With their ninth round pick of the 2014 MLB Draft, the Yankees took shortstop Vince Conde 272nd overall out of Vanderbilt University. This is the third position player the Yankees have taken in the draft after taking Mark Payton and Conner Spencer. Minor League Ball is high on him, ranking him at 233rd overall for the draft. Conde grew up a Yankees fan in Puerto Rico before going to high school in Florida and attending college in the states. He hit .301/.363/.402 with four home runs and nine doubles this season, and while MLB Network commented on his lack of power, at six-foot-one and 182 pounds, he does have some room to fill out and get stronger.
While he didn't rank among Baseball America's top 500 draft prospects this season, he was highlighted as a top 2011 recruit out of Orange Christian High School, where he played with fellow Yankees prospect Dante Bichette Jr. Back in 2012, BA complimented the right-handed hitting shortstop on his "smooth, soft hands and good instincts." They also had good things to say about his bat:
Conde has impressive bat speed and quick hands, which generate power to all fields. With Conde's hands positioned by his hips in his batting stance, pitchers thought they could pound him in; others tried to test him away. One manager joked his catcher came back to the dugout late in a game and asked, "Do you have any thoughts on how to get Conde out?"
In January, Aaron Fitt said that he "proved to be more than just a contact hitter last year, showing a knack for working counts and driving the gaps." On the negative side, BA doesn't think much about his range and that due to his fringe-average arm, he might eventually have to move over to second base when he goes professional.
He sounds very similar to the Yankees Gosuke Katoh pick from last year, though with a better bat and lesser glove. It's nice to see a shortstop taken out of the draft, but it doesn't sound like he has much of a future there, though he will likely get a shot in the least. He could end up as a strong linedrive hitter if he can get stronger and hit for some power.