Yankees land 5-tool prospect with ‘generational’ power in 1st round of MLB Draft

spencer jones, yankees
Vanderbilt right fielder Spencer Jones (34) hits a single against Texas A&M during the eighth inning at Hawkins Field in Nashville, Tenn., Thursday, April 28, 2022. Vandy Tam Base 042822 An 010

When it comes to raw power, New York Yankees first-round draft pick, Spencer Jones, stands next to none in all of college baseball. The left-handed hitter has a nearly identical batting stance to Aaron Judge. The Yankees likely fell in love with that variable immediately.

However, Jones isn’t simply a monster power threat in the batter’s box, but he’s also an incredible athlete with speed and strength.

“He is a legitimate five-tool type guy with big power and plus speed,” Yankees scouting director Damon Oppenheimer said, via NJ.com. “He has some of the best exit velocity in this year’s draft. We are really excited about his ceiling.”

The ceiling of Jones is sky high, given he smashed 12 homers for Vanderbilt in the SEC this past season. He posted a .370 batting average, 46% on base rate, and .644 slugging rate. He tallied 85 total hits over 230 at-bats.

Tim Corbin, Vanderbilt’s head coach, raved about Jones’s qualities:

“His future is well ahead of him, and you can’t say that about every kid,” Corbin recently told The Athletic. “Sometimes they max themselves out. You can’t say that about Spencer. He’s just starting to climb the stairs right now. I think 10 years from now we’re going to look back and say, ‘Whoa, what a big-league career he’s having.’”

When the Yankees drafted Aaron Judge way back in 2013, they saw a tall and thin player who contained generational power. The Yankees are seeing something similar in Spencer, who stands at 6’7″ and 225 pounds. Judge is now about 50 pounds heavier than Jones, meaning he has a lot more size to put on. This directly correlates to increased power. Even without the added mass, Jones recorded the single hardest hit ball in the history of college baseball at 119 mph.

If the Yankees end up signing Judge to a long-term extension, Jones may end up seeing him at the major-league level wearing pinstripes one day.

With hitting coach Dillon Lawson adopting a slogan of “hit strikes hard,” Jones fits the bill perfectly and could skyrocket through the minor-league system in the coming years if he can translate his collegiate talents. Aside from his unbelievable power, he also has top-end sprint speed, tallying 14 stolen bases this past season, being caught just once.

Given he’s a lefty, Jones could be an elite player for the Yankees down the road with the short right porch in Yankee Stadium. As Ryan García of Empire Sports Media notes, he must improve his pull-rate, which should directly increase his home run totals in the future.

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