While the new year has not happened yet, it is not too early to talk about what the New York Yankees might do with the 30th pick in June’s MLB First-Year Player Draft. On Thursday, Baseball America released the first of what will be many editions of their mock drafts and an interesting name was slotted to the Yankees (subscription only).
That player is third baseman/first baseman Brett Baty, who is 19 years old from Lake Travis, Texas. If Baty were to be the pick, he would be the third high school/prep school player the Yankees would take with their first pick in the last four years. Here is what BA had to say about the left-handed hitter:
“The corner infielder from Texas brings plenty of pop to the table with a physical, 6-foot-3, 218-pound frame and quick, uppercut swing from the left side. Baty hit the ball hard more consistently than most prep hitters throughout the summer and routinely stands out during batting practice with power to all fields.”
This past year, Baty was named as the Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year in the state of Texas. He hit .435 with 12 home runs, 27 RBIs, had an on-base percentage of .622, and drew 38 walks. In the press release announcing the award, here is what one of the coaches his team faced (Allen McGee at Vandergrift High School) had to say about him:
“He’s the real deal. He’s good, and he’s doing it against really good competition, too. He changes your whole game plan when he is at the plate, and he pitches, too.”
As pointed out in scouting reports, the strength of Baty’s game is his power and that will keep him in the lineup regardless of the position that he would end up playing at the professional level. Here is some video from 2080 Ball from the Perfect Game National Showcase last June:
Now, Baty is a commit to Texas and the Longhorns are one of the more prestigious programs in all of college baseball. With that being said, it would be a low-risk move for the Yankees to draft him because if he doesn’t sign, New York would get an extra First Round pick in the 2020 draft.
If the Yankees decided to put Baty at third base, he would fill a positional need in the organization at the hot corner. While Miguel Andujar appears to be the third baseman of the future (pending on whether or not the team signs Manny Machado), the depth at third base is not deep, to say the least.
The Yankees do not select third basemen in the First Round often as they have only done it twice in this decade. They selected Dante Bichette Jr. in 2011 and Eric Jagielo in 2013. However, the potential of Baty’s offensive game and not having to rush him through the system could make him an intriguing selection this June.