Day 2 of the MLB Draft is nearing its conclusion, and at this point in the process, teams will typically eye some older college players who they can sign to under-slot deals, finding some potential savings to offer to picks in Rounds 11-20. With that in mind, the Yankees have drafted Arkansas outfielder Jared Wegner, who also happens to be one of the oldest players on the Top-500 board. Having been born in September 1999, the righty bat is practically ancient! (Which makes me Methuselah in comparison, I suppose.)
Wegner started his collegiate career with Creighton University in 2019, and in 2022, he hit .343/.459/.635 with 14 doubles and 11 homers in 49 games. With numbers like that, he easily started popping up on analysts’ radars, and since he had eligibility remaining, he joined Arkansas as a grad student. Undaunted by the SEC, Wegner continued to mash against greater competition. In 43 games this time, Wegner batted .313/.457/.674 with 33 walks and 15 homers, one shy of teammate Jace Bohrofen for the team lead.
Those 15 homers came even while missing a little time with a broken hand. That will do.
As noted above, Wegner was not ignored on draft boards, as Baseball America had him listed as their 309th-best prospect in this crop, and MLB.com’s Jim Callis praised his ability to make good swing decisions. His eye-popping exit velocities likely drew New York’s attention, per BA:
His exit velocities rank near the top of the country, with a 93 mph average and 110 mph 90th percentile mark, and that power has shown up to all fields in games.
That’s always promising to have in your draft profile.
Despite highlight-reel catches like this one, BA says that Wegner is slow and not much of a defender in the outfielder, so his bat will have to carry him (they think that he wasn’t just torching younger players, for what it’s worth). A long-term home at first base probably awaits him.
Still, it’s not a bad idea at all to take a flier on such a potent force at the plate. It seems likely that the Yankees will quickly challenge Wegner due to his age and he’ll report to Low-A Tampa shortly after he signs, skipping Rookie ball entirely, aside from a possible tune-up.
Check in here to give your grades on how the Yankees did in the back-half of Draft Day 2.