Author’s note: I lean heavily on Baseball Cube, RAB, Pinstriped Prospects, and subscriber sites like BA, Pinstripes Plus, and ESPN Insider (Keith Law) for this.
A top-heavy draft for the Yanks, who added two premium preps and a top JUCO bat. Seigler is a strong prep prospect who immediately becomes the best catching prospect and one of the four or five best hitting prospects on the farm. Ryder Green is likely not far behind him and after Florial the best OF prospect we’ve got. Breaux becomes one of the best power bats on the farm. A farm with limited power prospects, thin catching depth and little premium talent in the outfield has added to all three.
After that though (because of the expense of signing Breaux and Green), the talent is a little more modest. That’s not to say they’re “safe” players, they drafted guys with loud tools. Lockridge has 70-grade speed. Hutchison and Myatt both show impressive velocity in big bodies. German could easily be the next of the Nelson/Stephan procession of college starters who produce but with the stuff to keep producing as they advance. Ernst picked the wrong time (for him) to have TJS. And Pita and Gray both showed impressive hitting ability in breakout junior campaigns; either or both could prove to be legit offensive prospects. And there are a number of absolute wildcards, like Isaiah Pasteur, Justin Wilson, Alex Guerrero and Sincere Smith. One or more of them could impress if given the opportunity. And a couple of the college righties who aren’t getting much press will add velo or perfect a secondary or whatnot and become legit prospects, that’s what the Yankees do.
In terms of tendencies, the Yankees drafted a whopping 6 catchers, 7 if you include Mickey Gasper. Now they won’t sign them all, but that sort of cluster drafting suggests they’re not happy with a position that really only has two so-so prospects – Jason Lopez & Donnie Sands – below Higashioka in the system. They did that before with middle IF, both in the draft and IFA, and the result has been a bevy of decent prospects at 2B and SS, some of whom have either contributed to the big club (Wade) or provided trade value (Solak). They’re rumored to be in on a couple of the premiere catchers in the 7/2 class too.
They drafted almost all RHPs, suggesting they’re not perceiving good value in drafting lefties. They also drafted a number of skyscrapers – Craft, Bies and Myatt – and a number of pitchers 6’0” or under, suggesting perhaps that they’re seeing value in tall pitchers – or at least their ability to develop them – and they think short righties are undervalued.
Regionally, the Yanks have hit the Northwest more than in the past: Idaho, British Columbia, Gonzaga, the Bay Area (St. Mary’s). They’re still heavily into the Southeast, raiding Tennessee four times and every other state in the SE save Kentucky and Mississippi. Not a single SoCal kid, college or prep. Sometimes that’s just luck, sometimes a particular scout or cross-checker is on fire.
No DES picks that I see. Just two JUCO kids. Two of the first three picks were preps, which is a little strange considering their recent track record, but after that they reverted to form, drafting collegians almost exclusively before a handful of prep non-signs at the end of the draft. They won’t sign all of the collegians, especially some of the lower ceiling guys in the 20’s and 30’s. They might follow a few for a couple weeks of summer ball, though the new CBA pruned draft and follow even more by setting a signing deadline in July instead of August.
So there is still some upside and some reliable projection as well in the rest of the draft. But this is, first and foremost, about the three guys who went up top. If one or more of them clicks and becomes a premium prospect, this could end up a very productive draft. If not, it’s likely to be middling or even forgettable. That’s why SB Nation and Minor League Ball (Sickels) panned the draft. With the system as deep as it is, and with the ridiculous influx of talent in last year’s IFA class, that’s a gamble they can make.
1st Round – Anthony Seigler, C, S/S, Cartersville, GA (HS) 6’ 200 LBs
Seigler was the first prep catcher selected, and either the best or second best prep receiver available. Athletic, with good lateral movement, reported pop times of 2 seconds or below, and arm strength off the mound that can reach low 90’s (plus). The bizarre ambidexterity is a nice curiosity, but what it really tells you is that he’s athletic with a great work ethic. Natural leader with off the charts makeup, already polished as a receiver (JR Murphy, a lazy comp, caught very little before being drafted). Offensively he doesn’t have a clear standout tool. Good contact skills as a switch-hitter, developing power from both sides, solid approach, but no one skill rates as plus. His athleticism should make him a solid baserunner, if not a base-stealing threat. His skill set now is versatile, well-rounded and mature, and he should move quickly. If the power really develops, or the hit tool becomes plus instead of merely average to above average, he could end up a special player. Otherwise his outlook is that of a good first-division regular. He signed for slot, which is not unexpected.
2nd Round – Josh Breaux, C, R/R, J2, McClennan CC (TX), 6’1” 220 LBs
Breaux is pretty much the opposite of Seigler, a big-bodied catcher with a lot of power but questions about his defense and his hit tool. Don’t get too wrapped up in his age, he’s only a couple months younger than Frank German, but he does have considerable upside. He slashed .401/.473/.773 with 19 HRs in 2017 at JUCO and followed it up with a .404/.532/.831 2018, with 18 HRs. His plate discipline improved markedly as he upped his BB total from 28 to 48. On the Cape, he slashed .271/.310/.474 with 6 HRs but significant swing and miss. He has a rocket arm (he hit 100 off the mound but doesn’t like to pitch) and he is athletic for his size, but his agility behind the plate is a question mark. There is a lazy comp to Peter O’Brien, but defensively Breaux is much further along. Offensively he doesn’t quite have O’Brien’s light-tower power (60-70 rather than 70-80) but his 48 BBs this year were more than O’Brien had at any level, even with twice the ABs. Breaux is an interesting prospect. He could end up pitching, he could end up in RF where his legs don’t really play but his arm does. Per Phil, the Yankees think far more of him than the pubs do. He has signed for $1.5 mil, $413,100 over slot value.
3rd Round – Ryder Green, OF, R/R, Karn, TN (HS) 6’0” 200 LBs
Fangraphs had him at 71, BA and MLB had him in their Top 100. It doesn’t much matter. The consensus is that he’s an elite prep power bat. He has hit 93 off the mound, so he certainly has the arm for RF, if he doesn’t stay in center. He has above average speed, and per Keith Law is a darling of the exit velocity crowd, something the Yankees’ analytics team loves. What everyone agrees on is that his contact ability, while not bad, is the lagging tool. DO thinks the hit tool projects as above average, which would give him a chance for five above average or better tools. The power/speed combo is something the Yankees have been chasing for years, and to get a guy with projected plus power and above average speed in the third round is impressive. Grew up hating the Yankees, but money has a way of changing allegiances. Signed for $1 mil, $423,600 over slot.
4th Round – Frank German, RHSP, JR, U North Florida, 6’2” 195 LBs
Great results this year, 1.55 ERA and 0.83 WHIP over 91 IP with a 108:14 K:BB. Struck out 17 and walked 3 in 12.2 IP as a reliever on the Cape last year, 3.55 ERA and a 1.72 WHIP. German throws a mid-90’s FB, a mature change, and has impressive spin rate on his breaking ball but some inconsistency – “slurvey” is the adjective - with it. Keith Law noted that his Trackman attributes (spin rate especially) stood out. Based on the Yankees’ recent track record with pitchers in this part of the draft, he should have an ERA of about 2.00 in High A at this time next year. He has signed for $350K, $80,400 under slot value.
5th Round – Brandon Lockridge, CF, R/R, JR, Troy, 6’1” 185 LBs
Slashed .303/.427/.455 with 41:36 K:BB, 24 XBH including 7 triples, 25/27 on SBs. Last year was .344/.396/.498 with 6 HRs. Made a conscious attempt to be patient this year. Reminds me a bit of Michael O’Neill, drafted in the same round, though O’Neill had more obvious power potential and almost no patience as a draftee. Legit 80 grade speed, limited arm strength. He likes Brett Gardner and maybe that’s a good upside comp for him. Maybe they see more power potential, or maybe they are comfortable with a guy with elite speed and patience as a potential top of the order guy. FWIW Keith Law pointed out that he has a hitch in his swing, but I’d imagine pro coaching is up to the task of ironing something like that out. Signed for $300K, $20K and change less than slot.
6th Round – Rodney Hutchison, RHSP, JR, UNC, 6’5” 225 LBs
Swingman for UNC posted lackluster numbers a 4.79 ERA and a 52:16 K:BB over 56 IP as a mid-week starter and reliever. Has never really put it together. But the stuff is and has long been impressive (BA notes it has actually ticked up lately – low 90’s to start the season, sitting 94 in the ACC Tourney), with a FB that sits mid-90’s, an impressive mid-80’s slider and a mature change. Crafty, varying speed and even arm slot (not quite a sidewinder but close) for increased deception. Couple that with a power pitcher’s frame and you could have the makings of an impressive arm going forward. Will almost certainly sign, but his team is still alive.
7th Round – Daniel Bies, RHSP, SR, Gonzaga, 6’8” 245 LBs
He was a horse this year for the Zags, posting a 2.49 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP with a 124:25 K:BB over 112 IP. Posted an impressive 3.09 ERA and a 27:10 K:BB over 32 IP on the Cape. He’s probably an underslot, but he had TJS late in his HS career and needed the extra year to build a body of work. Pitched a gem against a good UCLA lineup. Low to mid-90’s, but he complements that with a good slider and has the downward plane. Also throws a curve and a change that he acknowledges needs work. He has signed.
8th Round – Connor Van Hoose, RHSP, SR, Bucknell, 6’1” 195 LBs
Rotation stalwart for Bucknell, managing a 2.36 ERA over 76.1 IP, 108:31 K:BB, 2.08 ERA and 1.04 WHIP over 83 IP last year. Control pitcher, with a FB that sits 89-92 with movement, curve and slider, fringe change. Threw a no-hitter this year against Lehigh. Likely a rotational guy for Pulaski or SI, but he could surprise. He has signed.
9th Round – Mick Vorhof, RHRP, SR, Grand Canyon U, 6’1” 200 LBs
Closer for Andy Stankiewicz’s team at Grand Canyon, posted a 2.25 ERA over 38 IP with a stellar 48:3 K:BB. Not a huge velocity guy, more 91-92 (T94), but locates it very well and complements the FB with his strikeout pitch, a curve, and has a rudimentary changeup. Stankiewicz praised him as a competitive, durable strike-thrower who hates to walk people. Another likely underslot sign, but some of these low-dollar relievers have impressed when given chances. Has signed.
10th Round – Josh Maciejewski, LHSP, SR, UNC-Charlotte, 6’3” 175 LBs
Senior draftee from UNC-Charlotte who posted an impressive 2.25 ERA and 1.01 WHIP this year, with 104:25 K:BB over 104 IP. More than halved his ERA from his junior year. He has already signed. Likely an underslot, but we have certainly found value there. FB is low 90’s, solid change.
11th Round – Tanner Myatt, RHP, J2, Florence-Darlington Tech (JUCO) (SC), 6’7” 220 LBs
A 3.76 ERA over 26.1 IP with 34:16 K:BB, Myatt is said to have high-90’s FB velocity, T99 (DO said 98). Although he has a decent slider the secondaries are clearly lagging, as is the control, but with that kind of size and power it’s easy to dream on him improving his pitchability. He probably ends up in the pen, but he could get a chance to start. DO threw out a Farnsworth comp for the velo and intimidation factor. Has already changed his Instagram profile so it’s official or likely to be.
12th Round – Matt Pita, RF, JR, VMI, 5’10” 175 LBs
Strong contact skills, hitting .389/.459/.721 with a 30:23 K:BB. Managed an impressive 14 HRs and 23/30 on SBs. Small-school competition isn’t always the strongest, but he did hit a robust .341 in the Coastal Plain League last year. Already expressed an intention to sign.
13th Round – Isaiah Pasteur, OF/RHP, SR, GWU, 6’2” 182 LBs
Had a breakout offensive season at GWU as ECAC POY, .331/.398/.533 with 11 HRs, 31/34 SBs, 58:26 K:BB (Ks are troubling but everything else looks good). Even had a 30-game hit streak. He did throw to a 3.45 ERA over 28.2 IP with an 18:16 K:BB, but DO made it clear they view him as a CF.
14th Round – Kyle Gray, 2B, JR, WVU, 5’10” 175 LBs
Mini-breakout for Gray, posting a .374/.462/.677 in major college ball after a .260 last year. K’s dipped from 59 to 31, popped 14 HRs and stole 10/14 bags. If he was a little bigger, he might have been a premium pick. DO threw out a Solak comp, which would be a great get at this point in the draft.
15th Round – Nick Ernst, RHP, JR, Miami (OH), 6’3” 195 LBs
Ernst has a strong showing last year, posting a 2.63 ERA, and then went just 9 IP this year before succumbing to TJS. Says he’s 94-97 with the FB, mid-80’s SL, also throws a breaking ball with a high spin rate and a change. Typically the TJS rehab can improve a changeup, so he could be a legit three-pitch pitcher when he comes back. Nice gamble on a guy with good velocity, tough to see him return to school and re-enter the draft next year with little or no performance for teams to evaluate. He told a local paper he had already made up his mind to sign.
16th Round – Derek Craft, RHP, JR, UT-San Antonio, 6’8” 220 LBs
Impressive stats as a multi-inning reliever, 1.89 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP over 52 IP, 62:11 K:BB. Fastball/slider guy whose K rate spiked as a junior.
17th Round – Barrett Loseke, RHRP, JR, Arkansas-Fayetteville, 6’0” 172 LBs
The Yankees like the Razorback program, having raided it for Trevor Stephan last year. Loseke went 40 IP as a multi-inning reliever, posting a solid 3.35 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and a 51:23 K:BB. Cape performance last year was forgettable, but he did post a solid 2.85 ERA as a starter in the Coastal Plain League in 2016. Velocity is said to be low 90’s, so something is getting outs.
18th Round – Alex Guerrero, C, Eagle HS (Idaho), 6’0” 185 LBs
U of Washington commit, PG ranked him the best position prospect in Idaho. Said to be athletic enough to play 3B or an OF position, bat to be competitive anywhere. Contact skills right now over power, but he’s young and could grow into more of a masher. Apparently he had a workout or a tryout for the Yankees and impressed them. He reported he has signed for $125K, the post-pool max. We’ve signed a couple of guys in this range – Donnie Sands, Harold Cortijo – and both have become intriguing prospects.
19th Round – Alex Junior, CF, JR, Tennessee Tech, 5’10” 188 LBs
Leadoff hitter slashed .326/.456/.494 with 7 HRs, 23 XBH and a 50:49 K:BB, hit .349 in the WCL last summer. Overaged for a junior at 22. Has plus plus speed, which was evident in his CF performance but less so on the basepaths.
20th Round – Marcus Evey, RHSP, JR, Tennessee Tech, 5’10” 175 LBs
Second straight pick from Tennessee Tech, presumably a scout had an in or a warm fuzzy about the program. 4.04 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 81:26 K:BB over 71 IP this year, significant improvements over his frosh and sophomore stats. In his interview he says he’s 92-95 as a starter, 94-97 out of the pen, and that he throws a CB, a SL and a splitter. If he’s going to start I assume the Yankees will encourage him to focus on one or two of those secondaries and develop a change.
21st Round – Mitchell Robinson, 3B, SR, U of British Columbia, 6’3” 200 LBs
.361/.440/.576 this year with 8 HRs, 26 XBHs, 6/6 SBs and 27:28 K:BB. He won his conference’s Gold Glove this year; I’m not sure whether that is equivalent to DPOY or position-specific. He can play all four corner spots, so versatility is a plus. Played at two American colleges before returning to Canada.
22nd Round – Keegan Curtis, RHP, SR, UL Monroe, 6’0” 175 LBs
After a lackluster few years as a swingman, Curtis became a full-time reliever in 2018 and took off. 2.88 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 47:11 K:BB in 34 IP as a multi-inning guy.
23rd Round – Justin Wilson, RHP, JR, Vanderbilt, 6’0” 175 LBs
TJS in 2017, transferred to Vandy from JUCO had just 6 IP this year (did have 9 Ks). Could be shades of Riley Thompson last year, Wilson is supposed to have impressive stuff (not quite as impressive as Riley Thompson though). Via Instagram, he said he’s going back to Vandy.
24th Round – Blakely Brown, RHP, JR, Georgia Southern, 6’0” 165 LBs
Former Georgia Bulldog, doesn’t seem to have pitched this year. Per RAB he sat out because of transfer rules. He touched mid-90’s and has a good curve, but the results in the SEC never really reflected that. He may take a chance on returning to school and improving his stock.
25th Round – Sean Boyle, RHRP, SR, DBU, 6’1” 205 LBs
Reliever from DBU, one of those small-school baseball factories, played his last two years there. 3.44 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP over 34 IP with 39:9 K:BB. Funky low-three quarters delivery, a lot of movement on his breaking ball. Could surprise.
26th Round – Jack Thoreson, C, SR, St. Mary’s (CA), 6’1” 200 LBs
.288/.407/.516 this year with 9 HRs and a 34:31 K:BB. If he signs, likely he’ll be called upon to be a veteran presence on a young team down in the low minors.
27th Round – Mickey Gasper, 1B, SR, Bryant University (RI), 5’10” 205 LBs
Caught in college, slashed an impressive .340/.468/.539 with 8 HRs, 20:42 K:BB (twice as many walks as strikeouts is good, even in small-school college ball. Hit very well on the Cape last year, .305/.429/.492 with a 34:28 K:BB, impressive to see a small-school kid get such a sustained look on the Cape.
28th Round – Max Burt, 3B, SR, Northeastern, 6’2” 185 LBs
A bit of a down year offensively, slashed .272/.327/.362 after a .299/.371/.452 performance last year. OPSed .521 on the Cape last year. Was the DPOY of his league last year as a shortstop, could be a veteran presence on Pulaski or Staten Island this year. Has signed.
29th Round – Jackson Bertsch, RHP, 5th Year SR, Liberty, 6’3” 225 LBs
3.94 ERA and 1.30 WHIP over 75 IP with 86:25 K:BB. Spiked his K rate this year. We have taken a few late rounders from Southwest VA over the last couple years, probably in part as a gimme to Pulaski, so that could be the attraction here.
30th Round – Tyler Johnson, RHP, JR, Gardner-Webb Univ (NC), 6’0” 195 LBs
Pitched to a 3.98 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP over 40.2 IP as a multi-inning reliever, 53:16 K:BB, allowed just one long ball all year. RAB says he’s a three-pitch pitcher. Self-reports his FB sits 90-93 T94, slider, cutter, change. It’s not uncommon for a college kid outside of the major programs to tinker, and one of the tasks of Yankee player development is figuring out which of those pitches is worth keeping.
31st Round – Patrick Winkel, C, Amity Regional HS (CT), 6’2” 190 LBs
I’m not going to waste time on a write-up, he’s a strong UConn commit whose brother already starts for the baseball team and he has already said he’s going to school. Glove over bat at this point. Could be a redraft in a couple years. First clear non-sign.
32nd Round – Sincere Smith, SS, East Bladen HS (NC), 5’11” 170 LBs
Two-sport star in HS, very little info on him other than the insinuation that he’s an athlete. Per DO, potentially a 60-grade runner, very athletic, raw tools with soft hands in the IF. A local press article from a couple days after the draft suggested he intends to sign.
33rd Round – Charlie Ruegger, RHP, JR, Stevens Tech (NJ), 6’6” 218 LBs
Went to our sister school for HS, the staff “ace” for Stevens Tech with a 2.58 ERA and 3 complete games. 97:21 K:BB in 80.1 IP, just 2 HRs allowed on the year. Closed last year, tallying 8 saves but with a 4.30 ERA and poorer peripherals.
34th Round – Matt McGarry, 2B, SR, Belmont Abbey College (NC), 5’10” 175 LBs
Slashed .349/.458/.479 this year with 4 HRs and 43:36 K:BB, 23/25 SBs, a marked improvement over the .272/.383/.379 he slashed as a junior. A smallish middle IF with a little bit of pop and a lot of speed.
35th Round – Austin Wells, C, Bishop Gorman HS (NV), 6’1” 195 LBs
Another clear non-sign, a strong commitment to the University of Arizona ranked in the Top 200 by mlb.com. Would have been drafted higher if he didn’t have an elbow injury. Strong, accurate arm and some offensive ability. Says he’s going to school.
36th Round – Jack Anderson, RHP, Jesuit HS (FL), 6’3”, 180 LBs
He seems to be a Florida State commit, I’d chalk him up as a non-sign. Similar to Andrew Abbott last year, high 80’s velocity with developing secondaries and a strong chance to become a much better prospect in a couple years.
37th Round – Landon Marceaux, RHP, Destrehan HS (LA), 6’0” 180 LBs
One of the best preps in Louisiana, firm LSU commit, almost certainly a non-sign. If Ryder Green didn’t sign, maybe they could throw everything at Marceaux and change his mind, but it’s unlikely. Says he’s going to school.
38th Round – Dan Metzdorf, LHP, JR, Boston College, 5’9” 165 LBs
¬Metzdorf had a poor statistical season, with a 5.74 ERA, a 1.55 WHIP and a 61:30 K:BB over 69 IP. He had a solid 2.45 ERA as a reliever on the Cape last summer, but his peripherals were less impressive.
39th Round – Brady Allen, LHP, George Jenkins HS (FL), 6’1” 210 LBs
Strong South Carolina commit likely to play two-way ball in the SEC, not likely to sign.
40th Round – Reid Anderson, RHP, SR, Brown University, 6’0” 200 LBs
He had a 9+ ERA in limited duty this year, so he could have been injured, but his prior years weren’t statistically impressive either. I wonder if he’s a scout’s kid or something like that.