As we get closer to the actual draft, our access and exposure to mock drafts will increase. We saw the results of Baseball America's first mock, but now Baseball Prospectus has thrown their hat in the ring and we can continue to spitball ideas about how the Yankees should handle the 2015 draft. This year, Christopher Crawford believes the Yankees will pick right-handed pitcher Mike Nikorak from Stroudsburg High School, in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. His reasoning is that, though they have the money to get Brady Aiken or Mike Matuella if they fall to them, New York will prefer one of the best prep arms in the draft.
Measuring in at 6-foot-five and 205 pounds, Nikorak uses his frame to generate a 97-mph fastball. Ranked at no. 9 by Baseball America and no. 6 by MLB.com, it's hard to see him falling this far. MLB feels he comes with a 65-grade fastball that sits 94-97 mph with plenty of run and sink. He owns a 60-grade plus curveball along with a solid 55-changeup and 55-grade control. Scouts describe Nikorak as being extremely athletic with an easy, full windup delivery that will help him maintain a strong fastball and prevent arm injuries that are so prevalent in this draft class. They also note that he has a projectable body that could add more power as he fills out.
As a senior in high school, the righty made the 2015 Perfect Game 1st Team All-American as well as the All-Region Atlantic First Team and was an Under Armour All-American too. He also made the 2014 Underclass 2nd Team, showing that he's been on the map for some time. His older brother Steve Nikorak was drafted by the White Sox in the 32nd round of the 2012 draft and played professionally that year.
Crawfish Boxes places a Noah Syndergaard comp on Nikorak and projects him to be about a no. 2 starter, though we should all take this with a heavy grain of salt. His ability to be a potential workhorse will give him a good chance to make the majors down the road. He is committed to the University of Alabama, but isn't believed to have any signability risk attached to him, so it seems, then, that it all comes down to whether or not he will fall to the Yankees at no. 16 overall.