2021 Draft: Yankees Select SS Trey Sweeney in 1st Round

Welp. Leave it to the Yankees to select a player we hadn’t profiled or really heard anything about until today. Such goes the whims of the draft.

With the 20th overall pick, the Yankees selected shortstop Trey Sweeney out of Eastern Illinois University – a school most famous for being Tony Romo’s alma mater.

Sweeney had quite the season for EIU this year slashing .382/.522/.712 in 48 games and was named the OVC Player of the year. Sweeney put himself on the map in 2019 with his showing in the Wood Bat Prospect league where he hit .354/.453/.524 with 7 home runs and 36 walks compared with just 25 K’s.

He followed up that impressive wood bat showing last summer in the Coastal Plain League where he hit .397, which was 2nd in the league overall. The Yankees are known to love guys who hit well in wood bat leagues, so that tracks.

Here is video of Sweeney against Jordan Wicks, who was selected one spot after him:

We’ll have a more thorough write-up on Sweeney tomorrow, but here’s the Spark Notes:

The bat is his calling card. As you saw in those numbers above, Sweeney will make his living at the plate. MLB Pipeline notes he has outstanding hand-eye coordination, good feel for the barrel, and he controls the strike zone. Then there’s this from Kevin Goldstein of Fangraphs:

Others such as Keith Law of The Athletic are lower on Sweeney highlighting that he has concerning swing mechanics and will likely have to move to 3B fairly quickly.

He has great size. He’s listed at 6’4″ 210 lbs. which combined with his ability to get the barrel to the ball likely intrigued the Yankees and they believe he can tap into his power as a professional.

In the draft primer this morning, I said the Yankees haven’t taken a college hitter in the first round since Aaron Judge, and if Sweeney works out 1/10th as well as that pick, it’ll be a home run. Stay tuned for our profile of him and more draft coverage tomorrow!

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6 Comments

  1. Rocky

    He was ranked:

    50 by Baseball Prospectus
    55 by Baseball America
    55 by MLB.com
    63 by FanGraphs
    89 by Law

    I’m not sure how I feel about that. It’s not like he’s rated poorly, but it feels like at least a mild reach

  2. Mungo

    So this is our day in Yankeeland:

    Humiliating defeat to the Astros, sucking the life out of what had been a good road tip, following Cole’s great game…

    The Red Sox somehow get Marcelo Mayer, the consensus #1 pick heading into the draft…

    The Mets somehow get Kumar Rocker drafting at #10, even though Rocker was probably picked as the #1 pick by more publications over the past year, and was still a top five pick heading into the draft…

    The Blue Jays get Gunnar Hoglund, who the Yankees were heavily attached to, picking one slot in front of the Yankees. Hoglund was regarded as a top 10, if not 5 pick before requiring TJS. Could have been a great opp to get a top pick in exchange for a little patience as he recovers. He instead goes to one of our main division rivals.

    The Yankees once again pick a player with their #1 that no one’s every heard of.

    Ok, Sweeney may turn out great. It’s just been one of those days.

    • DZB

      My thoughts exactly. At least this is not quite a Cito Culver pick, where they took someone that would have easily been available later and no one was really seeing as a first round talent (okay, so Sweeney was mostly see as a second rounder). Seeing our rivals do so well in the draft ahead of us really stings.

      At least most people reading this are not England fans (I am in England) – their crushing loss on penalties yesterday just after seeing the Yankees implode was just way too depressing a way to end a Sunday.

      • DZB

        Also, how annoying is it that Boston is bad for a year and lands a major talent at number 4. What a break

        • Mungo

          Their “bad for a year” was also only 60 games.

    • MikeD

      Ha! I do “like” your narrative of the day because I was having very similar thoughts. When Sweeney’s name was read, I was like, “what? who? not again?!” I’ve warmed to the pick since.

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