New York Yankees select Austin Wells with first-round pick in MLB draft

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees have selected Austin Wells (C) from the University of Arizona with their first-round pick in the 2020 MLB Draft.

Originally drafted by the Yankees in 2018 out of high school, the club has had eyes on Wells for some time now. Everyone knows that the New York Yankees values offensive production the most and that’s exactly what Austin Wells brings to the table. Scouts have noticed his ability to hit for power to all parts of the field. In his freshman season at Arizona, Wells batted .353 with 78 hits and five home runs through 56 games played. In the short amount of time that college baseball had this year, Wells was batting .375 with 21 hits and two home runs through 15 games played.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFGkLn35k8Y

Something to note about Wells’ game is his great plate discipline. He can take a walk when it matters most, racking up 46 walks through 56 games. The only concern that comes with Wells is that scouts doubt his defensive ability behind the plate. He was a designated hitter his senior year in high school and there are some concerns that his defensive won’t be able to play at the next level.

It’s possible that Wells will begin primarily as a catcher, but move to another position. It’s been done before and some players have made great careers at positions they weren’t originally always playing, such as Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber. Wells is most comparable to Schwarber, as they both have similar frames and were both catchers starting off. Both players bat left-handed and throw right-handed, and had similar numbers in college.

This is what some scouts had to say about Wells’ game:

Dan Zielinki – Baseball Prospect Journal 

The left-handed hitter has power to all fields. The biggest question is Wells’ future defensive position, as he has work to do if he wants to stay behind the plate in pro ball.

Ian Smith – Prospect 365

Wells projects to be a 55 hit, 60+ power type profile as a professional. Where the concerns in Wells’ profiles lie are his defensive destination. A big body already at 6-foot-2 and 220 lbs., Wells shows good qualities as a backstop with a big arm and great leadership, but he struggles with breaking balls and doesn’t move particularly well.

Athlon Sports: 

There’s a healthy debate as to whether Wells will play catcher, first base or a corner outfield spot in pro ball, but there is a solid consensus that he should hit enough to be a productive pro even if he ends up at first base.

This was a good pick for the Yankees, as Wells brings a lot of talent to the table. He provides an above-average bat and if he’s able to figure it out behind the plate, this could be a steal for the Yankees.

New York Mets First Round Picks in the Last Ten Drafts

New Yor k Mets, Dominic Smith

The slightly modified MLB Draft takes place today as teams search for their future stars. The New York Mets’ success on their first-round picks in the past was solid. Some contributed with the Mets, and others found success across the league.

2019: Brett Baty, Third Base (12th Overall, Lake Travis High School) 

The 20-year old first-round pick had his ups and downs during his first season in professional baseball. Through 56 games, mostly at rookie ball, he slashed .234/.368/.452 with seven home runs and 33 runs batted in. Baty’s struggles at the plate were primarily due to fatigue, but his power/walk potential is very high. He already ranks as the fourth-best prospect in the Mets system, according to MLB.com.

2018: Jarred Kelenic, Outfield (6th Overall, Waukesha West High School)

Kelenic was a rising prospect in the Mets system before they dealt him in the infamous Robinson Cano/Edwin Diaz trade. During his first season with the Mets, he slashed.286/.371/.468 at only 18-years old. In 2019, he set the bar even higher, hitting .291/.364/.540 with 23 homers and 31 doubles between A, A+, and AA. Kelenic is the 11th overall prospect in baseball, according to MLB.com, and each day the trade stings the Mets more.

2017: David Peterson, Pitcher (20th Overall, University of Oregon)

Peterson is currently the 10th ranked prospect in the Mets system. He was on track to pitch in Triple-A during the 2020 season. There were also talks of bringing him up to supplement the lack of rotation depth. With Binghamton last season, he had a 4.19 ERA in 24 starts with 122 strikeouts. At his highest potential, Peterson projects to pitch in the middle of the rotation.

2016: Justin Dunn, Pitcher (19th Overall, Boston College)

Dunn was also part of the Kelenic trade to the Seattle Mariners. After two good seasons in Double-A during 2018 and 2019, he earned an opportunity to pitch for the M’s. They used him as an opener during his four 2019 outings. After allowing two runs in his debut, his next three opens were all scoreless.

2016: Anthony Kay, Pitcher (31st Overall, University of Connecticut)

Kay underwent Tommy John Surgery before he ever threw a pitch for the Mets. He understandably did not pitch to his full potential during his first season in professional ball. Kay had a 4.26 ERA over 122.2 innings but averaged about one strikeout per inning. During a stellar 2019 season in Double-A, the Mets moved him to Triple-A, where he struggled. They traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays for Marcus Stroman, and he made his MLB debut in 2019. Kay had a 5.79 ERA over three outings but should be an excellent addition to a young Blue Jays roster.

2015: No First Round Pick

2014: Michael Conforto, Outfielder (10th Overall, Oregon State University)

The Mets struck gold with Conforto. It only took 133 games for him to make it during the big leagues. He helped the Mets make it to the World Series in 2015 and became the fifth rookie to homer twice in a World Series game. After a rough 2016, which involved his demotion, he has produced in the last three seasons, including an All-Star selection. Conforto is hitting .257/.363/.492, averaging 29 homers, 81 RBIs and plays all three outfield positions.

2013: Dominic Smith, First Base (11th Overall, Serra High School)

Smith has overcome plenty to become a contributing member of the Mets. He was on track for stardom after hitting over .300 throughout the minors. Dealing with sleep apnea, injuries, and weight issues caused a stunt to his journey of becoming a solid big leaguer. In 2019, all three points were no longer problems, and it allowed him to have his best season so far. His playing time tougher to find due to Pete Alonso at first base, but Smith showed the versatility to play the outfield as well.

2012: Gavin Cecchini, Shortstop (12th Overall, Barbe High School)

2012 was the only year where the Mets missed on a quality big league prospect. They had two first-round picks, and Cecchini was the first one. Known for his bat more than glove, it took a couple of years for him to figure things out at the plate. Two straight seasons above .300 in the minors earned him a 2016 promotion. Cecchini went 2-for-6 with a double and waited some time to return in 2017. He struggled with the bat, only hitting .208 but off Clayton Kershaw for the only one of his career. Cecchini remained stranded in the minors for the last two seasons and signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks before spring training. Unfortunately, he was released in May as teams across baseball were cutting players to save money.

2012: Kevin Plawecki, Catcher (35th Overall, Purdue University)

The combination of Plawecki and Travis d’Arnaud was supposed to carry the Mets catching corps through the next decade. Neither of them hit successfully at the big league level. Plawecki only hit .218 with a .330 slugging percentage with the Mets. He was also known for his abundance of groundouts to the left side of the infield. The Mets traded him before 2019 for Sam Haggerty and Walker Lockett.

2011: Brandon Nimmo, Outfielder (13th Overall, Cheyenne East High School)

The Mets took a risk on the Wyoming native, but it has paid off so far. The Plawecki/d’Arnaud combination is what Nimmo/Conforto became. Nimmo’s grit and grind make him a fan favorite with the Mets. He broke out during 2018 when he received everyday action for the first time. Nimmo’s propensity for getting on base led to his career .254/.387/.440 and is a very underrated player.

2011: Michael Fulmer, Pitcher (44th Overall, Deer Creek High School)

Fulmer was another pitcher who never saw time with the Mets. They dealt him in the Yoenis Cespedes trade during the 2015 playoff run. Fulmer ended up winning the rookie of the year award and becoming an All-Star during his first two seasons with the Detroit Tigers. His disappointing 2020 ended early when he learned that he needed season-ending Tommy John Surgery.

2010: Matt Harvey, Pitcher (7th Overall, University of North Carolina) 

The Matt Harvey story is one that draws the same intrigue as the one of Dwight Gooden. A fantastic young arm, destined to be the next Tom Seaver but ran into an obstacle they could not overcome. Harvey had the excellent rookie campaign, then the 2013 All-Star Game start with a 2.27 ERA, which succame to the dreaded Tommy John Surgery. An excellent 2015 season led to a rough 2016, which led to Thoracic-Outlet Surgery. Harvey never returned anywhere near his Cy Young quality form and has a 5.89 ERA over the last three seasons.

New York Yankees: Who will the Yankees target? All you need for Today’s MLB Draft

The New York Yankees will be taking part in the 2020 first-ever virtual draft starting today at 7 pm.  Here is how to watch and a look at some of the prospects that they Yankees might draft.  Whoever they select, the Yankees will have until August 1st to sign them.

The New York Yankees may be looking at Justin Foscue for their 28th pick in the first round of the draft.  Foscue has already made a name for himself at Mississippi State University.  Foscue was not drafted out of high school, and his freshman year at MSU was not attention-getting.

Following a summer in upstate New York, playing for the Amsterdam Mohawks of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, Foscue returned to campus ready to break out. He improved so much that his bat may carry him into the first round of the draft.  The Yankees have always looked to address their weakest points in their minor league system, and this year will be no different.

The 21-year-old Foscue is a 6′ 201-pound righty that has a significant blend of power and plate discipline.  The power hitter is primarily known as a second baseman, although he has played plenty at the hot corner. In his career, he has shown an above-average ability to turn the double-play. In his sophomore year at MSU, he has hit .329 with a .404 OBP and 16 home runs in 83 games. During that stretch, he also showed his ability to get the bat on the ball by striking out just nine percent of the time.

Even after drafting Anthony Volpe last year, there is a good chance that they will again draft a shortstop in Carlson Tucker.  Tucker’s older brother, also out of Mountain Pointe High School in Arizona, is now with the Pirates being drafted in 2014.  If The New York Yankees select Tucker, it will be another attempt to shore up that shortstop position in the minors.  Shortstop is one of the Yankee’s weakest positions in the minors.  The Yankees see Carlson with similar attributes to his brother and may possibly be even better in the long run.

Also on the New York Yankees, shortlist of possibly picks is right-hand pitcher Tanner Burns out of Auburn.  Another is left-hand pitcher Jake Eder out of Vanderbilt, and finally, another consideration may be outfielder Daniel Cabrera of Lousiana State.  Some sources put Cabrera as the Yankees number one pick.

Use this link to keep track of the progress of the 2020 MLB draft.

This draft will not be like any draft held before, because this one will only five rounds instead of the usual 40 rounds. The 2020 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft will take place on June 10-11th. The draft will assign amateur baseball players to MLB teams.  Teams will select players in a draft order that is based on the reverse of last season’s standings.  This means the New York Yankees will select 28th in the draft order. Tomorrow the Yankees will select 99th and 129th.

Here’s how to watch: The 2020 draft will be broadcast on multiple television channels. This year you can watch the draft on the MLB Network and on ESPN. The broadcast will be live at 7 pm Eastern on Wednesday and Thursday. New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman will also take part in the virtual event by remote camera along with executives from each of the other 29 MLB clubs.

 

 

Analyzing Daniel Cabrera, possible first-round pick for the New York Yankees in MLB Draft

The 2020 MLB Draft is scheduled for June 10th and the New York Yankees have the 28th pick this year. Last year, the Yankees selected Anthony Volpe from Delbarton High School with the 30th pick and signed him for $2.7 million.

With the signing of Gerrit Cole, the Yankees surrendered their second and fifth-round picks when they signed Gerrit Cole and other free agents. With that being said, the club is expected to select a hitter in the first round and pitchers in the later rounds. They did a similar thing last year when they selected Volpe (SS) with their first pick and LHP TJ Sikkema after that.

Here’s a look at the New York Yankees possible first-round pick in this year’s MLB Draft:

Daniel Cabrera, OF, LSU

Since the Yankees are limited after signing Cole and losing some picks, they’re going to want to make their first-rounder count. Outfielder Daniel Cabrera is the kind of player that the Yankees like, showing tremendous power from the left side. In Cabrera’s sophomore season at LSU, he was batting .284 with 12 home runs and 50 runs batted in. He finished the year tied for the team lead in home runs and was third for RBIs. Before the college seasons were shut down due to COVID-19, Cabrera was off to a hot start batting .345 with 20 hits through 17 games played.

Being ranked the 38th-best prospect according to MLB.com, scouts have noted that Cabrera’s ability to hit to all fields also comes with tremendous speed. He’s also able to play all outfield positions, and the Yankees like having versatile players.

Cabrera is regarded as one of the best hitters in this year’s draft. His swing isn’t flashy as it’s smooth and quick, but his production is big. Since his swing doesn’t have any tremendous flaws, he’s expected to be an above-average hitter when he enters professional baseball.

Carlos Collazo from Baseball America had this to say about Cabrera:

There aren’t many moving parts in Cabrera’s swing. It’s simple and easy and, like his prep days, he’s still capable of hitting the ball to all fields, which has helped him stay consistent. While his raw power is more above-average than plus, and mostly to the pull side, he’s the sort of hitter scouts believe will tap into everything he has during games.

Dan Zielinki from Baseball Prospect Journal had this opinion on Cabrera:

He has a simple swing and an advanced approach at the plate that allows him to be an impact bat. He has solid power from the left side of the plate. He profiles as a corner outfielder.