Monday, January 2, 2017


If there was ever a manager whose job I wouldn't have wanted for all the money in the world, it would've been Al Pedrique's. If there was ever a manager whose job I envy this year though... it would be his.

If you don't know, Pedrique is the manager of the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders.

In 2016, his first season as manager of the Scranton/Wilkes Barre RailRiders, Pedrique led the Yankees' Triple A affiliate to its most successful season in history, setting records in winning percentage and shut outs, winning both the Governors' Cup as International League champions and the Triple-A National Championship and Manager of the Year honors.

Photo: Pinstriped Prospects
And he somehow accomplished all of that while navigating a lineup card that was constantly twisted, folded and mutilated by the demands of a Bronx Zoo dealing with a historic collision of its aging past and under-performing present. By the way, only 7 of the 26 position players who played for Al appeared in at least half his games and 16 different pitchers made at least two starts for him. Incredible!

Last year may have been tough to top for Al, but I think he's going to have a front-row seat to a new chapter in Yankee history the fans will be talking about for years to come. Why? Because as good as his club did last year, I believe you ain't seen nothing yet. 

There's going to be a different kind of collision this season in the Bronx, between talented players who can play and talented players who can play, BUT have to wait their turn. And the best of them are all going to have to wait in Al's lineup playing for the RailRiders.

Last week, Brian Cashman reiterated the big club's intention to hang onto all their top prospects they've been collecting and developing and allow them all to compete for a variety of positions in Spring it first base, outfield, the rotation and bullpen.

And regardless of how legit those competitions turn out, that's going to leave a big bunch of big-time muscle with nowhere to go but Moosic, Pennsylvania where Pedrique and his staff will be charged with keeping them all motivated, hungry and ready! And the talent log-jam coming Al's way won't just be backing up from River Avenue. Check out this nugget...

This past weekend, reporter Bryan Hoch suggested in a video that top infield prospect Gleyber Torres could start the year with the Trenton Thunder, but then move up quickly if he continues swinging the same bat he did in the Arizona Fall League, winning him the batting title and MVP award.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Between the talented prospects already expected to be pushing up from the lower levels and the ones we already know, there isn't room for in the Bronx on Opening Day. I figure by the All-Star break there's a good chance Al Pedrique may be managing one of the most loaded International League rosters anyone has seen in many years. Pretty cool.

I'll tell you what; If I was a kid in living in Moosic, PA... I'd try to fit as many RailRiders autographs I could onto a baseball this year. 

And the one that goes on the sweet spot I'd reserve for Al Pedrique.

 --Barry Millman
BYB Writer
Follow me on Twitter: @nyyankeefanfore

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