We’ve reached the end of the second day of the 2022 MLB Draft, and the Yankees have 10 new faces joining the ranks of the organization. They kicked off festivities by selecting Vanderbilt lefty outfielder Spencer Jones with the 25th pick and Cal Poly right-handed pitcher Drew Thorpe with the 61st pick on Day 1. You can read in-depth analysis on Jones here and Thorpe here from Dan and Andrew, respectively, and submit your grades here.
Day 2 of the Draft began with New York selecting Gonzaga right-handed pitcher Trystan Vrieling at 100, followed by Oregon lefty outfielder Anthony Hall at 130 and LSU right-handed pitcher Eric Reyzelman at 160. Dan, Andrew, and Madison have individual write-ups on the trio here, here, and here, respectively, and submit your grades here.
There seems to be a clear early strategy to replace much of the mid-level outfield and right-handed pitching prospect depth lost from the system in the Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo trade deadline deals in 2021. It appears that trend continued with the sixth and seventh selections, the Yankees taking a pair of right-handed college pitchers in Texas Tech’s Chase Hampton at 190 and Northeastern’s Cam Schlittler at 220. They selected their first infielder in the eighth round — righty shortstop Brett Barrera out of Stanford at 250 — before returning to pitching for their final two picks of the day in right-handed pitcher Matt Keating of USC at 280 and left-handed pitcher Will Brian of Eastern Kentucky at 310.
Hampton was a minor surprise in the middle rounds, considering he was unlisted on MLB Pipeline’s Top 250 Draft Prospects and checked in at 291st on Baseball America’s ranking. The six-foot-two, soon-to-be 21-year-old features a mid-90s fastball, a mid-80s slider as his main putaway pitch, a curveball with a distinct shape off the slider, and a changeup with sneaky potential, especially against lefties. He really hit his stride at the end of the season, saving his best for last — a 12-strikeout gem against CWS-bound Notre Dame — which could be behind his late climb up the draft board.
Schlitter is a 21-year-old right-handed pitcher out of Northeastern University. After setting sky-high expectation with a breakout 2021 campaign, Schlittler took a step back in 2022, which is perhaps why he fell to 448th on Baseball America’s rankings. He throws a low-to-mid-90s fastball along with a slider, curveball, and changeup that are all works in progress. None of his four pitches are seen as plus offerings, though he has a projectable six-foot-six that could facilitate adding velocity as he builds muscle.
Barrera came into his own this past season after scuffling in his first two years of college ball at Stanford. He possesses above-average power with decent plate coverage, and placed 297th on Baseball America’s rankings. It’s curious to see him listed at shortstop considering he never played there while at Stanford and is already seen as a below-average defender at second, but the bat is potent anyway.
Keating is a 21-year-old righty reliever out of USC, clocking in at 292nd on Baseball America’s rankings. He built his success on an elite, high-spin breaking ball that tunnels well with his fastball and features late downward trajectory. It will be interesting to see if the Yankees can tempt Keating away from his transfer commitment to UNC, perhaps with savings from prior under-slot bonuses. Though placement in rankings systems factors less and less in these later rounds, it looks like the Yankees stayed true to the lists with their eighth- and ninth-round selections after possibly reaching at six and seven.
Brian broke up the pattern of selecting all right-handed pitchers, as it took until the 10th round for the Yankees to select a southpaw. He is unlisted on either of MLB Pipeline’s and Baseball America’s pre-draft rankings, though he was a finalist for the best Division I reliever award. Not much information is available on the five-foot-eleven, 23-year-old lefty, though he did serve as EKU’s closer the last two seasons and overcame a seizure scare in October.
There will be time in the coming weeks to learn more about these newest Yankees, while it may be years before we know what kind of MLB talents they turn out to be. For now, though, we just want to get your immediate reaction. How would you grade the Yankees’ selections in rounds six through ten?
What overall grade would you give the Yankees’ sixth- through tenth-round picks?
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