Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
Double-A Affiliate
The Official Site of the Somerset Patriots Somerset Patriots

Rice And Thorpe Named MLB Pipeline's Yankees 2023 Hitting And Pitching Prospects of the Year

October 12, 2023

Bridgewater, New Jersey – MLB Pipeline has named Somerset Patriots C/1B Ben Rice and RHP Drew Thorpe as the New York Yankees' 2023 Hitting and Pitching Prospects of the Year.

Bridgewater, New Jersey – MLB Pipeline has named Somerset Patriots C/1B Ben Rice and RHP Drew Thorpe as the New York Yankees' 2023 Hitting and Pitching Prospects of the Year.

Since his promotion to Double-A Somerset on 7/18, Rice was the Eastern League leader in HR (16), RBI (48), SLG (.651), OPS (1.054), XBH (30), TB (127) and R (40), while ranking third with a .328 BA.

Among all players with 300 plate appearances, Rice ranked first in wRC+ (183) while batting .324/.434/.615 with 20 homers in 73 combined games between Single-A, High-A and Double-A.

In his 48 games with the Patriots, Rice had 20 multi-hit games. During his first week at Double-A beginning on 7/19, Rice played in four games, collecting multiple hits in all four, going 10-for-20 with 10 RBI, 6 R and 3 HR. In his third game for Somerset on 7/22, he collected a career-high four hits in his first career two home run game, while adding four RBI.

For his 8/8-8/13 series vs. Binghamton, Rice was awarded his first career Player of the Week honors, after going 12-for-23 with 9 RBI, 7 R, 2 HR, 4 2B, 2 BB, HBP and 2 SB.

He began the season with 15 games playing for High-A Hudson Valley before being placed on the 7-day IL on 5/6 with a lower back injury. He commenced a 10-game rehab assignment in Single-A Tampa from 7/1-7/16. In 25 combined games prior to his promotion to Somerset, Rice was slashing 341/.559/.523 with 2 HR, 10 RBI, 15 R, 18 BB, 10 BB and a 1.082 OPS.

Thorpe was previously named the Pitching Prospect of the Year by MLB in the inaugural MiLB Awards Show on October 2. He finished the 2023 season 14-2 with a 2.52 ERA, 182 K, 0.98 WHIP, .200 AVG over 139.1 IP in 23 games started. He topped all of MiLB in strikeouts and ranked among the leaders in W (T-2nd), WHIP (2nd), ERA (4th) and AVG (6th).

In his first professional season, the Yankees No. 5 ranked prospect split time with High-A Hudson Valley and Double-A Somerset. He dominated for the Renegades with a 10-2 record, a 2.81 ERA, 138 K, 1.07 WHIP and a .215 AVG in 109 IP in 18 games started.

He continued to impress during his promotion to the Patriots where he went an undefeated 4-0 with a 1.48 ERA, 44 K, 0.66 WHIP and .144 AVG over 30.1 IP in five starts. In his Double-A debut on 8/11, Thorpe struck out nine over eight scoreless innings of two-hit ball.

He followed that game up with a 12-strikeout performance over 6.2 innings in his second start.

He had 10 or more strikeouts in five games this season, including a career-high 13 on 7/22 vs. Brooklyn. He recorded seven or more strikeouts in 17 of his 23 starts.

Thorpe was previously named the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Year and All-Star, as well as the league’s Pitcher of the Month (June) and Pitcher of the Week twice (6/23 & 7/23).

With Somerset, Thorpe was named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Month (August) and the Pitcher of the Week (8/13).

About the Somerset Patriots

The Somerset Patriots are the New York Yankees Double-A Affiliate and develop today’s top minor league talent into the pinstriped superstars of tomorrow for MLB’s winningest team. The Patriots were the 2022 Eastern League Champions and play their home games at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater, NJ, where fans of all ages and levels of baseball fandom get to enjoy the unique experience that is minor league baseball. To learn more, visit: [](