” said Argomaniz.
Last year’s standout Nick Solak the team’s leader in batting average (.321) last season has moved up to the Tampa Bay Yankees. The team still has talented youngsters returning in Timmy Robinson and Dom Thompson-Williams.
Robinson the 23-year-old out of the University of Southern California led the team in home runs (8) and runs batted in (52) last season. “I’m trying to be better in every aspect of my game, cause that’s why we’re here to get better each day,” said Robinson. “Just take it day by day and things will add up at the end of the year.”
Thompson-Williams the Yankees 5th round pick in last years draft led the team in stolen bases with 15 and looks to improve. “Last year I’d go through different times where I wouldn’t be on time or hitting the ball well and that’s what I’m trying to work on,” he said. “As a team, our expectations are to get better as the season goes on and to win. I think any Yankees organization is expected to win and I think we are going to keep the same trend here,” he added.
Julio Mosquera who’s been a coach in the Yankees system for ten plus years became the Staten Island Yankees manager during the off-season. “I have more responsibilities now I’m in charge of a lot of things but the good thing I learned a lot back in the day when I was here that now I can use,” Mosquera said. “Everything we do as coaches is for these young guys out there and for the future of the Yankees organization, so we always have high expectations.”
The Staten Island Yankees finished last season 44-31 and earned a wild-card spot in the playoffs, they would go on to lose to the eventual champions State College Spikes. The baby bombers hope to make their third straight trip to the playoffs and win their first New York-Penn League title since 2011. The Staten Island Yankees open their season Monday night against cross-town rival the Brooklyn Cyclones.