With their eighth round pick of the 2017 MLB Draft, the Yankees selected right-hander Kyle Zurak from Radford University 242nd overall. Zurak, who hails from East Amherst, New York, looks to be a senior sign for the Yankees.
Zurak has a fastball that can hit 95 mph with a hard breaking ball and is expected to be a reliever at the next level. The six-foot-one, 185 pound pitcher had a 2.40 ERA with a 10.9 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 60 innings of work in what was his best season overall. He leaves the program among the top pitchers in several categories, including strikes per nine innings, ERA, and saves.
Despite spending most of his time as a reliever, Zurak received four starts this season and got the ball in the Big South Tournament Championship game as well as the Louisville Regional elimination game. Despite his obvious skills on the mound, Zurak does not make Baseball America’s top 500 list. However, he does show up on their list of top players in the state of Virginia at no. 22.
The Yankees clearly like college arms, and they are going heavily on those at the moment. As a senior, he will be cheaper than most other picks in this round, allowing the organization to save money on...someone. Right-hander Matt Sauer, who they took in the second round, will need a lot of money to forgo college, but is that money coming from guys all the way down this far in the draft? We’ll see.