It’s Day Two of the 2021 MLB Draft and action is well underway. The Yankees surprised many with their first round selection of shortstop Trey Sweeney after being linked to pitching in much of the pre-Draft buildup. Turns out they were delaying the inevitable, selecting two arms with their next two selections before rounding out the opening quintet of picks with pair of infielders.
With their first pick of the afternoon, the Yankees selected four-year starter Brendan Beck out of Stanford. Beck, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound righty, won PAC-12 Pitcher of the Year in 2021 and has drawn early comparisons to Shane Bieber. They then picked lefty pitcher Brock Selvidge, who recently graduated from Cody Bellinger’s alma mater, Hamilton High School in Arizona. Selvidge committed to LSU, so the Yankees have some work to convince him to forego those plans.
In the fourth round, the Yankees chose second baseman Cooper Bowman out of Louisville. Bowman profiles as an all-around player offensively, although it feels like a reach to select him 122nd, considering Baseball America had him ranked at 416 (though MLB.com had him at No. 171). Finally, with their fifth selection, the Yankees drafted first baseman Tyler Hardman out of Oklahoma. The 6-foot-3, 204-pound righty slashed .397/.481/.661 in 2021 and even hit for the cycle. To read full write-ups of each of these players, click on the name of the player desired.
Here are some comments on the picks from Damon Oppenheimer, the Yankees’ VP of Domestic Amateur Scouting:
Here's what the #Yankees did in the #MLBDraft over the last 2 days, plus some quotes from Damon Oppenheimer. Rounds 11-20 are tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/ReumFMeoqm— Gary Phillips (@GaryHPhillips) July 13, 2021
It is interesting that outside of perhaps Selvidge, the Yankees continue to prioritize under-slot selections with their first handful of picks. It remains to be seen whether this is a strategy to poach talent in later rounds, or just another money-saving measure. So how do you all feel about their selections? What grade would you assign the Yankees’ early day two picks?
What grade do you give the Yankees’ picks in rounds two through five?
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