2019 Yankees Draft Preview: What you need to know

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A new wave of prospects will take the first step to become a part of the Yankees farm system tonight. MLB’s amateur draft gets underway tonight at 7pm on MLB Network. The draft’s first two rounds will be completed tonight before the remainder is wrapped up on Tuesday and Wednesday. Haven’t a clue who the Bombers will draft? Me neither. That’s why I put together a nuts and bolts Yankees draft preview based on what the most respected publications opine.

Below, you’ll find what selections the Yankees have, a number of mock drafts (that I will update this morning as the final ones come in), one paragraph prospect summaries, and the organization’s recent draft history. Without further ado:

The Picks

  • First Round: 30th Selection
  • Competitive Balance Round A: 38th Selection (via Sonny Gray trade with Cincinnati)
  • Second Round: 67th Selection
  • Third Round: 105th Selection
  • Fourth Round: 135th Selection
  • Fifth through 40th Rounds: every 30th selection thereafter

The Yankees have a bonus pool of $7,455,300 to spend on picks within the first ten rounds. Each pick in the first ten rounds is assigned a specific value, but teams can (and do) go over and under slot based on leverage and signability.

Teams can spend up to five percent more than their pool, but there is a tax in that instance. Go above five percent, and the team forfeits next year’s first round pick.

Mock Drafts

  • CBS Sports (Mike Axisa!)
    • 30th: Tyler Callihan, 3B, Providence HS (FL)
  • Fangraphs (Mock 3.0)
    • 30th: Kameron Misner, RF, Missouri
    • 38th: Drey Jameson, RHP, Ball State
    • 67th: Rece Hinds, IF/OF, IMG Academy HS (FL)
  • Fangraphs (Mock 4.0)
    • 30th: Anthony Volpe, SS, Delbarton HS (NJ)
  • MLB Pipeline
    • 30th: Tyler Callihan, 3B, Providence HS (FL)
  • Baseball America (sub. required)
    • 30th: Anthony Volpe, SS, Delbarton HS (NJ)
  • Keith Law (sub. required)
    • 30th: Kody Hoese, 3B, Tulane
  • 2080 Baseball
    • 30th: Jack Leiter, RHP, Delbarton HS (NJ)
    • 38th: John Doxakis, LHP, Texas A&M

Prospect Capsules

Tyler Callihan, 3B, Providence HS (FL) – Video

Callihan will be 19 soon, so he’s older than most prep bats. But, at 6-1 and 200 lbs, he’s built more than most high schoolers. He’s got the raw power that teams covet, and as a left-handed hitter, he could prove to be a great fit in Yankee Stadium. Defensively, it sounds like he should be able to stick at the hot corner. He’s spent a little bit of time as a catcher too, though it remains to be seen if that’s viable long-term. Money talks, but Callihan is committed to the University of South Carolina.

Kameron Misner, RF, Missouri – Video

At 6-4, Misner is an imposing presence in the batter’s box. He’s another lefty swinger linked to the Yankees, and understandably so. He has big raw power, among a number of other impressive tools, including plus speed. He missed a bunch of 2018 with a foot injury and didn’t quite perform up to his raw tools in his junior year, so he could be available for the Yankees.

Drey Jameson, RHP, Ball State Video

Jameson is a skinny 6-0, 165 lbs, but don’t let that frame fool you — he can reach back and hit 98. His slider and changeup have plus potential as well. All that makes for an an exciting combination if he can harness is command. The draft eligible sophomore had a 4.17 BB/9 in his two years at Ball State.

Rece Hinds, IF/OF, IMG Academy (FL) Video

Big raw power is the name of the game for Hinds, though whether or not he can unlock that in game action is another story. His propensity to swing-and-miss could be a problem in the long run. Additionally, while it looks like he profiles best at third base, there’s a chance the 6-4, 215 lb. Hinds will wind up at first base instead. If he hits enough and can develop game power, either corner infield spot should be fine.

Michael Toglia, 1B, UCLA Video

Toglia doesn’t turn 21 until August, making him young for a player who just finished his junior season. He’s a switch-hitter who’s primarily played first base in college, though outfield could be a long-term option. Toglia’s been a good performer over the years at UCLA; he hit 32 dingers in 732 collegiate plate appearances and reached base at a sturdy .410 clip. The downside could be his propensity to strike out. He fanned just over 23 percent of the time this season, a couple ticks up from his sophomore season.

Quick note: Toglia was the Yankees’ pick in the previous version of Baseball America’s mock draft. The latest BA mock has the Yankees taking our next capsule:

Anthony Volpe, SS, Delbarton HS (NJ) – Video

At 5-11 and 180 lbs, Volpe isn’t a big guy that the Yankees seemingly prefer. He’s committed to Vanderbilt, so some persuasion would be necessary in order to get him to forego college. The shortstop has already built a good reputation as a defender, but whether or not he hits enough to be a regular vs. a utility guy remains a question.

Kody Hoese, 3B, Tulane – Video

After the Royals drafted Hoese in the 35th round as a draft-eligible sophomore, the third baseman chose to return to Tulane for one more season. It sure looks like he made the right choice. The right-handed hitter mashed: in 277 plate appearances, he hit .392/.487/.789 with 23 homers and a low 10.8 percent strikeout rate. Even though Tulane isn’t in a major conference, it’s hard to ignore that type of performance.

Jack Leiter, RHP, Delbarton HS (NJ)Video

Al’s son has more than just big name value, though he could prove to be very difficult to sign. Obviously, his family doesn’t need the money and he’s a strong commit to Vanderbilt, where he will be a draft-eligible sophomore in a couple of years. He currently sits in the low 90s, though can reach back for 96, and has a big curveball. Perhap’s his father’s past with the Yankees and the chance to remain near home in the long run could be enough to sway him to pass on Vandy. I suppose big money wouldn’t hurt either, even if the Leiters are already well off.

John Doxakis, LHP, Texas A&M – Video

Doxakis sounds a bit like current Yankee pitcher. A tall 6-4 southpaw who profiles as an innings eater without overwhelming stuff sounds a bit like Jordan Montgomery, right? Although he doesn’t creep past 90 on the radar gun very often, he’s got “pitchability”.

Recent Draft History

The Yankees used to be pretty predictable in the first round. From 2013 through 2016, the Yankees made six picks in the first round. All but one (Eric Jagielo) were out of California. The organization has behaved differently over the past two years, so a kid from the Golden State isn’t a slam dunk at 30. Neither Clarke Schmidt nor Anthony Seigler, the 2017 and 2018 first round picks respectively, were from California.

At one time, the team seemingly avoided prep players in the first round too. Intentional or not, the Yankees skipped out on high schoolers in the first round from 2012 through 2015. Perhaps the Cito Culver and Dante Bichette Jr. picks left a sour taste. Now, the tides have changed. The Yankees have taken high school hitters with their top pick in two of the last three drafts: Blake Rutherford (2016) and the aforementioned Seigler (2018).

So it doesn’t seem like the Yankees have a type we should key in on today. And given the lack of consensus among the various mock drafts, the pick seems fairly up in the air. Intrigue!


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1 Comment

  1. Roy Munson

    This is Awesome. Thanks for the concise write ups

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