Yankees to field second Gulf Coast League affiliate in 2013

This has been rumored for a while, but it’s now official according to MiLB.com: the Yankees will field a second rookie level Gulf Coast League affiliate in 2013. The league is expanding from 14 teams to 16 teams as the Bombers double up and the Mets re-join the circuit after a one-year, cost-saving hiatus.

The GCL is lowest domestic minor league level, and it’s usually occupied by recent draftees and internationally signed free agents playing in the United States for the first time. Fielding a second team is a major positive for the farm system, as it’ll provide more innings and at-bats for the young kids. I doubt the two affiliates will play each other (would be neat), but either way this is big and important improvement to the organization’s minor league development system.