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MLB Draft 2023: Yankees’ picks rounds 16-20

The 2023 MLB Draft comes to a close.

MLB Draft presented by Nike Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

With the All-Star Game just hours away, it’s time to wrap up the 2023 MLB Draft. The Yankees were missing their second and fifth-round picks this year due to the Carlos Rodón signing, but still came away with plenty of interesting talent over the first two days of the draft. Today, we’ve seen rounds 11 through 15 already, and you can see Andrew’s review of the Yankees’ selections here.

Now, we come to the final five rounds of the 20-round process. As a refresher, picks in the final ten rounds do not come attached with specific bonus pool allotments, but if a team signs a player for more than $125,000, the amount by which they exceed that $125K threshold counts against their bonus pool.

We’ll have this post updated each time the Yankees make a pick, so be sure to check back through the afternoon.

Round 16, Pick 492: Andrew Landry, P
Southeastern Louisiana University, 6’1”, 175 lbs.

We’ve reached the point in the draft where many prospects will not have been ranked by most major outlets, and Landry counts among those players. A slightly undersized right-hander, Landry struggled pitching out of the bullpen and rotation for his first couple seasons in the Southland conference. His junior campaign qualified as his breakout season, running a 4.21 ERA with 49 strikeouts in 68.1 innings exclusively as a starter, and if he doesn’t sign, he’ll be transferring to the University of Southern Mississippi. Top Yankees pitching prospect Will Warren calls Southeastern Louisiana University his alma mater, and the club would surely be elated if Landry followed anything close to the same prospect trajectory was Warren.

Round 17, Pick 522: Wilson Rodriguez, OF
Academia Presbiteriana HS (Puerto Rico), 6’1”, 186 lbs.

The Yankees have mostly mined the college ranks for their picks this year, as they didn’t select a high schooler between their first rounder, George Lombard Jr., and their 13th rounder, Josh Tiedemann. Now, they’ve selected four high schoolers in five picks, as they’ve gone with the 18-year-old Rodriguez out of Puerto Rico.

Round 18, Pick 552: Coby Morales, OF
Washington, 6’3”, 235 lbs.

After going on a run of high school players, the Yankees dipped back into the college ranks, this time popping outfielder Coby Morales out of Washington. Morales is a built 6-foot-3, and is coming off an excellent senior season, hitting .332/.432/.548 with 12 dingers in 55 games (even stealing home once). That represented a notable jump in power for Morales, so perhaps he was coming into his own and fulfilling his physical promise at the end of his college career. Given his profile, Morales definitely appears to be ticketed for a corner on defense.

Round 19, Pick 582: Cade Austin, P
University of South Carolina, 6’3”, 230 lbs.

The Yankees pop Cade Austin, a collegiate reliever who’s spent three seasons with South Carolina. He’s worked almost exclusively out of the bullpen, with a 3.66 ERA in 83.2 innings. In 2023, Austin ran a 4.55 ERA in 29.2 innings, with an impressive 38 strikeouts to nine walks. He will have the option to sign with the Yankees, or to return to school.

Round 20, Pick 612: Bryce Warrecker, P
Cal Poly (CA), 6’8”, 225 lbs.

New York wraps up their 2023 Draft with one more college pitcher, Bryce Warrecker out of Cal Poly. The right-hander worked both as a starter and reliever through his college career, running a 5.39 ERA in 140.1 collegiate innings, with 137 strikeouts against 40 walks. His finest showing came during the 2022 Cape Cod League, where he ran a 2.08 ERA in 39 innings. Warrecker actually ranked 286th on Baseball America’s top 500, with the outlet noting his four-pitch mix and quality command. From BA’s scouting report:

Warrecker sits in the upper 80s and has been up to 92 with his fastball this spring, though there are scouts who believe he has more velocity in the tank and can get to an above-average fastball in the future in a bullpen role. He has thrown a changeup in the low 80s that is a fringe-average pitch now that could get to average, and the same is true for a slider in the 78-82 mph range that has around eight inches of horizontal break.

Our own Marcus Zappia actually highlighted Warrecker as a potential late-round target ahead of the draft. From Marcus’ piece:

The Yankees would have seen Warrecker pitch well in the Cape last summer. His fastball sat “89-92 mph with ride and late life” and he threw a “sweeper that generated more than a foot of horizontal break at peak and a changeup with good velocity and vertical separation off of his fastball.” That was on top of the command that Geoff Pontes of Baseball America said “was easily plus.” That performance... did not carry over to 2023. At 6-foot-8 and 240 pounds, there is definitely something to work with here, and it is likely the Yankees would know a little bit about Warrecker after scouting and drafting his teammate, Drew Thorpe.

That Warrecker is relatively well-known and still available at this point probably means he is unlikely to sign. That said, it’s typically smart for teams to use a late pick or two on a guy they can spend money on if things go awry with earlier picks, leaving a chunk of bonus pool money unaccounted for. That could be what the Yankees are going for here.