When the Yankees drafted Gosuke Katoh with their second round pick the consensus seemed to be "Who?" It turns out he's a defensive whiz second baseman who has the potential to be a contact hitter with some power. He seems like a reach for a second round pick, having been ranked at 189 by Baseball America, but the Yankees seem to like his glove and he could still surprise everyone and hit.
It's possible the Yankees drafted him to try him out at shortstop or, more likely, because they need the extra money to sign Ian Clarkin. It was also believed that he'd go to UCLA if he wasn't picked high enough in the draft, and when he was projected to go no sooner than the fourth round, a second round pick will probably get the job done.
At Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego, Katoh ranked #74 in the 2013 class by MaxPreps, he took part in the 2012 Perfect Game All-American Classic, the 2012 Area Code Games, he was a member of the 2012 WWBA 17U All-Tournament Team, the 2012 Perfect Game Underclass All-American 3rd Team, and was All-League in 2012.
Anthony Boyer at the Crawfish Boxes says he is one of the best defensive players in the country, with good instincts, feet, and glove. He has too weak of an arm to play on the left side of the infield, so he'll have to stay at second base. Katoh has good bat speed with some lift and a lot of patience. He modeled his offensive game off his idol, Ichiro Suzuki, even going so far as to become a left-handed hitter, and can really run down the line. Boyer believes his floor is that of Jose Lind and his ceiling could be close to Luis Castillo.
What people are saying about him:
Damon Oppenheimer | Yankees' vice president of amateur scouting
"We were excited to get this guy in the second round," said Oppenheimer. "On our scale, he's an excellent runner with great hand-eye coordination who can hit with some surprising power. He's a really good defender, and someone that excites us."
John Savage | UCLA Head Coach
"Gosuke is one of the best defenders in the country. He has tremendous defensive instincts and is a very natural player who looks to be a guy that can play at a very high level in the future."
Conor Glassey | Baseball America
While he's better at second base because of his average arm strength, Katoh is a very good defender. The UCLA recruit has a handsy swing and good bat control at the plate and is an above-average runner.
More Yankees Draft Coverage from Pinstriped Bible:
Yankees select OF Aaron Judge|Yankees select 3B Eric Jagielo
Yankees select 2B Gosuke Katoh|Yankees select LHP Ian Clarkin
Yankees select OF Michael O'Neill|Yankees select SS Tyler Wade
Yankees select RHP David Palladino|Yankees select SS John Murphy
Yankees select RHP Nick Rumbelow|Yankees select OF Branden Thomas
Yankees select LHP Conner Kendrick|Yankees select LHP Tyler Webb