We’re continuing our live coverage of day three of the 2019 MLB Draft with a look at the 21st through 30th rounds. You can check out our rundown of the team’s first ten picks on day three here, as Tyler covered rounds 11 through 20. Without further ado, let’s see if the Yankees can unearth any late-round gems in the draft.
Round 21, Pick 645: RHP Zach Kohn
Central Michigan University, 6’4”, 190 lbs
Kohn, a junior, pitched as both a reliever and a starter for Central Michigan. He tossed 44 innings in 2019, striking out 47 and walking 20 to go along with a 4.70 ERA. According to MLB.com, Kohn sits 91-94 mph on his fastball with a low-80s slider, and is “destined to be a reliever at the next level”.
Round 22, Pick 675: LHP Gerrit van Zijll
Alvin Community College, 6’4”, 210 lbs
Here we have an interesting pick, as Van Zijll apparently returned to baseball after some time away from the game battling Lyme disease, sticking with Alvin Community College in Texas and striking out 122 batters in 76.2 innings before being selected now by the Yankees. Per MLB.com, he sits 88-92 mph on his fastball and has three pitches he can locate in the zone.
Round 23, Pick 705: LHP Matt Minnick
Mercyhurst College, 6’0”, 175 lbs
Come on down Minnick, another college lefty. Minnick pitched for the NCAA Divsion II Mercyhurst Lakers, making 14 appearances in 2019, all starts. He struck out an eye-popping 128 batters in 73.2 innings. He held opponents to a .217 batting average and maintained a 3.05 ERA in the process.
Round 24, Pick 735: OF Jake Pries
UCLA, 6’4”, 226 lbs
Pries is a four-year college left fielder out of UCLA, and thus is a relatively old selection as his 23rd birthday comes this fall. He had his best season as a senior, running a .291/.396/.544 slash line in 2019. After showing almost no power during his first three years at school, across which he hit just three homers, Pries managed 11 home runs and 21 extra-base hits this season.
Round 25, Pick 765: OF Luke Brown
John A. Logan College, 5’11”, 190 lbs
Brown played his 2019 season at John A. Logan, a small community college in Illinois. He put up strong stats there, hitting .398/.469/.557 with four homers in 55 games while manning center field. Brown had originally played at Western Kentucky, where he hit .369 in 48 games in 2018 before transferring.
Round 26, Pick 795: RHP Ryan Brown
South Salem High School, 6’2”, 196 lbs
Brown, presumably of no relation to the Yankees’ 25th-round pick, hails out of an Oregon high school. Brown appears to have committed to Oregon State, and Perfect Game indicates his fastball reaches 90 mph. The young hurler owns a 1.77 ERA with 37 strikeouts 23.2 innings this season.
Round 27, Pick 825: 1B Kyle MacDonald
Arkansas State, 6’3”, 240 lbs
After a brief foray into the wilderness of high school prospects, the Yankees have returned to the ranks of college players, popping the first baseman MacDonald. MacDonald, whose hometown is listed as Mississauga, Ontario, hit .301/.419/.477 this year, with five dingers in 47 games. He was even better in 2018, his junior season, hitting .346/.464/.665 with 15 home runs in 51 games.
Round 28, Pick 855: LHP Michael Giacone
North Greenville University, 6’0”, 165 lbs
The Yankees picked Giacone out of an NCAA DII school in South Carolina. He hails from Huntington Beach, California and transferred this season from Orange Coast Community College. Giacone handled DII competition easily, posting a 2.16 ERA in 83.1 innings, striking 113 batters against 27 walks.
Round 29, Pick 885: C Chase Illig
West Virginia University, 6’0”, 210 lbs
Illig represents the first catcher the Yankees have taken in the 2019 draft. He transferred to WVU three years ago from the College of Charleston. He does not appear to have played in 2019, and his stats from 2017 and 2018, a .223/.333/.394 slash line and eight homers in 80 games, are uninspiring. Perhaps the 22-year-old backstop possesses some fine defensive tools.
Round 30, Pick 915: RHP Zachary Maxwell
North Paulding High School 6’6”, 245 lbs
In the 30th round, the Yankees have picked a hulking high-school right-hander in Maxwell. The 18-year-old has a commitment to Georgia Tech, which explains why someone with his talent (Perfect Game indicates Maxwell can hit the mid-90s with his heater) was available this late in the draft. There are some parallels here to the Yankees’ selection of Jack Leiter in the 20th round earlier today, as both are high school pitchers who appear very unlikely to sign given their college commitments.