The Yankees are reportedly planning to spend big on international players this offseason, blowing away the MLB spending limits in order to make up for their loss of first-round picks. Most of this kind of talent will be young and raw, so they won't be helping the major league team anytime soon. It was thought this spending spree could begin with Cuban defector Aledmys Diaz, but now it could be someone else. They have reportedly shown interest in Korean high school shortstop, Hyo-Joon Park. The Yankees scouted him while his high school was in the midst of a 40-day tour of California this winter where they played exhibition games against several Southern California schools.
The 17-year-old left-handed hitter can be described as a line drive hitter who is very smooth in the field. He doesn't have much power, but he obviously hasn't matured yet. There is some similarity to Hak-Ju Lee of the Tampa Bay Rays, who has hit .290/.364/.388 over five seasons in the minors. He has ranked among the top 100 prospects in baseball over the last few seasons by Baseball America, MLB.com, and Baseball Prospectus. Considering the Yankees' depth at shortstop, I would welcome someone like that who could potentially make an impact in a position of need, even if he's still years away.
Here is a quick highlight reel of Park in the field and at the plate. He seems decent with the glove, has speed, and can hit for some power. He also has an above-average bat flip tool.
Yatap High School is located in Seongnam, Gyeonggi in South Korea and produced new MLB pitcher Suk-Min Yoon, who just signed a three-year, $5.75 million contract with the Baltimore Orioles.