With their eighth round pick, the Yankees selected their second straight position player by drafting first baseman Connor Spencer out of UC Irvine at 242nd overall. He was ranked #422 by Baseball America coming into the draft, and is ranked 87 in the state of California. Spencer is a left-handed hitter who has more of a line drive swing than one that hits for a lot of power. He batted .361 as a junior at Irvine this season.
Spencer walks nearly as much as he strikes out, showing promising plate discipline as a college hitter. He has only hit one home run in three seasons at UC Irvine, but he has gap power that allows him to rack up doubles. There could be hope for more power after he leaves Irvine's pitcher-friendly ballpark. His limited power doesn't scream major league first baseman, but his more polished bat could help him quickly move up through the ranks of the minor leagues.
Here's Baseball America's complete scouting report on Spencer:
Spencer is simply a hitting machine who has performed for three years at UC Irvine, batting .306 as a freshman, .373 as a sophomore and .361 as a junior this spring. His sweet lefthanded swing is tailored to use the opposite field and the middle of the diamond, and he rarely pulls balls with authority. But he controls the strike zone, walking about as much as struck out each year of his career, and he can hit fastballs as well as offspeed stuff. Spencer has enough strength in his 6-foot-2, 215-pound frame to rack up doubles to left-center, but he has just one home run in his three-year career, partly a product of playing in cavernous Anteater Ballpark-dubbed the "John Savage Memorial Graveyard" by Irvine coach Mike Gillespie. He has played sparingly in left field but will be tied to first base in pro ball, and Gillespie said he has become a "surprisingly good" defender at first, saving his infielders numerous errors by making good digs on balls in the dirt. As a first baseman with limited power, Spencer doesn't profile as an everyday player, but his feel for hitting gives him a chance to work his way through the minor leagues.
College players have been the name of the game in the first eight rounds with the exception of Austin DeCarr. Exciting news for people who follow the farm system and like to see players move at a more rapid pace.