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MINOR LEAGUE PHOTO DAY 2022. Photo: Somerset Patriots Media.

The Somerset Patriots have formally announced their Opening Day roster for the 2022 season. Highlighting the 31-man roster is Yankees top short stop prospect Anthony Volpe.

Volpe is ranked as the number one prospect in the Yankees farm system by MLB Pipeline and Baseball America. The 20-year old, who is a local kid from Morristown, New Jersey, where he attended Delbarton, hit .294 with 27 home runs and 86 RBI, and stole 33 bases last season  between High-A Hudson Valley and Low-A Tampa.

“I don’t really pay too much attention to the stuff outside of my control,” Volpe recently said on YES Network. “It’s definitely an honor and one I don’t take lightly, but at the same time, I just want to be the best player I can possibly be. Whether that’s an unranked bottom-of-the-order prospect or where I am now, the Yankees’ No. 1 prospect, I think I still have a long way to go to reach my potential.”

Volpe is very highly regarded by the Yankees, that New York bypassed adding a shortstop this winter, with many assuming it means the Yankees believe Volpe could shoot up the ranks.

In addition to Volpe, Yankees and Patriots fans will see a number of top prospects, and familiar faces at the ballpark to start the season.

On the pitching front, Ken Waldichuk will start the year in Somerset. Last season the lefty pitched in 16 games for the Patritots, with 14 starts. He went 4-3 with a 4.20 ERA, striking out 108 batters in 79.1 innings pitched.  Waldichuck is currently ranked sixth in the Yankees farm system.

Luis Medina, who is ranked 12th among Yankees prospects will also mark his return to Central Jersey. He was 4-3 with a 3.67 ERA in 14 starts last year with the Patriots.

Among the notable offensive players who will start the season in Somerset, outfielder Brandon Lockridge (ranked 18th among Yankees prospects) and catcher Jose Breaux (ranked 26th) will start year with the Patriots. Lockridge, hit an impressive .328 with 10 homers and 24 RBI in the second half of the year last year for the Patriots.

Josh Breaux hit .240 with six homers and 17 RBI last season in Somerset.

Of course there will be a new coaching staff leading the way. Dan Fiorito takes over for Julio Mosquera, who departed for a catching instructor position with the Chicago White Sox. Fiorito went 71-49 as manager at Hudson Valley last season, and is quiet familiar with the Yankees top short stop prospect.

The Patriots begin the season April 8 at Redding, before heading home on April 12 to greet the Erie Seawolves. Remember to catch all the action on 93.5 FM, 1450 AM Fox Sports New Jersey.