Starting our look at players that may be available for the Yankees to draft at pick 51 are the outfielders. We’ll look at a few that have the possibility to slide to the Yankees as well as a few who should be there.
Candidates who may Slide:
Brandon Nimmo, East HS, Cheyenne, Wyo
This is the least likely candidate to slide. Nimmo is being mentioned often with a first round selection however he wants a ton of money. Also, because of his location (2.5 hours North of Denver) many teams haven’t gotten a great look at him. His school doesn’t even have a high school baseball program. Still, he’s very unlikely to be available. It is the draft though and weird stuff happens all the time. Nimmo is a 6’3” athlete that was fast enough to place in state track finals. He should continue to grow with his solid frame. With a short and compact swing from the left side, Nimmo has the projection that scouts are looking for from high school prospects. He should hit for more power when he adds strength, complementing a line drive swing to all fields. Nimmo has a plus arm and plus speed but has been slowed down by knee tendonitis stemming from a 2009 ACL tear while playing football. With his commitment to Arkansas, he’ll require a good chunk of change to sign. Since teams don’t have a great idea what he looks like against serious pitching talent, he may be a “sign and follow” guy. Again though, Nimmo being on the board at 51 is among the more unlikely scenarios we’ll discuss here.
Jackie Bradley, University of South Carolina
Bradley was a sure-fire first rounder until injuries derailed his 2011 season. While struggling to play through his injuries he hasn’t looked great and that has also scared off some teams. At 5’10”, 175, Bradley is a gifted defender in centerfield with great instincts, good speed and a plus arm. At the plate he uses the entire field with a swing that features good bat speed and timing. This year though Bradley has looked pretty bad with the new BBCOR bats. Before his wrist injury, he was upper cutting the ball and was making poor contact. With torn ligaments in his wrist, Bradley is probably out for the rest of the year. His track record is impressive- he hit 24 home runs his first two seasons, had more walks than strikeouts and was the most outstanding player of the College World Series when USC won it all in 2010. Now, things are murkier. When totally healthy, Bradley is a plus defender with a plus arm and the ability to hit for average with good plate discipline. This would be a riskier pick and he’s also likely a “sign and follow” guy. I would also be a little surprised to see him last this long however. Teams with more than one first round pick could take a flier on him and see how he plays this summer.
Brian Goodwin, Miami Dade College
Goodwin has an interesting history. Originally drafted in 2009 out of high school, he went on to sign with UNC only to be suspended for academic violations a year later. He then transferred to Miami Dade Junior College where his stock has continued to rise because he’s a true 5 tool guy. He’s a patient, advanced hitter with good bat speed and a very good eye. He has some present ability to hit for power but scouts also project him for plus power down the road. He’s a good runner but not elite- he plays CF at Miami Dade but was in a corner spot at UNC. Goodwin is a projectable left-handed prospect that has some helium lately which may land him in the back half of the first round. He’s only a sophomore so there’s plenty left to dream on. Goodwin is probably a very early supplemental pick and I doubt he’d slip as far as 51. Again though, stranger things have happened.
Should Be Available (but no guarantee):
Alex Dickerson, Indiana
The team USA veteran, Dickerson hasn’t gotten off to a fast start and has caused some teams to hedge on him. As a sophomore he won the Big Ten triple crown, but this year back injuries have plagued his season. At 6’3”, 225 lbs, Dickerson is a left-handed hitter first and foremost. Right now he has power to all fields, plus pull power, quick hands and an advanced approach. Defensively he doesn’t bring much to the plate. He can’t really run and has a below average arm, and he’s been stationed in left field for most of the year. A future 1B or DH isn’t out of the question with Dickerson. This also isn’t the first time he’s had back trouble- in high school he required surgery to repair a bulging disk. Dickerson can hit though and that’s what should get him selected on the first day of the draft.
Charlie Tilson, New Trier HS, Winnetka, Ill
Tilson is a rare Illinois product who made his mark on the prospect world at the Area Code Games in 2010. The 6’0” 175 lbs Tilson is burner, with plus speed and good instincts in CF. He has a line drive swing with good bat speed but probably won’t hit for much power. He does have a good approach at the plate though and his overall game reminds me of Brett Gardner with less speed- a LH bat who gets on base, plays defense and can steal some bases. He also has an above average arm and good instincts on the bases. He’s definitely got an advanced set of tools for a HS product. He’s reportedly a tough sign but a team willing to open the checkbook could have a nice player on their hands.
Granden Goetzman, OF, Palmetto, FL
Goetzman is a corner outfield prospect and at 6’4”, 195 lbs, he can really swing the bat. Utilizing his quick swing, fluid mechanics and good leverage, Goetzman hits for a ton of power and has above average speed. His ability to hit is more advanced than many expected and along with his makeup, he’s been a late riser on draft boards. He may have the athleticism to play CF but his bat will certainly play anywhere. He has a Florida Gulf Coast commitment but he should get drafted early enough to make him skip out on that.
Derek Fisher, Lebanon HS, PA
Committed to the University of Virginia, Fisher has an impressive array of power and speed. At 6’3”, 205 lbs, the LH is an above average hitter who uses all fields with borderline plus power. At the moment he has good speed and plays CF but most teams are considering him a corner outfield prospect. The weather and inconsistent play have some teams mixed on him- the tools and upside are there but the performance has been spotty this year. He’s expanded his strike zone, and swings and misses at a pretty healthy rate. Some feel he’s trying to do too much showing off for scouts when he’s able to actually play. He’ll take big money to sign but has some attractive upside.
Others in the Mix:
Kes Carter, Western Kentucky– an athlete who has turned it on this spring, Carter flashes 5 tools in CF, with a good advanced LH swing and power potential. Mixed with his above average speed and good arm, his defense is certainly above average. He’s had some injury concerns but the upside is certainly there….Shawon Dunston JR, Freemont HS CA– Son of former big leaguer of the same name, Dunston is an elite athlete with plus speed. Has a Vanderbilt commitment and won’t be a cheap sign at all…..Tyler Goeddel, Mountain View HS, CA- Has a very projectable frame (6’4”, 170) with good speed and an above average athlete. Plays 3B but scouts project him as a CF with his plus arm. A bit raw but has good tools at the plate, with a quick swing that stays in the zone for a long time. Power is all projection at this point but given his frame, it’s easier to forecast in the future….Johnny Eierman, Warsaw HS, MO- Plus speed and very quick bat give him an impressive power/speed mix. The approach isn’t there yet but the tools are to project a bat that hits for average and plus power with plus speed. A very high ceiling talent but will need time to reach it. He has an LSU commitment.