Back in the 2018 MLB Draft, the New York Yankees selected one of the fastest prospects in the entire draft. A standout second baseman from Troy University that has fully transitioned to center field since joining the professional ranks. That prospects are the Yankees 26th ranked prospect in their system, Brandon Lockridge. As mentioned Lockridge was a standout at Troy where he became the second-highest drafted player ever from the school. Lockridge stands out with his ability to put the ball in play, but his speed is what separates him from a lot of prospects. On the 20-80 scale, his ability to run grades out at an astonishing 75. He also has above average grades on his defense which makes him a really solid center field prospect for the Yankees. When thinking of guys who control the middle of the outfield, you want someone who can cover the position well with incredible speed, and Lockridge checks both of those boxes.
After making his rookie ball debut back in 2018, Lockridge had his first full season of pro ball last year. Lockridge spent the entire season with Charleston where he played in 121 games. In those games, Lockridge hit .251, had 12 homers, drove home 56 runs, and stole 22 bases. Very solid numbers all the way around for his first full year in pro ball. One of the things that Lockridge worked on last year was his swing. One of the biggest flaws Lockridge had was dropping his hands which reduced the amount of damage he could do with the bat. Adjustments have been made where now he is staying back on pitches and really driving the ball whenever he makes contact. Lockridge has really good strength and could be a guy who could develop to hit 20-30 home runs just based on his raw power. Combine the power with his speed and you have an extremely dynamic prospect when talking about Brandon Lockridge.
Speed, Power, and Contact
When the 2020 season gets underway, I want to see Lockridge continue to work on making consistent contact at the plate. He has made adjustments and seen good results, but there is still a lot of room to grow there. I want to see him take the ball to all sides of the field and I want to see him continue to learn pitch recognition. If he can get his average and OBP to climb a little more while his power also continues to tick up, he could climb up the rankings rather quickly for the New York Yankees. Lockridge has a tool in his toolbox that you can’t just teach and that’s his speed. I want to see Lockridge make his speed even more of a focus this year. While his stolen base numbers were good, I want to see them improve even more. That is his one tool that stands out from other prospects, and he needs to continue to show why that tool makes him a special prospect.