The 2020 MLB draft is now in the books. As always, there were plenty of surprises and curveballs. Several players were drafted above and below their expected slot values. With only having three total picks due to the signing of Gerrit Cole, the New York Yankees needed to make all of their picks count. The draft was only five rounds this year as a cost-cutting measure with the MLB season still currently delayed. So, here is a review of the Yankees draft.
Round 1, Pick 29: Austin Wells
The obvious prize of the Yankees draft is University of Arizona catcher Austin Wells. His full draft profile can be found here. There is some question as to whether Wells sticks at catcher. But, there is no denying his hitting prowess and the Yankees expect him to move up through their farm system quickly. The Wildcat hit .353 with five home runs and 60 RBI in 2019. That’s the type of contact and power that plays in any organization.
The Yankees have kept an eye on Wells as the team drafted him in the 35th round two years ago. It’s a testament to Wells that the Yankees stuck with him throughout his college career. They clearly love his skill set and hope to see him in pinstripes sooner rather than later.
Round 3, Pick 99: Trevor Hauver
With their third round pick, the Yankees selected Arizona State standout Trevor Hauver. The 130th-ranked prospect according to MLB.com, the Yankees hope that a move to the infield will give Hauver a path to the big club. After playing shortstop in high school, Hauver moved to the outfield as Arizona State was loaded with talent in the infield. With neither second nor third base being particularly deep in the Yankee farm system, a move to either spot for Hauver can only improve his chances. However, scouts see him as an average defender at best.
So, Trevor Hauver will have to let his bat do the talking as he moves up through the minors. He hit .339 with five home runs and 20 RBI in 17 games this year. Overall, Hauver hit .316 with 18 home runs with 71 walks and only 89 strikeouts. If he can keep up his contact and power numbers, the Yankees will no doubt find a position for the former Sun Devil.
Round 4, Pick 129: Beck Way
Northwest Florida State junior college product Beck Way joins a Yankee farm system loaded with arms. The right-handers full draft profile can be found here. Way is currently committed to transfer to LSU, but the Yankees hope to get him in to their system instead.
The hope is that he can turn in to a starter. With his three plus pitches, some scouts believe that is exactly how the Yankees will use him. After an impressive showing in the Cape Cod league and a productive spring, Way’s draft stock soared. His ability to extend his innings and show that his stuff stayed consistent over a full start allowed the Yankees to pull the trigger on drafting him.
Baseball America has Way listed at the top junior college prospect in the entire class. There is currently a lot of projection with Way. However, if he continues to show improvement and development, he will be yet another young up-and-coming arm in an already impressive group for the Yankees.
With only three picks, the Yankees came away with three solid players. All three currently project very well and could move quickly up the Yankee prospect list. It’s possible that both Wells and Hauver could see their positions change, and that could payoff in the long run for the two above-average hitters. As for Way, if the Yankees are able to pry him away from his LSU commitment, they will immediately begin working with him as a potential future starter.
All in all, the Yankees draft went well, and they walked away with a good haul for only having three picks. Yankee fans will surely want to keep an eye on all three men have bright future ahead.
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