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MLB Draft 2023: Yankees select Roc Riggio 129th overall

The Yankees went back to the infield with their third selection in the MLB Draft.

Big 12 Baseball Tournament Photo by Ben Ludeman/Texas Rangers/Getty Images

The Yankees used their third pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, the 129th overall selection, on Oklahoma State second baseman Roc Riggio. After taking a high school shortstop with their first pick and a junior college pitcher with their second, the Yankees have gone back to the well for an infielder, this one from the Division I ranks.

Riggio is a smaller, compact player, listed at 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, who bats from the left side and throws from the right. He recently turned 21, and is coming off an excellent campaign as a draft-eligible sophomore at OSU, having run a .333/.459/.676 slash line with 18 homers.

Here’s an excerpt from Baseball America on Riggio’s bona fides:

Riggio is undersized but solidly filled out and can put a thump in the ball, with at least average power and most of that going to the pull side and straightaway center field in games. He managed an average exit velocity of 86-87 mph in 2023, but his peak velocities neared 110 mph... Riggio has a solid offensive approach and doesn’t swing-and-miss or chase at an overly high rate, though he could do a better job making contact against spin and offspeed stuff

Riggio profiles as more of a bat-first prospect, with BA pegging him as a 45 fielder at second with a 45 arm and 40 speed. Players who enter pro ball at age-21 with below-average grades on their fielding and run tools typically don’t blossom as defenders at the highest level, though it’s reasonable to expect Riggio to stick at second.

BA ranked Riggio at 139th overall on their big board, while MLB Pipeline put him at 130th, so the Yankees didn’t stray too far from expectation with this pick, at least in terms of consensus ranking. MLB Pipeline’s write-up of Riggio mentions Dustin Pedroia, not as a direct comp but as a player with a similar stature and swagger. Given his physical profile, and his apparent on-field demeanor, Riggio should be an interesting prospect to follow as he works through the Yankee system.

Make sure to get your grades in on the Yankees’ third and fourth-round picks in Matthew Provenzano’s post here.