We are now progressing through the middle stages of the MLB Draft. With their fifth-round pick and the 165th overall selection, the Yankees chose left-handed pitcher Ken Waldichuk out of St. Mary’s. Waldichuk, a junior, stands in at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds.
MLB Pipeline did not rank Waldichuk among their top-200 draft prospects, while Baseball America placed him 185th. Waldichuk worked as a starter with the Gaels this season, totaling 92.2 innings with a 3.69 ERA, striking out 106 and walking 32.
Here’s a bit of what Baseball America had to say about Waldichuk (subscription required for the full report):
Waldichuk has an ideal pitcher’s frame with a fastball that sits comfortably in the 91-92 range and touches 95 at his best... He has an above-average slider that he routinely throws down and in to right-handed hitters, while his changeup shows good fade away from righties.
The selection of Waldichuk gives the Yankees three left-handed pitchers among their first six picks, in contrast to their typical M.O. of mining every corner of the world for hard-throwing right-handers. It also breaks their streak of choosing prospects with the name “Jake” at just two, to my grave disappointment.
This marks the fifth-straight pick the Yankees have used on a college player. We’ll see if that trend continues today when New York makes their next pick, the 195th overall.