As MLB and the players’ association keep negotiating a possible major league baseball season in 2020, the New York Yankees are wasting no time in securing young talent for their farm system. This week, the team signed five college right-handed pitchers, and on Thursday, the Bombers announced deals with two college outfielders.
The MLB Draft took place last week, but it was atypical, as it lasted only five rounds. That’s why the undrafted free agency pool is so big, and the Yankees are taking advantage of the talent available.
The New York Yankees agreed to terms with Indiana University outfielder Elijah Dunham and University of Nebraska outfielder Aaron Palensky as non-drafted free agents, according to Bryan Hoch.
Dunham reportedly told the Evansville (Ind.) Courier & Press that he was persuaded into signing a professional contract with the Yankees after talking with general manager Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone via Zoom.
“I thought for an undrafted free agent, this was a lot of effort,” Dunham told the newspaper on Wednesday. “I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity of being a Yankee.”
The Yankees are getting two advanced bats
Dunham is already 22, so he is advanced for a prospect and, theoretically, should move up fast through the ladder.
He started all 15 games that took place before COVID-19 halted things in his junior season with the Hoosiers. He excelled with the bat, hitting .390 with seven doubles, one homer, 11 RBIs, 12 runs scored and a sterling .493 on-base percentage.
Palensky will turn 22 in three months and became one of the Cornhuskers’ best performers. In 15 games, he batted .302 with five doubles and four round-trippers.
“[The Yankees] showed some seriously high interest and I felt like they have a lot to offer in terms of player development,” Palensky told the Omaha World-Herald. “I really felt like I could elevate my game there and felt it was the best route I could take to give myself a chance to make it to the big leagues.”