The New York Yankees selected University of Arizona catcher Austin Wells with their first-round pick in the MLB Draft, the 28th selection of Wednesday night. He became the first player of his college to go in the initial round since infielder Kevin Newman.
You can get to know Wells with these five fun facts (hat tip to MLB.com.)
- Prior to playing ball in Arizona, Wells starred at the Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, the same that has produced Marty Cordova and current Texas Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo.
- This is actually the second time the Yankees have selected Austin Wells in the draft. They took him back in 2018 in the 35th round, but he kept his word and went on to the University of Arizona.
- He comes from a family of athletes: his father also played baseball and his mother was a gymnast, both at the University of Arizona.
- Wells has been raking for quite some time, and the Yankees got themselves a potential offensive star. Last year, he was named the Pac-12 Conference Freshman of the Year, hitting .353/.462/.552 in 56 games and starting every game for the Wildcats as a freshman.
- MLB Pipeline lists him as being 6-foot-2, 220-pound, and says Wells “can generate power to all fields with his simple, left-handed stroke.” He is a very patient hitter who works the count and draws walks, but is also vulnerable to the strike out.
The Yankees got themselves a gem
Before COVID-19 screwed things up, the new Yankees’ player was slashing .375/.527/.589 with two homers, six doubles and 17 walks over his first 15 games.
His scouting report has him as a very good offensive player, but there are questions about his ability to remain a catcher in the long-term. Because of that, he will need to hit a lot to stand out and carve a role regardless of his position.
MLB Pipeline says he is an adequate defender, but throwing could be an issue. He is capable of playing first base and left field, and those two positions could be his home in the future. In that sense, he is very similar to Kyle Schwarber.