Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |
The Yankees have a plethora of options with the No. 28 overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, which is still expected to take place virtually on June 10.
New York could bolster its pitching prospects in their system, or even target a top catches. But what if they went the same direction as they did last year?
With the 30th overall pick in the 2019 draft, the Yanks selected Anthony Volpe out of The Delbarton School in New Jersey. And when the second-round came along, LSU's Josh Smith -- another shortstop -- was taken.
Having these leaders of the field up the middle is key for any farm system, and the Yankees could stock up again on a shortstop or second baseman they feel is worthy of that first-round selection.
Here are five they could target when they're on the clock...
1) SS Casey Martin, Arkansas: 30th ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline
By the time the Yankees pick, Martin, a speedy 5-foot-11 shortstop, could still be on the board for the taking. Though the stolen base numbers don't say it, MLB has Martin's run grade at a 75 on a 20-80 scale. But that doesn't mean he's necessarily a contact-first guy at the plate.
Martin has some pop, smashing 15 homers as a sophomore in 2019. However, sometimes his approach at the plate is geared toward the long ball, which will need to change in his pro career.
With solid hands up the middle and the ability to lead as well, Martin is a great prospect that has the opportunity to fill into his body more, develop his skills at the plate, and become a real threat on the base paths.
2) 2B Justin Foscue, Mississippi State: 32nd ranked prospect
Foscue took a big leap in 2019 to vault his ranking among his peers. He had a .331/.395/.564 slash line with the Bulldogs, and had 14 homers and 60 RBI over 67 games. He was kicking off his 2020 in a great way, too, with a .321/.464/.509 line.
Foscue is said to use his body well in his swing, which could lead to some surprising power. He also has the ability to play every position but first base, giving him good versatility in the infield. That could be a deciding factor when mulling over which prospect to draft for the Bombers.
3) Carson Tucker, Mountain Pointe (Ariz.) High Schol: 52nd ranked prospect
You might recognize his older brother, Cole Tucker, who just broke into the bigs with the Pirates last season at 22 years old. He was Pittsburgh's 24th overall pick back in 2014 out of the same high school in Phoenix, and Carson could very well be the same.
But nothing necessarily jumps out except for the fact that his fundamentals are pristine at the plate and in the field. Shortstop appears to be where he could end up in the majors one day, but a switch to second base isn't out of the question.
He's low on the top prospect list, but again, so was Volpe when he was drafted. The Yankees really liked what they saw, and they could be focused on someone who projects to be similar to, if not better than, his older brother down the road.
4) SS Alika Williams, Arizona State: 40th ranked prospect
Williams could hear his name called by New York yet again, after getting drafted in the 32nd round back in 2017 by the Yankees out of high school. His time with the Sun Devils, though, jolted his draft stock and they could love him even more now.
Williams is more of a defense-first shortstop who does have that pesky ability to not strike out and always put the ball in play. He impressed during his time in the Cape Cod league and with Team USA this past summer.
Last season with Arizona State, he slashed .333/.429/.474 with four homers and 53 RBI.
5) SS Nick Loftin, Baylor: 36th ranked prospect
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Loftin could easily go higher in this draft because teams seem to love his makeup. But if the Yankees get a chance to take him, they might not want to pass it up.
And by "love his makeup," I'm talking about his versatility to play any infield position instead of just up the middle. He's extremely reliable in that aspect of his game, and he even began his career with the Bears in left field, so he could be a super utility man as well.
In 2019, Loftin hit .323/.380/.502 with 18 doubles, six homers and 41 RBI.