The MLB draft is complete and over the coming days, the Yankees will begin to announce the signatures of several players they picked during the 3-day, 20-round process. With these players coming in, there will be a movement in the potential Yankees rankings, as three or four players of this category may be able to break into the top 30 of the Regulators.
It was rumored over a period of several weeks, that the Yankees liked Vanderbilt University’s Spencer Jones and picked him for 25th overall, near the end of the first round. Jones is a 6-foot-7 former two-way player who gave up the pitch after Tommy John’s surgery derailed his football career early in college.
Some scouts believe Jones could play in midfield, but he has played 62 games this year for the Commodores. If the Yankees view Jones as a quarterback, the team’s runner-up would likely be in position behind Jason Dominguez. Both players are at similar points in their development, being massive with elite exit speeds, but that doesn’t always translate into home strikes and the kind of impact you’d expect in games.
It’s also possible that Iverson Pereira will be named after Jones. The 21-year-old is slightly older than the organization’s newcomer and was recently promoted to Double-A. Pereira found that his strong mid-season strokes produced a great hot streak from June to early July. Like Jones, some scouts believe that both Dominguez and Pereira will be outside players at some point in their careers, but unlike Jones, both players in the organization have been primarily central players so far this year.
If the Yankees play Jones in a corner kick, he will be the best player on the team the moment he signs. The only other corner player among the Yankees’ top 30 potential players right now is Elijah Dunham. The 24-year-old was not selected for the Double-A during the five-round short-draft in 2020, but he’s been a solid performer since joining the system and has been particularly eye-catching during his time in the Arizona Fall League.
If Jones is indeed the Yankees’ top player, the fourth-round pick, Anthony Hall, would be in the top three or four. Hall has been ranked a top draft 144 by MLB.com, and it’s unclear whether Hall will break the Yankees’ top 30 when draft picks are added to the ranks in the coming weeks, but his overall profile compares similarly with Dunham. Hall will almost certainly start playing for Low-A Tampa in the near future, particularly with the recent promotions of both Domínguez and Grant Richardson, who have been regularly running the field at this level.
With the 61st overall pick, the Yankees chose right-hand pitcher Drew Thorpe. Cal Poly has been a solid performer for a number of years in college and is expected to move quickly through the lower parts of the organization.
Having cast 104 innings this season in college, Thorpe is likely to make his professional debut this year, but is unlikely to see extended activity. When he takes the hill he is expected to start at an advanced level like A-level and likely be ahead of 2021’s second and third round picks Brendan Beck and Brock Selfage (the latter currently 13th in the system).
Thorpe and the third-round Yankees, Trystan Vrieling, are ranked higher in the pre-draft rankings than either Beck or Selvidge in 2021. It’s not a perfect science to compare draft classes, but it does give an indication of where the Scout community thinks they ranked.
Once added to the Yankees’ top prospects, Vrieling will likely rank in the same neighborhood as a pitcher as Beck Way, who currently ranks 20th, or possibly higher.
After the fourth round, the Yankees bet heavily that the college would promote the rest of the way. Word comes out that a number of the selected leads have some sort of analytic trait to their offering that the Yankees team has been able to leverage to improve performance in the field with other possibilities. It’s hard to guess now, but maybe there’s another Will Warren in this chapter who will take a huge step forward and become a major prospect within a year of the draft.
The MLB draft is complete, and the Yankees have added some new and exciting players to their minor league system. Players who will be among the best odds in the system are instantly balanced between hitters and bowlers. We will now begin to see who can maximize their potential and climb the organizational ladder to the major tournaments.