We're now a week away from the 2016 MLB Draft, and as we prepare to find out who the Yankees will take with their first pick, it's important to see who the expert analysts have them taking. Mock drafts have been released over the last few months trying to identify which players teams will be selecting, but what's the consensus? I've gathered up several mock drafts to find out who might be the next Yankees draft pick.
|Baseball America||Keith Law||MLB.com||Scout.com||Sporting News|
|Mock #1||Kevin Gowdy, RHP||Taylor Trammell, OF||Ian Anderson, RHP||Nick Banks, OF||Matt Manning, RHP|
|Mock #2||Ian Anderson, RHP||Ian Anderson, RHP||Jordan Sheffield, RHP||Logan Shore, RHP|
|Mock #3||Jordan Sheffield, RHP||Daulton Jefferies, RHP|
|Mock #4||Matt Thaiss, C||Cody Sedlock, RHP|
Appearing in three different mock drafts, it would seem that right-hander Ian Anderson is the consensus pick. As a cold weather pitcher from Shenendohowa High School in Clifton Park, New York, he's a departure from the California arms the Yankees usually go for. He'd actually be the first pick from New York since Cito Culver in 2011, and we all know how that ended up. Don't let that association get you down though, because the Vanderbilt commit's scouting report actually makes him look promising.
Baseball America ranks him 11th on their top 100 draft prospects, and he's actually the second-best right-hander on the list. John Sickels of Minor League Ball has a full scouting report on him:
Anderson is a 6-3, 170 pounder, born May 2nd, 1998. He already throws his fastball at 91-94 MPH with peaks at 96-97; the heat isn't straight, either, and there is additional physical projection in his frame. In time he could hold the mid-90s consistently. Reports on the breaking ball vary: some rate it as a plus curveball in the upper 70s with strong shape, while other observers note more of a slurve action in the low 80s that could use some tightening. The reports are not necessarily contradictory and perhaps he can separate the breaking ball into a distinct curve and slider in pro ball. All accounts agree that he has a very good change-up.
Overall, Anderson features an impressive combination of present velocity, additional projection, and a good chance for at least two and perhaps three above-average secondary pitches. His control is also solid and he is more polished than the typical cold weather talent.
You can check out the link to the article for some videos.
According to Keith Law, the Yankees have also been connected to California righty Kevin Gowdy and Georgia outfielder Tyler Trammell, which he says implies that the organization is focusing on high-ceiling high school talent. In recent years they have gone after more advanced, "safer" arms, but after the success with James Kaprielian, Anderson's description as a polished pitcher could peak their interest, much in the same way they were attracted to Ian Clarkin in 2013.
The mock drafts have the Yankees going after high-upside pitching this June, but who knows what they will inevitably do on draft day. Ian Anderson sounds like a solid pick at 18th overall, but so do many others. Let's see how accurate these fake drafts are come next week.