What Position Do the Yankees Need to Address the Most in 2020 MLB Draft
Ladies and gentlemen, the MLB Draft is finally here.
For a sport that's been dormant for almost three months – courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic – the first round of the 2020 MLB Draft kicking off Wednesday night should undoubtedly bring some excitement and positivity back to the sport.
The consensus regarding the first few picks is crystal clear. Depending on which mock draft you read, or which draft expert you ask, a combination of Vanderbilt's Austin Martin, Arizona State's Spencer Torkelson and Texas A&M's Asa Lacy will be off the board when it comes time for the fourth selection to be made.
For the Yankees, who have to wait patiently until the 28th pick to add a prospect on Wednesday, the decision is a bit more complicated. Plenty of talented phenoms will still be available, each warranting consideration in their own way.
Mock draft projections aside, there is one position that New York could – and arguably should – look to address over the course of their three selections in this draft: left-handed pitching.
Among the Yankees' top 30 prospects (a group ranked 22nd by MLB Pipeline) only one is a left-handed pitcher. That would be T.J. Sikemma, the No. 38 overall pick a year ago out of the University of Missouri.
Pitching overall in New York's farm system is by no means a weakness. In fact, it's arguably the club's biggest strength. Deivi Garcia and Clarke Schmidt (the Yankees' first-round pick in '17) are hands down the club's best pitching prospects, both on the cusp of breaking into the big leagues.
It's not just those two. Six of the Bombers' top 10 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline's rankings, are righties. In fact, there's 13 right-handed pitchers on the Bombers' top 30 list.
One name to keep an eye out for on Wednesday night is Jared Shuster from Wake Forest. As noted by Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media, the 21-year-old is projected to go to the Yankees at No. 28 by Baseball America's Carlos Collazo.
The likes of top-rated southpaws Asa Lacy and Reid Detmars, both likely to come off the board very quickly in the first round, undoubtedly won't be available for New York at the bottom of the first round.
Beyond southpaws, another position (or set of positions, we should say) New York is reportedly seeking to address in the draft this week is position players up the middle of the field. Specifically, catcher and middle infielders.
Mind you, it hasn't been too long since the likes of Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andújar, even Aaron Judge graduated from the Bombers' top prospects list. That said, all of the position players in this club's top 30 prospects pool are in Double-A or below and are multiple years away from making an impact at the Major League level.
Plus, phenom Jasson Dominguez – New York's top prospect at just 17 years old – is estimated to make his debut by MLB Pipeline in four years.
Therefore, adding a bat that was successful in college, or is poised to ascend through a farm system's ranks at an expedited pace, could be a solid short-term investment. The Bombers have been linked to Arizona's backstop Austin Wells as well as shortstops Nick Loftin (from Baylor) and Ed Howard (from Mount Carmel HS in Chicago) in recent expert mock drafts.
As has been the case for the Yankees in the past, the draft board will dictate which name will be called when the Bombers are on the clock Wednesday evening.
Regardless of which position may presently be a weakness in the Yankees' farm system, if a right-handed pitcher that was projected to be picked high in the first round happens to fall into the Yankees' lap at No. 28, don't be surprised if they pull the trigger.
- Experts Say Yankees Will Take This Right-Hander at No. 28 in MLB Draft
- Yankees Eyeing Baylor Shortstop Nick Loftin With First-Round Pick?
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