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MLB Draft 2022: Yankees’ picks rounds 16-20

The draft reaches the home stretch.

2022 MLB Draft Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

After Andrew recapped the first five picks of today’s draft finale, I’ll be around to take us to the finish line. If you missed the start of Day 3 you can catch up here, and if you missed any of the first two days we’ve got an overall tracker that you can find right here.

We’ll be giving live updates here when the picks come in, and there won’t be any delay between picks in this section of the draft.

Round 16, Pick 490: Shane Gray, RHP
Evansville, 6’3”, 215 lbs.

Gray is a senior with two years of starting experience at Evansville, adding another right-handed college arm to the arsenal that the Yankees have drafted this year. Baseball America had him ranked 481st overall, noting that though his fastball was below-average in velocity it held up thanks to above-average movement. Gray pitched to a 3.95 career ERA in college, notching 231 strikeouts in 262 innings of work, and paired his fastball with a slider, curveball, and changeup that showcased a strong sense of control.

Round 17, Pick 520: Hayden Merda, RHP
Azusa Pacific, 6’4”, 202 lbs.

Merda is a relief pitcher playing in the Pacific West Conference, where he posted a career 5.12 ERA in 65 innings with 92 strikeouts. Those numbers don’t exactly jump out at you, but he took a leap in the last year, posting a 4.15 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 43.2 innings. There’s also major promise in his fastball — it sits in the mid-90s with tons of break. He probably stays on the relief track from the start, but there could be potential for him to climb the ladder.

Round 18, Pick 550: Sebastian Keane, RHP
Northeastern, 6’3”, 187 lbs.

Keane joins his teammate Cam Schlittler as Yankees draftees, with the latter going as the team’s seventh-round pick. Keane was drafted by the Red Sox in the 11th round back in 2019 but bet on himself and went to school, and initially showed solid improvement year after year. Things stalled out for Keane last season, however, as he was hit to a 5.99 ERA with just 50 strikeouts in 70.2 innings.

Baseball America still had him as their 493rd prospect, and noted that he’d been able to add velocity but couldn’t avoid missing bats. He projects as a definite project now, one who needs to find a dependable secondary to generate more whiffs. His slider is the best of the bunch, but Keane hasn’t been able to rely on it just yet.

Round 19, Pick 580: Beau Brewer, 3B
Paris Junior College (TX), 6’3”, 215 lbs.

Brewer is a JuCo third baseman that tore it up with the bat for Paris. He hit .419 with three homers and 30 runs scored in 41 games, with 11 steals on top of that. His defense could use some work, with seven errors in that time frame, but he can mash his way into playing time with those numbers. Brewer also participated in the Savannah Bananas, a goofy but entertaining baseball team, but he has his sights set on a bigger role — he’s currently committed to transferring to Kansas. We’ll see if the Yankees can spirit him away.

Round 20, Pick 610: Trevor Kirk, RHP
Elon University (NC), 6’5”, 210 lbs.

The Yankees concluded their draft by taking Kirk, a reliever out of Elon. Kirk had a promising 2021, pitching to a 3.28 ERA with 51 strikeouts in 35.2 innings but struggled to avoid allowing baserunners. It didn’t hurt him much then, but in 2022 he paid for it — he allowed 48 hits in just 34.2 innings and posted a 6.49 ERA. The Yankees will take a flyer on him looking to iron out those issues and perhaps nab a serviceable reliever, but that’s probably his ceiling.

And that’s a wrap on the 2022 MLB Draft. Be sure to stick around for Kunj’s poll on how you thought the draft went, and enjoy the rest of the break before the second half kicks off.