With under two weeks to go before this year’s draft, teams are narrowing down their selections for their first round picks. The talented people who are connected enough to know what teams might be thinking have churned out some mock drafts to give a better idea of how teams might choose on June 12th.
For the Yankees, two reliable sources point to a high school position player for their opening pick. On the other end of the spectrum, they have also been connected to a college pitcher. Here’s what the experts are saying for now.
Baseball America - John Manuel at Baseball America’s latest mock draft has the Yankees selecting left-handed pitcher David Peterson out of Oregon. He has boosted his draft stock with a career season for the Ducks this year as their Friday night starter. Peterson is a big guy at 6’6”, 240, and struggled with his command prior to this season.
His fastball sits in the 89-94 mph range with a low-80s slider. This season he has commanded the strike zone beautifully with an absolutely insane strikeout-to-walk ratio. If he can do that at the next level, he would be a great pickup in the middle of the first round.
Keith Law (insider req’d) - ESPN’s Keith Law thinks the Yankees will go with a high school bat in the form of first baseman Nick Pratto out of Huntington Beach High School in California. Pratto is a left-handed hitter who may be the best pure hitter among high schoolers in the draft. He can also pitch in a pinch, but scouts believe his calling at the next level will be with the bat because of an exceptional feel for the strike zone and power potential.
Law also mentions LHP Trevor Rogers out of Carlsbad High School in New Mexico and left-handed pitcher D.L Hall from Valdosta High School in Georgia as other potential targets for the Yankees. Law notes that Hall has the stuff to be a top-five pick, but teams concerned with his makeup have them selecting other prep arms instead. That could influence the Yankees to try and get a steal with their pick.
MLB.com’s Jim Callis - Callis links a very interesting prospect to the Yankees, going with outfielder Austin Beck from North Davidson High School in North Carolina as New York’s selection. The ideology here is that the Yankees are pursuing some of the top high school position players, and Beck definitely fits that description.
However, Callis does note that this would be the low end for Beck, who Law has going all the way at 8th to the Phillies. Callis notes Beck’s lack of a track record with a wood bat as a reason he may fall to the Yankees here, which would be a total steal. In addition to Beck and Pratto, Callis also links outfielder Bubba Thompson from McGill-Toolen High School in Alabama as a potential target.
Do any of these names stand out as particularly enticing to you? Who are you hoping the Yankees decide to go with?