After failing to sign Austin Wells out of high school in 2018, the Yankees selected the draft-eligible sophomore with tonight’s first round pick. He’s a lefty-swinging catcher with plenty of power, though there are concerns about his glovework. Here’s what I wrote for Wells’ prospect capsule in our draft preview yesterday:
Austin Wells, C, Arizona – Video
The Yankees drafted Wells just two years ago out of high school, so there’s clearly some affinity here. He’s a lefty-swinging catcher with lots of power, though there is some uncertainty about his ability to remain behind the plate long-term. Nonetheless, it seems like his power will be able to play at another position should he prove unable to last as a catcher.
There’s quite a bit of skepticism about Wells’ receiving, though one can’t help but wonder if that’s something Tanner Swanson and the organization can fix. On the other hand, arm strength seems to be a problem. Baseball America notes that he has a record of elbow issues dating back to high school while Eric Longenhagen’s brief report states that Wells had shoulder surgery in the past.
There were two players mocked to the Yankees at various points who didn’t last until the 28th pick. Cleveland drafted Carson Tucker with the 23rd pick, Atlanta took Jared Shuster at 25.
I’ll have a profile on Wells in the coming days.