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Austin Wells reacts to his grand slam homer agianst the New Hampshire Fischer Cats on Sunday, August 28, 2022. Photo: Somerset Patriots.

Statistically speaking the Somerset Patriots enjoyed one of the best seasons in franchise history in its second full season as Double-A Affiliate to the New York Yankees, posting a record of 83-53 — by far the best record in Double-A and fourth best record in minor league baseball.

The Patriots were also first in Double-A staff ERA (3.60); first in in Double-A WHIP at 1.17; first in home runs with 205, and first in stolen bases with 205.

Throughout the course of the 2022 season the Patriots have been buoyed by many different faces throughout the Yankees rich farm system. That of course begins with short stop Anthony Volpe who for 110 games not only got a chance to play in his own hometown, but displayed the skills that make him the Bronx Bombers number 1 prospect. By the time Volpe left for Triple-A Scranton last month, he had corked 18 homers, drove in 60 , led the team in hits with 106, and led the team in stolen bases with 44.

Aside from Volpe there are so many others who have stepped up all season. Catcher Austin Wells (ranked fourth in the Yankees farm system) has been both dynamic behind the plate and steady with the bat (.265, 12 HR, 43 RBI).

Elijah Dunham (.248, 103 hits, 17 HR, 63 RBI), Andres Chaparro (.289, 69 hits, 19 HR, 52 RBI) and Jesus Bastidas (.240, 18 HR, 55 RBI) have all been steady presences in the lineup for the Patriots throughout the season, and will be key in this series against the Portland SeaDogs.

Against Portland this year, Somerset leads the series 13-11, although Portland has had the better of the series of late having won 10 of the last 18 between the two franchises, including taking four of six this past week.

Izzy Wilson (.455, 3HR, 9 RBI); David Hamilton (.467, HR, 8 RBI); Tyler Dearden (.324, 3 HR, 8 RBI), and Cedanne Rafaela (.292, HR, 16 RBI) have all been on a roll the past two weeks. If the Patriots are going to advance to the Championship Series, the combination of Randy Vasquez, Yoendrys Gomez, Clayton Better all have to step up in the rotation. There is also a chance we could see a little more from Albert Abreu who is on a rehab assignment for the Yankees.

It’s going to be a fun series, and it begins tonight on FOX SPORTS NEW JERSEY at 6 P.M.

Eastern League Playoffs Preview: A Special Season in Somerset by Patriots In Pinstripes Podcast

As the Somerset Patriots embark on their first ever playoff run as the Yankees' Double-A affiliate, Steven Cusumano is joined by Eli Fishman to wrap up the Patriots' historic 2022 regular season and preview Somerset's upcoming playoff series with the Red Sox-affiliated Portland Sea Dogs.