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Yankees 2019 Draft Preview: Projected first-round prospects

Who might the Yankees focus on in the first round of the draft?

2014 MLB Draft

We’re right in the middle of draft preview week at Pinstripe Alley. Over the last few days we featured an introduction to the draft; surveys of the farm system’s strengths, weaknesses, and needs; as well as an historical overview of the 30th and 38th overall picks.

Now it’s time to look forward to whom the Yankees may select in those spots. I came up with a sample of three position players and three pitchers, drawn from MLB Pipeline’s top 200 draft candidates and Baseball America’s top 500 list (subscription required). Both are invaluable resources, and anyone interested in the draft should browse them.

Position Players

Keoni Cavaco: 3B; 6’0”; 185 lbs; Committed to San Diego State
Rank: Baseball America: 31; 28

The latest mock drafts have the Yankees zeroing in on an infielder, with several third base targets in the mix. Cavaco plays the hot corner well and brings a tremendous amount of raw power to the plate. The 17-year-old still needs polishing, but he seems to check every box for the Yankees. It’s just unclear if he will still be on the board come pick number 30.

Michael Busch: 1B/OF; 6’0”; 207 lbs; University of North Carolina
Rank: Baseball America: 24; 26

While Busch has an uncertain future defensively, he can flat-out hit. Consider what MLB Pipeline had to say about the 21-year-old in their scouting report: “He has a smooth left-handed swing with plenty of bat speed and a patient, balanced approach that allows him to hammer balls to all fields.” A left-handed hitter with power and patience? That sounds tailor-made for Yankee Stadium. Like Cavaco, it remains a question if Busch falls to the Yankees.

Kameron Misner: OF; 6’4”; 219 lbs; University of Missouri
Rank: Baseball America: 26; 30

The 21-year-old has seen his stock fall heading into the draft due to a rough stretch of conference play. Nonetheless, he boasts impressive power from the left side of the plate. Both MLB Pipeline and Baseball America praise his polish and advanced recognition of the strike zone. He very well could be in play for the Yankees.


Josh Wolf: RHP; 6’2”; 165 lbs; Committed to Texas A&M
Rank: Baseball America: 54; 36

Wolf features a drastic split between Baseball America and MLB Pipeline rankings, but his repertoire should interest the Bombers. The 18-year-old has a live fastball that touches 97 mph. He also has a quality breaking ball in his arsenal. Scouts rave about his makeup, and that’s important for the Yankees.

Hunter Barco: LHP; 6’4”; 212 lbs; Committed to University of Florida
Rank: Baseball America: 32; 34

Barco is arguably the best prep southpaw in the draft class. He has a fastball that sits 90-92 mph and touches 94. His breaking ball—a high spin rate slider—has earned rave reviews. There are two drawbacks to the 18-year-old, however. First, he has spotty command at times, which isn’t entirely unexpected for a high school arm. He does, however, have a strong commitment to Florida, so signability concerns exist.

Seth Johnson: RHP; 6’1”; 196 lbs; Campbell University
Rank: Baseball America: 28 31

Johnson has an interesting background as a converted shortstop. The right-hander has reached 98 mph on his fastball, and scouts love his delivery. The Yankees would be gambling on a pitcher with a relatively short track record, but his tools speak for themselves.

Elsewhere the Yankees have been connected to infielders like Tyler Callihan, Kody Hoese, and Gunnar Henderson, as well as pitchers George Kirby and Jack Leiter. You can read about them in our mock draft coverage. Who are you hoping the Yankees select on night one of the draft?