The Yankees may have landed a gem in 1st round draft pick

Baseball: Perfect Game All-American Classic, George Lombard Jr., yankees
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees savored a triumphant first round during the 2023 MLB Draft on Sunday night. Their selection, the 26th overall, brought in the promising shortstop George Lombard Jr. from Gulliver Prep, Florida.

The Phenomenal George Lombard Jr.

A true baseball scion, Lombard is the son of the Detroit Tigers bench coach George Lombard Sr. As a right-handed hitting shortstop, Lombard Jr.’s talent and potential have been evident over the past year. His exceptional senior year performance in high school earned him recognition as one of the Miami-Dade County Athletes of the Year by the Miami Herald.

The Yankees are thrilled to land a player who boasted a .478 batting average with 34 runs, 14 doubles, six homers, and 22 RBIs in just 29 games last season. Lombard’s raw power, superior hit tools, and impressive physique with scope for further growth make him a valuable addition to the Yankees’ farm system, where he’s projected to evolve into a premium player.

Yankees’ Scouting Verdict on Lombard

Damon Oppenheimer, Vice President of Domestic Amateur Scouting, expressed enthusiasm about the prospect in his statement on drafting Lombard Jr. He noted, “George has a number of physical attributes and is an elite athlete with all five tools and skills to play shortstop. He can impact the ball and use the entire field for power, alongside good contact skills.”

Standing at 6’3″ and weighing 190 pounds, Lombard Jr. currently projects as a shortstop. However, as he continues to develop his frame, some scouts believe he could transition to third base.

Lombard’s Future Position: A Thoughtful Debate

According to MLB.com, there’s considerable discussion about Lombard’s eventual defensive position. While his robust arm, sound instincts, and proficient glove make him a viable shortstop, many anticipate a transition to third base as his physique matures.

“There‚Äôs some debate over where he lands defensively. While some would send him out as a shortstop, where he does show off a strong arm, good instincts and hands, most see an eventual move to third as he fills out that frame.”

The possible shift promotes a more diverse player with additional qualities, and his power profile could well complement the third base position. Lombard is a Vanderbilt commit, so there’s reason to believe he could still attend college and pass on immediately joining the team’s farm system.

Lombard’s Potential: An Excellent Athletic Prospect

Lombard’s athletic prowess, combining excellent arm talent, speed, agility, and overall athleticism, significantly enhances his defensive repertoire. Yet, his batting potential is equally impressive, displaying raw power and a knack for getting on base effectively.

Like any young prospect, Lombard has had a few difficult at-bats that exposed inconsistencies and weaknesses. However, the Yankees are patient and understand that this young player needs time to develop before he features in the MLB.

Lombard’s Future: Developing Versatility

Lombard now has the opportunity to further refine his skills at both shortstop and third base, broadening his future prospects. While the Yankees already have Anthony Volpe as their long-term shortstop, the third base position is wide open, potentially paving the way for Lombard’s entry into the team.

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