So far, we have looked at a few players that could be in play for the New York Yankees with the 25thpick in this year’s MLB Draft. Today, we take our first look at a position player in Florida outfielder Sterlin Thompson.
According to Kiley McDaniel from ESPN in his latest mock draft (subscription required), the Yankees have been looking at hitters with their first pick. If that trend holds, it will be the fourth straight year that the organization selects a position player in Round 1.
The player that McDaniel selected is Florida outfielder Sterlin Thompson. If the Yankees were to select Thompson, it would be the first player they have selected from the University of Florida in Round 1 since RHP Alan Horne back in 2005.
Thompson is listed as the 29th best prospect in the class according to MLB Pipeline. One of the strengths that Thompson has for a left-handed hitter is that he has done a good job at hitting the fastball and that can go a long way to a strong, professional career:
“Thompson has long shown a good feel to hit from the left side of the plate with a very good approach. He can use the whole field and drive the ball to the gaps, rarely missing a fastball, though he struggles a bit more with softer stuff. The question in terms of his offensive profile comes in trying to project how much power he’ll have.”
In his sophomore year at Florida, Thompson had a slash line of .354/.443/.563 with 11 home runs, 51 RBIs, 10 stolen bases, and he had an OPS of 1.006. In SEC play, Thompson had a .446 OBP (10th in the conference)
While it’s tough to pinpoint which exact player the Yankees will draft with the 25th pick, it is clear from most draft experts that they are looking for an outfielder. Even though outfield isn’t necessarily a need for the Yankees, most of their top outfield prospects are at the lower levels (Everson Pereira (on the 40-man), Jasson Dominguez, Ryder Green just to name a few).
At the upper levels, Estevan Florial is on the 40-man and Elijah Dunham has risen up the system to get to Double-A Somerset. There is Brandon Lockridge as well, but he could be selected in the Rule V Draft next winter if he isn’t protected.
If Thompson’s hit tool is as strong as is projected, he can be a player that can develop power over time and be a solid defender out in right field. Left-handed pop can play well in the Bronx and if Thompson has the chance to find that in the minors, it wouldn’t be a bad choice for the Yankees to select him.