We are a little over one month away from the 2022 MLB Draft. There are two big events on the calendar this week that fans should pay attention to because some future members of the Yankees organization could be center stage.
For the next two days, the 2022 MLB Draft Combine will take place at PETCO Park in San Diego, California. MLB.com has a list of their top 200 MLB Draft prospects and 135 of them are going to be at the event that will feature workouts, bullpen and batting practice sessions, and everything in between.
Some names that could be potential Round 1 picks for the Yankees that will be attending the combine are shortstop Cole Young (North Allegheny High School in Pennsylvania), California outfielder Dylan Beavers, Gonzaga right-hander Gabriel Hughes and Florida outfielder Sterlin Thompson just to name a few.
This is only the second year of the combine, but you never know who can raise their draft stock by performing well at the event. Last year, left-handed pitcher Brock Selvidge performed well in the high school games that took place in Cary, North Carolina and it ended up in him getting drafted by the Yankees in the 3rdRound.
While the MLB Combine is happening, the College World Series will begin in Omaha, Nebraska on Friday. The great part about having this event before the MLB Draft is it allows fans to get to know some of the top players in the country and see how they perform on the big stage.
This year, only four of the top eight national seeds are left (#2 Stanford, #5 Texas A&M, #9 Texas, and #14 Auburn). With Notre Dame upsetting the top seed Tennessee in the Super Regionals last week, the title is up for grabs this year.
If there is one game you should focus on for finding potential Yankees draft picks, tune into Stanford-Arkansas on Saturday (1 PM ET, ESPN). For Stanford, outfielder Brock Jones has been a name many mock drafts have getting to the 25th pick. In 63 games this year, the left-handed hitter had a slash line of .327/.455/.665 with 20 home runs, 56 RBIs, and 15 stolen bases:
For Arkansas, switch-hitting second baseman Robert Moore could be one to watch. Moore is the son of Royals president of baseball operations Dayton Moore and he isn’t a player that strikes out very often (38 times in 60 games). However, it’s been a rough junior year for Moore as he’s hitting just .223 with an on-base percentage of .366.
If third baseman Cayden Wallace slips to the 2nd Round, the Yankees could look to take him with the 61st pick. Wallace shows great power from the right-hand side and he shows good arm strength in the field whether it be at third base or maybe the outfield at some point in his career. This year, Wallace hit 15 home runs, drove in 57 runs, stole 12 bases, and had a slugging percentage of .554 in 62 games.
In last year’s draft, the Yankees selected 3 players who played in Omaha (Brendan Beck, Virginia right-hander Zach Messinger in Round 13, and Vanderbilt catcher Dominic Keegan in Round 19). Keegan chose to go back to Vanderbilt this year.
If you go back to previous years, the Yankees took 1 player in 2019 (Vanderbilt OF Pat DeMarco in Round 17), 2 players in 2018 (North Carolina right-hander Rodney Hutchison in Round 6 and Arkansas right-hander Barrett Loseke in Round 17), and 1 player in 2017 (Louisville right-hander Riley Thompson in Round 25 – did not sign). In fact, they have taken at least one player from the College World Series since 2016. Of course, this was back when the MLB Draft was 40 rounds instead of 20.
With that being said, there is a decent chance that somebody you watch over the next few days in either San Diego or Omaha is going to be a future member of the Yankees organization.