While I generally keep up with the state of amateur baseball and draft prospects, I don’t really give them much coverage or feel compelled to write about them here. There’s a lot of reasons for that, and one of the big ones is that it’s just so hard to know what a team like the Yankees is going to do at the bottom of the first round, or lower. You can even feel like you have a good sense of a dozen or so players the team is interested in and may take with their first pick, only to have them go and pick someone who was more or less off the radar. In fact, that’s basically what they’ve done in each of the last two drafts in picking Cito Culver and Dante Bichette Jr. To that end, I won’t be doing any draft prospect profiles or anything, but if you do want to read something like that, I’d recommend Mike Axisa’s series over at RAB.
If mock drafts are more your speed, here’s a rundown of the latest versions of the major ones:
- Baseball America’s latest, which has the Yankees drafting high school shortstop Addison Russell.
- Keith Law’s mock draft 2.0, which has the Yankees selecting high school third baseman Joey Gallo, while Law reports that he’s hearing the team is heavily focused on pitching.
- MLB’s Jonathan Mayo, who has the Yankees taking Texas A&M outfielder Tyler Naquin.
- Finally, Jon Sickles’ community draft.
On the other hand, if raw data is what you’re after, Baseball America has ranked the top 500 prospects in the draft, and provided scouting reports on each to subscribers.
As for myself, I’m probably most interested in Russell and Gallo. The latter is probably the best power prospect in the draft, but he projects as a first baseman long term, which means his bat has to carry him, and he swings and misses a lot. On the other hand, he doubles as a pitcher with a mid-90′s fastball. Russell is a slimmed down shortstop prospect who gets good marks for his bat speed and power, and projects as someone who can stick in the infield. The big knock on him is his mechanics. He’s also being represented by Scott Boras, so with the new slotting rules in play for the first time, I wouldn’t be surprised if signability concerns push him down the board too.
One final note, we’ll be hosting a live chat for the first and supplemental rounds of the draft Monday night. The festivities will start at 6:45 P.M., a few minutes before the draft kicks off on MLB Network. Hope to see you there!