With the 2019 MLB Draft less than two weeks away, it makes sense to dive into the latest mock drafts. Those published earlier this spring showed little consensus when it came to the Yankees, but recent versions have a little more in common. In fact, they all project New York to take an infielder in the first round.
Both FanGraphs and CBS Sports have the Yankees selecting prep third baseman Tyler Callihan. The 18-year-old plays for Providence School in Jacksonville Florida, and has a commitment to University of South Carolina. The folks at MLB Pipeline laud his “...advanced approach from the left side of the plate.” Here’s more from their scouting report:
“He has legitimate raw power he’s already tapping into and hit two home runs, along with a .528 average during Team USA’s gold medal run. He’s a better athlete than you might think, though he is a below-average runner. The big question surrounding Callihan is where he’ll fit defensively. He does have the chance to stick at third, with enough arm and the bat to profile there, though some worry about his range.”
There is also plenty of video to go around on Callihan, including this one from Perfect Game:
MLB Pipeline ranks Callihan as the number 32 draft prospect on their top 100 candidates list, while Baseball America has him at 37 on their top 500 ranking.
The Yankees are also linked to another third baseman, Kody Hoese out of Tulane University. MLB.com’s latest mock draft sees the Bombers selecting Hoese, whom we wrote up during the last round of coverage. Jim Callis also connects the Yankees to Brett Baty, but the prep third baseman projects to come off the board well before the Yankees take the podium.
Things get a little wonky when it comes to Baseball America’s most recent mock draft. They have the Yankees taking Anthony Volpe, a prep shortstop for Delabarton School in New Jersey. Volpe doesn’t rank as a first round candidate for either Baseball America (52nd prospect) or MLB Pipeline (68th prospect).
Consider what MLB.com has to say about the Vanderbilt commit in their scouting report:
“Volpe is the kind of player who grows on evaluators the more they see him, with his whole being greater than the sum of his parts. He gets an 80 on the 20-to-80 scouting scale for his makeup and work ethic. He does have a solid approach at the plate with excellent bat control and while he doesn’t have a ton of power, there is enough strength to keep pitchers honest, like when he went deep at the NHSI.”
Whether fair or not, that description brings names like Cito Culver, Dante Bichette Jr., and Kyle Holder to mind. The Yankees have a history of selecting strong makeup players instead of the best available talent, and picking Volpe would fit into that pattern.
There are more mock drafts to come in the next week or so, with Keith Law’s second version running shortly after Memorial Day. Stay tuned for more draft coverage as we head closer to show time.