The 2022 MLB Draft has come to a close just as the rest of the baseball world prepares for the Midsummer Classic tonight. After three days of drafting, the Yankees come away with 20 prospects to potentially lead the way for the next group of Baby Bombers. The majority of the attention will go to Day 1 picks when the Yankees selected outfielder Spencer Jones with the 25th overall pick, and pitcher Drew Thorpe at No. 61. You can read more about them by following the links on their names and tell us how you feel about those picks here.
The Yankees started their Day 2 selections by taking Gonzaga pitcher Trystan Vrieling, who sports an 80-grade name, with the 100th overall pick. Outfielder Anthony Hall (130th overall pick) and pitcher Eric Reyzelman (160th) rounded out the Yankees’ top five draft selections. To read more about them, follow the links on their names and then tell us how you feel about those choices here.
With their final picks of Day 2, the Yankees took pitchers Chase Hampton (190th) and Cam Schlittler (220th), shortstop Brett Barrera (250th), pitcher Matt Keating (280th), and pitcher Will Brian (310th). After reading more about them, you can follow this link to grade those picks. As Peter pointed out, the Yankees had a clear strategy of replacing mid-level outfield and right-handed pitching prospect depth they traded away last year in the Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo trades.
With the first two days wrapped up, let’s recap what the Yankees did today on the final day of the draft.
Not veering away from their strategy, the Yankees took righty pitchers Ryan Harvey (340th) and Jackson Fristoe (370th), followed by southpaw Geoffrey Gilbert (400th), before going back to a righty pitcher in junior college arm Kris Bow (430th), and closing out the first half of the day with outfielder Tayler Aguilar (460th).
Harvey worked as UC Santa Barbara’s closer and as a starter for the Ridgefield Raptors of the West Coast League this year. As Andrew noted, his slider needs a bit of work but the strikeout numbers he posted with his fastball/slider combo are solid and reason for hope.
Coming out of Mississippi State, Fristoe was not ranked in MLB Pipeline’s top 250 prospects or Baseball America’s top 500, but he struck out a whopping 116 batters in just 86.1 career innings. His downside is a lack of control, posting a 4.6 BB/9 in 2022. He’s a project, but the Yankees taking on a pitching project isn’t as much of a concern these days as it used to be.
Gilbert is a lefty pitcher from Clemson and like Fristoe wasn’t listed on MLB Pipeline or Baseball America’s lists. Although he had good strikeout numbers, Gilbert worked both as a starter and reliever but posted considerably better numbers out of the bullpen where he might be long-term.
The junior college righty Bow joins other draftees in that he has solid strikeout numbers, but also a less-than-ideal BB/9 rate. He committed to transferring to Arizona before the Yankees drafted him, so it remains to be seen if the Yankees’ offer is good enough to keep him from his commitment.
Aguilar was the Yankees’ first non-pitcher taken on Day Three, coming from Grand Canyon University. Though he was in the Western Athletic Conference, Aguilar mashed 23 homers for a 1.116 OPS in just 59 games this year improving upon a solid .940 OPS in the past. The Yankees probably feel that kind of power potential is worth taking a chance on, regardless of competition.
For more details on the first five picks from the day, Andrew has you covered here.
The Yankees started their second half of the day by going back to basics and taking righty pitchers Shane Gray (490th), Hayden Merda (520th), and Sebastian Keane (550th). They shook things up a bit by picking third baseman Beau Brewer (580th), but then of course took righty Trevor Kirk (610th) as their last selection in the 2022 MLB Draft.
Gray, a college senior out of Evansville, has below-average fastball velocity but makes it work with above-average movement. He can also pair his fastball with a variety of other pitches such as a slider, curveball, and changeup that he has a strong ability to control.
Merda comes from Azusa Pacific University in the Pacific West Conference, where he worked as a reliever. His numbers aren’t exactly eye-popping but there’s hope in his mid-90s fastball “with tons of break,” and working as a reliever could help him work his way up.
The Yankees probably felt bad that their seventh-round pick Cam Schlittler, a Northeastern college righty, would have nothing in common with the rest of his draft class, so they took his teammate Keane in the 18th round so the two could have something in common. Keane has had an up-and-down few years where he’s been able to add velocity but couldn’t blow past bats, so he’s definitely another project pitcher. Fun fact: He was drafted by the Red Sox in 2019 but went back to school for further development. Finally, the Garrett Whitlock revenge we’ve all been waiting for.
Brewer comes from Paris Junior College in Texas where he hit .419 with 3 home runs in 41 games. Though his defense can use some work, his bat just might be able to carry him. He’s currently committed to transferring to Kansas, so like Bow we’ll have to see if the Yankees can make the Savannah Banana an offer he can’t refuse.
The theme of the Yankees’ 2022 draft has been simple, so of course with their last selection they took Kirk, who is a (you guessed it) right-handed pitcher from Elon University. Working as a reliever, Kirk was solid in 2021 but couldn’t keep traffic off the basepaths, which hurt him more this year than last. Essentially he might end up as a solid reliever one day if the Yankees can help him figure things out.
Madison has more details on the final five picks of the day and the draft here.
That does it for the 2022 MLB Draft! Interestingly, not a single high schooler was taken. Click on the links posted throughout this story or go here for a full rundown on Pinstripe Alley’s 2022 draft coverage.
For now though, let’s welcome the newest crop of Baby Bombers to the Yankees! Use the poll below to let us know your thoughts on how the Yankees did on the last day of the draft. Should they have taken at least one more college righty? Only time will tell.
What overall grade would you give the Yankees’ Day Three picks?
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