Keith Law released his second mock draft–his first mock had the Yankees taking high school catcher Chris Betts 16th overall, like MLB.com–but this time around he had the Yankees taking someone new in high school left-hander Kolby Allard with their first pick. Allard is a first team All-American and a first team All Region–California, and he's also among many of the prominent prospects of the 2015 draft class to fall victim to a serious injury. After what was thought to be a minor back injury, Allard was diagnosed in March with a stress reaction in his back that would make him miss six to eight weeks.
He joins Brady Aiken, Mike Matuella, and Nathan Kirby as projected first-round picks who have experienced injuries that could drop them in the 2015 draft. The six-foot-one, 175-pounder currently attends San Clemente High School in California as one of the top prep arms in the country and is a UCLA commit. According to Minor League Ball, his fastball was clocked at 91-93 mph at a showcase in March along with a curveball with good 1-6 break. He was also observed to work from the first base side of the mound and pitches from a three-quarter arm slot. His mechanics can be inconsistent, but he's still young so it will improve after he works with a team in the minors. The important thing is that the velocity was easy and he exhibited clean arm action.
Blake Mueller at The Crawfish Boxes was impressed by the late life on his fastball and his deceptive and the fast delivery he exhibits to hitters. He has good control over his curveball as an out-pitch he can drop in the dirt when he needs to and he also has a changeup he looks to be developing. On the negative side of things, Mueller does call out the fact that Allard has a tendency to overthrow for the sake of velocity and that can lead to a heightened fastball.
I'm a little hesitant to draft someone–especially a pitcher–who is already dealing with a serious injury, but since it's not an arm injury, it might be worth taking a chance. In fact, his short stature could be a bigger deal to his long-term success than this injury. The 2015 MLB Draft is already considered to be relatively weak in comparison to other years, so taking an injury risk might be the Yankees' best chance in finding premier talent this year. As for Law's pick, Allard seems to go against the profile the Yankees tend to like–mainly in the height department, so it's hard to see them taking him over a taller pitcher with equal upside.