Fordham Prep Grad Velazquez Claimed Off Waivers by Angels

Fordham Prep graduate Andrew Velazquez was claimed off waivers Friday by the Los Angeles Angels.

Velazquez was one of several players the Yankees lost via waivers on Friday as they cleared spots on their 40-man roster.

Velazquez, a Bronx native, was called up by the Yankees in August when Gleyber Torres was injured and again on the final weekend of the season. when D.J. LeMahieu and Gio Urshela were battling injuries. He was the team’s starting shortstop for the team’s American League wild-card playoff game against the Boston Red Sox.

The 27 year old hit .224 with a home run, six RBI, 11 runs scored and four stolen bases for the Yankees, who signed him last December and invited him to spring training.

Velazquez was a seventh-round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks out of Fordham Prep in 2012. He previously played in Diamondbacks, Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays organizations.

Santos Completes 1st Pro Season

Alex Santos finished his first professional baseball season in the Houston Astros organization.

Pitching for the Low-A Affiliate Fayetteville Woodpeckers, the 19-year-old right-handed pitcher was 2-2 with a 3.46 earned run average.In 41.2 innings, the Mount St. Michael Academy graduate allowed 16 earned runs on 31 hits and 30 walks. He struck out 48 and opposing hitters batted .205 against him.

Santos was the first pick of the Houston Astros in the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft, but did not pitch in the Astros organization in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Velazquez on Playoff Roster

The New York Yankees just announced that Fordham Prep graduate Andrew Velazquez will be on the team’s 26-man roster for tonight’s American League wild-card game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston.

Velazquez, 27, was recalled from Scranton for the final two games of the regular season when infielders Luke Voit and D.J. LeMahieu were battling injuries and eventually placed on the injured list. LeMahieu was placed on the 10-day injured list and can return for the American League Championship Series if the Yankees advance to that round. Voit is done for the season.

The winner of tonight’s game will play the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Division Series.

Velazquez is one of six infielders and one of 14 position players on tonight’s roster. Velazquez finished the regular season with a .224 batting average, one home run, six RBI, 11 runs scored and four stolen bases. He had two hits in his final 14 plate appearances with the Yankees this season.

The Yankees will have 12 pitchers available tonight including starter Gerrit Cole. Starting pitchers Jordan Montgomery and Corey Kluber are not on the roster for tonight’s game, but starter Nestor Cortes is on tonight’s roster and is available to pitch in relief.

PHOTO COURTESY OF NEW YORK YANKEES

Yankees Call Up Velazquez

The New York Yankees recalled Fordham Prep graduate Andrew Velazquez from Scranton for the final two games of the regular and he’ll likely remain on the roster through the American League Division Series with infielders Luke Voit and D.J. LeMahieu being placed on the injured list in the final days of the regular season.

The Yankees play the Boston Red Sox in the American League wild-card game in Boston on Tuesday night with the winner facing the Tampa Bay Rays in the divisional series. New York just swept Boston at Fenway Sept. 24-26.

LeMahieu was placed on the 10-day injured list and can return for the American League Championship Series if the Yankees advance to that round. Voit is done for the season.

The Yankees closed the season with six infielders, including Tyler Wade and Velazquez. Wade is used as a defensive replacement on the infield, pinch runner and also is the team’s fourth outfielder with Giancarlo Stanton being used as the designated hitter. Velazquez adds speed and defense to the roster.

Velazquez finished the regular season with a .224 batting average, one home run, six RBI, 11 runs scored and four stolen bases. The 27 year old had two hits in his final 14 plate appearances with the Yankees this season.

Velazquez Returns to Minors

The New York Yankees sent infielder Andrew Velazquez back to their Class AAA affiliate in Scranton following Saturday’s win over the New York Mets.

His playing time became limited after shortstop Gleyber Torres and third baseman Gio Urshela returned from injuries. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said the decision to move Velazquez was a difficult one as he earned the respect of his teammates and coaches, but the team needed to add some pitching to the roster due to injuries and with the Yankees being in a stretch of 20 games in 20 days.

“He’s been a big part of this now this season, and frankly I expect him to be a big part of it moving forward,” Boone said prior to Sunday’s loss to the Mets.

The Fordham Prep graduate was hitting .234 with four doubles, one triple, one home run and six RBI in 26 games since joining the Yankees on Aug. 9. He had a .246 on-base percentage, four stolen bases and struck out 21 times in 64 at bats.

The 27 year old hit his first major league home run against the Minnesota Twins in a nationally televised game by FOX at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 21.

Known for his defense and speed, Velazquez is hitting .188 and has a fielding percentage of .981, committing only four errors, in 91 games over four major league seasons.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK YANKEES

Velazquez, Yankees Start Road Trip

Andrew Velazquez continues to live out his childhood dream as the New York Yankees open a nine-game road trip against the Braves in Atlanta on Monday and Tuesday before starting a pivotal four-game series in Oakland on Thursday.

The Fordham Prep graduate’s story continued Saturday when he hit his first career home run, leaving family and friends overcome with tears and emotions, during his team’s 7-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

“Get home as quick as I could so I could celebrate with the boys in the dugout,” Velazquez, who has the home run ball, said in sharing his thoughts as he rounded the bases during the postgame press conference.

Known for his defense and speed, the shortstop is hitting .242 with a home run, six RBI, eight runs scored and two stolen bases since joining the Yankees Aug. 9 in Kansas CIty when Gleyber Torres was placed on the injured list.

“Just playing really great for us–playing great on the field; running the bases, his athleticism shows up; and he’s given us good at bats,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone, who will be faced with a tough roster decision if third baseman Gio Urshela, who started his rehab assignment Sunday, returns from strained hamstring before New York travels west or seven games in Oakland and Anaheim.

Velazquez, who attended St. Francis Xavier School in the Bronx, said he’s forgetting the past and not thinking ahead each time he steps on the field. 

“When I get here, it’s about work,” said Velazquez, who stayed with his parents in the Bronx during the recent homestand. “The guys are so good at just prepping for the game and being loose in the clubhouse and in the dugout, but like about business, that I can’t help but fall in line.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK YANKEES

Velazquez Shines for Yankees

Andrew Velazquez compared beating the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium in his dreams and in real life.

“In real life, it was way better,” the Fordham Prep graduate said in the postgame press conference after the Yankees completed a three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox with a 5-2 victory Wednesday night.

Velazquez, who attended St. Francis Xavier School in the Bronx, was presented by his teammates the team’s championship belt for his efforts in Wednesday’s game, which included a pair of RBI singles and a defensive gem to end the game at shortstop.

Known for his speed and defense, Velazquez is hitting .217 with a double, stolen base, three runs scored and four RBI since joining the Yankees Aug. 9 when Gleyber Torres was placed on the 10-day injured list. All four RBI and a number of defensive gems came against the Red Sox in his first games as a Yankee in the Bronx.

“It’s what you dream about,” said Velazquez, who is staying with his parents in the Bronx during the homestand. “You come here, you want to be a part of something, so not only doing good on the field, but gaining respect of the guys in the locker room.”

The Yankees begin a four-game series Thursday night with the Minnesota Twins in the Bronx.

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK YANKEES

Fordham Prep Grad Starting 3rd Straight Game for Yankees

Andrew Velazquez will be in the starting lineup for a third consecutive day at shortstop when the Yankees play the Kansas City Royals in Kansas City this afternoon at 2 p.m. on the YES Network.

The Fordham Prep graduate doubled and scored a run for the Yankees in Tuesday’s 8-4 loss to the Royals. The double was his first hit as a Yankee.

The 27 year old was 0 for 4 with a run scored during the 8-6 win in 11 innings for the Yankees on Monday night.

The Yankees signed Velazquez to a Major League contract on Monday when infielder Gleyber Torres was placed on the 10-day injured list.

Velazquez was hitting .283 with seven home runs and 43 RBI this season for the Yankees Class AAA affiliate in Scranton. He signed with the Yankees in December with hopes coaches in the organization could help him after hitting just .156 in three seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, Cleveland Indians and Baltimore Orioles.

The Bronx native, who attended St. Francis Xavier School in the Bronx, met the media before Tuesday’s game, and said he will add speed and defense to the Yankees roster and hopes he can bring his success at the plate from Scranton to New York.

The Yankees will play the Chicago White Sox in Iowa on Thursday night (Field of Dreams game) and in Chicago on Saturday and Sunday before opening a two-game series Tuesday with the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.

Torres is eligible to come off the injured list next Thursday when the Yankees open a four-game series with the Minnesota Twins in the Bronx.

Fordham Prep Grad Joins Yankees

Fordham Prep graduate and infielder Andrew Velazquez was signed to a Major League contract by the New York Yankees and joined the team in Kansas City on Monday night.

Velazquez, 27, was 0 for 4 with a run scored, starting at shortstop, for the Yankees during an 8-6 win in 11 innings over the Royals.

The Bronx native replaced infielder Gleyber Torres on the roster. Torres was placed on the 10-day injured list before the game due to an injured left thumb.

Velazquez was hitting .283 with seven home runs and 43 RBI this season for the Yankees Class AAA affiliate in Scranton. He was signed by the Yankees in December after hitting .156 (15 for 96) with 17 runs scored, four doubles, one triple, three RBI, 12 walks and six stolen bases in 68 games over three seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays (2018-2019), Cleveland Indians (2019) and Baltimore Orioles (2020).

Velazquez, who also attended St. Francis Xavier School in the Bronx, earned a spot on the 2020 Orioles opening day roster and hit .159 with 11 runs scored, 10 walks, four stolen bases and three RBI in 40 games.

Giants Draft Fordham Pitcher

Matt Mikulski, a former player at John F. Kennedy Catholic in Somers and Fordham University in the Bronx, was selected by the San Francisco Giants with the 50th overall pick in the second round of the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft.
Mikulski pitched four seasons at Fordham, finishing with a 21-12 record and a 3.17 earned run average.
It was after his sophomore season that his career reached new levels. He pitched in the summer of 2019 for the Brewster Whitecaps of the Cape Cod Baseball League, going 1-1 with a 1.86 ERA and earning a spot in the league’s all-star game.
In a shortened junior season due to Covid-19 in 2020, he was 2-1 with a 1.29 ERA at Fordham. As a senior, he was 9-0 with a 1.45 ERA, allowing 11 earned runs on 29 hits and striking out 124 in 68 ⅓ innings.