NEW YORK -- The Yankees announced on Friday that they have invited 25 players to Major League Spring Training, including outfielder Aaron Judge, infielder Jorge Mateo and right-hander James Kaprielian, who have been rated as the organization's top three prospects by MLB Pipeline. Judge and Mateo also landed on MLB Pipeline's list of the Top 100 Prospects of 2016.
Judge turns 24 in April, and his appearance at the big league camp will provide the organization with another look at one of the most physically imposing prospects in baseball. He led all Yankees Minor Leaguers with 20 homers and 72 RBIs in 2015 and, though slated to begin the year with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, could make his big league debut this summer.
Mateo, 20, used his blazing speed to lead all Minor Leaguers with 82 stolen bases in 117 games for Class A Charleston and Class A Advanced Tampa last season. Having earned comparisons to Jose Reyes, Mateo batted .278 (125-for-449) with 66 runs, 23 doubles, 11 triples and 40 RBIs.
Kaprielian turns 22 in March, and after being drafted 16th overall last summer, he appears on a fast track to the Majors. He was 0-1 with a 3.97 ERA in five games (three starts) with the Rookie-level Gulf Coast Yankees and Class A Staten Island, and he made two postseason starts for Staten Island, posting a 0.73 ERA.
Three other invitees were selected by the Yankees in the 2013 MLB Draft: infielder Tyler Wade (fourth round), left-hander Tyler Webb (10th) and outfielder Dustin Fowler (18th). The Yanks' remaining Draft picks invited to Spring Training are catcher Kyle Higashioka (2008/seventh) and right-hander Brady Lail (2012/18th).
The Yankees also announced that they have signed 15 players to Minor League contracts with invites to Major League Spring Training: left-hander Richard Bleier, right-hander Tyler Cloyd, catcher Carlos Corporan, catcher Francisco Diaz, infielder Jonathan Diaz, Higashioka, infielder Pete Kozma, right-hander Diego Moreno, right-hander Vinnie Pestano, outfielder Cesar Puello, catcher Eddy Rodriguez, infielder Deibinson Romero, infielder Donovan Solano, right-hander Anthony Swarzak and catcher Sebastian Valle.