MLB teams know you can never have too much pitching, which is why teams love to stock up on young, talented arms in their minor league systems each year.
For the Yankees, it has been a staple to have powerful arms at the ready, whether it be to come up and dominate in the bigs like Luis Severino, or use as a trade chip down the road.
At the moment, top prospects like Clarke Schmidt, Deivi Garcia and Luis Medina are on the cusp of the majors, and they are all homegrown products. Could the Yanks be envisioning their first-round pick of the 2020 MLB Draft doing the same one day?
If the Yankees want to go with a pitcher with their 28th overall selection in this year's draft, there is a very good lot of prospects to choose from. So, without further ado, here's who the Yanks could target on the pitching front in the draft, starting with a very familiar face to their scouting department.
1) RHP Tanner Burns, Auburn: 28th overall prospect by MLB.com
Burns was once selected out of high school in the 37th round by New York, but decided to play for Auburn instead. And that was the best decision he could've made at the time, as his stuff and poise on the mound developed tremendously.
Burns will now find himself a much better payday in this draft, and it could very well be with the same team that believed in him a few years ago. He had solid numbers in 2019, with a 2.73 ERA over 15 starts and 100 strikeouts. And he was on pace to deliver those same ones with a 2.42 ERA and 32 strikeouts over 22.1 innings in 2020.
2) RHP Chris McMahon, Miami: 29th overall prospect
McMahon is the most polished arm coming out of the Hurricanes' system in this draft, with Slade Cecconi right behind him. What sets McMahon apart from his teammate, though, is his command to go along with some powerful stuff.
A fastball that sits consistently in the 95-96 mph range and has topped out at 98 highlights McMahon's arsenal. However, it isn't all he has, as his heater is packaged with a slurve of sorts and a solid changeup. At the next level, perhaps having two breaking pitches will help him jump the ranks, but he has the stuff now to be a tremendous prospect.
The 6-foot-2, 215 pounder had a 1.05 ERA over four starts (25.2 innings) before the season was suspended this year. In 2019, he sported a 3.73 ERA over 12 starts with 67 strikeouts, 23 walks and a .229 opponent batting average.
3) LHP Dax Fulton, Mustang High School (Okla.): 43rd overall prospect
The Yankees are stocked up with righties in their system, so going with a left-hander who has the same potential one day like Fulton could be the thought process here.
Fulton did undergo Tommy John surgery after getting hurt back in August, but for some scouts, that's better to get out of the way earlier instead of when the prospect begins his professional career. Before the injury, the 18-year-old Fulton was living in the 90-93 range with his fastball that actually appears faster because he's throwing down at you from 6-foot-6.
He still has time to fill into his body and potentially get stronger with that pitch as well as his others. His curve is a "legitimate plus pitch" and his mechanics are said to be extremely solid for his length. It's way too early to tell, but think Jordan Montgomery when you think of Fulton. Tall, plus velocity and a sweeping curve.
4) RHP Bobby Miller, Louisville: 26th overall prospect
Why is Miller down on this list? Well, he might not make it to the Yanks at 28, but they could be holding out hope for this Cardinal stud.
His fastball comes in at 95-96 and has hit 99 on the radar gun. But it's his slider that can almost look like a sharp cutter that is his best pitch. A split change is featured as well.
His worst numbers, if you want to call them that, were in 2019 with a 3.83 ERA over 80 innings. He had 12 starts and eight bullpen appearances that saw 86 strikeouts to 38 walks and a .204 opponent average. He was a starter to begin 2020, with a 2.31 ERA over four starts. He could project to be a reliever down the road, but his electric stuff could have the Yankees crossing their fingers.
5) LHP Jake Eder, Vanderbilt: 59th overall prospect
Further down the prospect list is someone who is equivalent to Fulton, but has shown results against tougher opponents. The Yankees could be in love with Eder, who comes from the highly-touted Commodore program.
At 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, Eder had a big change from 2018 to 2019, pitching to the tune of a 2.98 ERA over 39.1 innings (19 appearances) with four saves. He was in a bullpen role instead of starting like he did in 2018, but he reverted back to getting the ball to start games in 2020 before the season was cut short.
In four starts, he had a 3.60 ERA with 27 strikeouts to nine walks over 20 innings pitched. Eder has a plus-fastball that has maxed out at 95 mph, and the Yankees could certainly work on his secondary stuff as well.