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!