Yankees select SS George Lombard Jr. with 1st Round Pick

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With the MLB Draft underway, the Yankees broke their streak of collegiate hitters in the first round with the selection of shortstop George Lombard Jr. out of Gulliver Prep in Florida. The 18-year-old shortstop was born in 2005, making him one of the youngest prospects in this draft class, and the projectability of his game is extremely enticing. After hitting nearly .500 in his senior year, Lombard became a riser in this draft class, displaying early signs of great power and contact skills with a solid frame as well.

Standing at 6’3 and 190 pounds, the Vanderbilt commit will likely sign with the Yankees, as they had a decent amount of slot money to play with and entice a HS player with a commitment to a big-time college. Lombard displayed an excellent ability to drive the baseball and has an MLB pedigree, which is something teams value heavily. Son of former 1994 second-round pick George Lombard, the Yankees believe they have a prospect who could grow into one of baseball’s very best.

The last selection they made regarding a high school player in the first round came back in 2019 when the Yankees selected Anthony Volpe in the first round, and they go shortstop once again in the draft. This may confuse some, but typically teams just draft the best player available, and they’ll shift players around the diamond if need be. Lombard’s growing frame could make him a second-baseman or third-baseman anyways, although his defensive skills are well-liked even at shortstop.

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Jul 5, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Anthony Volpe (11) rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Pipeline ranked him as the #31 prospect in the draft, with FanGraphs’ liking his projectability more and ranking him at 22. He’s an extremely well-rounded player, and there’s a good chance those skills continue to develop as he grows into his body more. He turned 18 in June of this year, and his speed tool has advanced plenty in his high school years. They’re banking on his upside, and if they’re correct, they could see another Volpe situation where they convert a lesser-known name into a top-10 prospect.

Time will tell, and as a high school pick, the Yankees will have to wait a few years before they’ll know what he truly is as a prospect, but it’s still an extremely exciting pick. Their next selection will come in the third round as they don’t own a second-rounder in this year’s draft, but so far, the Yankees should be happy with their first-day selection.

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