The Somerset Patriots, formerly of the independent Atlantic League, briefly in Double-A Northeast, and now in the Eastern League, bounced the Trenton Thunder out of the EL's successor circuit. The New York Yankees farmhands play their home games at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater Township, Somerset County, NJ.
While "Patriots" fits nicely with "Yankees", the nickname obviously precedes the partnership. The team says the actual inspirations for its nickname is the fact that the first flying of an official United States flag happened in the township in 1777.
The franchise's largely unforeseen coming to the Yankees was one of three teams MLB's 2021 Minor League Reorganization pulled from independent into affiliated baseball. The Thunder could have had the Pats' Atlantic berth, but they instead joined the new MLB Draft League. They might be able to seek another affiliation; the Somerset and Trenton stadiums are just far enough apart under the old protection zones, but it isn't clear whether those rules remain as-was after the reorganization.
Managed by former Yankees' reliever Sparky Lyle for their first 15 seasons, they captured league titles in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2015 - the last under the stewardship of Lyle's successor, Brett Jodie.
In 2000, infielder Billy Hall stole a record 66 bases in a row, on the way to 104 for the season.
The Patriots play Copa de la Diversión Hispanic engagement campaign games as Los Zorros de Somerset (Somerset Foxes, after the one that scurried across their field during the 2021 Patriots-Yankees affiliation announcement).