We’re less than a week away from the 2017 MLB Draft, an important time for every franchise to secure their stars of the future. The Yankees pick at 16th overall, and while I laid out some possible first round selections, now we’ll look at an aggregate mock draft, a collection of the major sites’ predictions for who the Yankees will pick on June 12th. So, here’s what we have so far:
If I were a betting man, which I obviously am not, then I’m saying that the Yankees go with a prep bat. There’s always the chance the Yankees have the good fortune of 2016 where a top-ten talent falls to them, but I’m not assuming that based on what’s here.
There’s a clear reason that all of these sources are saying the choice is basically between Austin Beck, Nick Pratto, and Bubba Thompson, and that’s because many of them have sources in the Yankees’ organization. Take it with a grain of salt, obviously, but keep in mind it’s based on some general strategy.
I wrote about all three a couple of days ago. Beck’s calling card is his immense power and great bat speed. The concerns are that his recent torn ACL, as well as his possible defensive issues in the outfield, could leave him without any position. If he can stick in the outfield, and hit in-game power, you’re looking at a corner-outfielder who can swat over 30 home runs a year.
Pratto is a more of an all-around player, a first baseman with a quick bat, some power, speed, and a great glove. As I mentioned earlier, the question could come down to whether the Yankees are banking on Beck’s power, or they want to go with a “safer” pick in Pratto, who may give them multiple tools. With high school prospects, though, it’s all a crap-shoot.
Thompson is the defense-first outfielder with elite speed, a great arm, and a bit of pop that could translate into a potential 20 home runs a year. The issue with all of these types of players is the hit tool, and we saw that on display in a pick like Kyle Holder. If the bat doesn’t develop, which it hasn’t with him, then you have a 70-grade defensive player with a 20-grade bat. That’s nothing more than organizational depth.
The strategy is clear: prep bats. I don’t really know why that’s the case, because the strategy from 2013 to 2016 has been college bats and prep arms. In that universe, the selection of David Peterson almost makes more sense. But if the thinking is that they’re still trying to build sustainable depth in the farm system, more time to the majors is not an issue.
I think this more so played a factor in the James Kaprielian and Jacob Lindgren selections where the thought is that they could hit the big leagues in merely a full season (oops). With prep bats, you pour your development resources, which they likely have more faith in today than five years ago, and hope they churn out an elite bat. They now have a recent history of doing that.
What do you think? Who do you think the Yankees should choose in the first round?