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(John Brophy/Pinstriped Prospects)

2023 MLB Draft

2023 UDFA Signing Tracker

It’s that time of year where we scour the Internet to find the signings before the transactions drop. This will get updated as we find more signings.

Cole Gabrielson – OF, U of Southern California

Cole Gabrielson (Photo courtesy of USC Athletics)

From Yankees manager Aaron Boone’s alma mater comes right fielder Cole Gabrielson. Gabrielson is a six-foot, 165 lb. righty that batted .286/.392/.505/.897 in 58 games during the 2023 season.

Gabrielson has a potent, above-average/plus arm that’s able to nab runners all the way at third base.

He also has some MLB lineage, with his grandfather playing 9 seasons in the Majors. Len Gabrielson notably played for mostly west coast teams such as the Giants, Angels and Dodgers. Len Gabrielson led the Dodgers in homers during the “Year of the Pitcher” of 1968 with 10 homers.

Garrett Martin – OF, Austin Peay

Garrett Martin (Photo courtesy of Austin Peay Athletics)

Martin is a six-foot-three, 209 lb righty outfielder that was a shortstop in high school in addition to being on the track and field team, where he competed in the high jump. Martin was also previously at McLennan Community College, the JuCo alma mater of Yankees’ 2018 2nd round pick Josh Breaux, for three seasons followed by a year at Oklahoma State before playing as a redshirt senior with the Governors.

Martin played in 43 games, batting .333/.461/.709/1.170. He drove in 46 runs on 55 hits, with 15 home runs. Martin struck out in 55 at-bats (33.3% K rate) and walked 27 times (13% BB rate).

There’s sometimes a fun tie back to the Yankees and we have another one here with Martin in addition to the tie with Breaux. His father, Billy (no, not that one), was a Minor Leaguer in a couple farm systems, but notably when he was with AAA Tucson in 2003, his manager was Al Pedrique.

You may remember that Pedrique managed Yankees affiliates throughout the system from 2013 to 2017, and under his leadership AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre won the International League and AAA Championship in 2016.

Josh Moylan – 1B, East Carolina

Josh Moylan (Photo courtesy of ECU Athletics)

A 6-foot-4, 216 lb lefty first baseman for ECU, Moylan accumulated a number of accolades in the 2023 season:

  • 2023 American Athletic Conference All-Tournament Team
  • 2023 All-American Athletic Conference Second Team Selection
  • American Athletic Conference Player of the Week (March 13, 2023)
  • American Athletic Conference Player of the Week (May 21, 2023)

He had quite a season for ECU, batting a slash of .302/.412/.587/.999, with 55 runs (15 homers) on 73 hits. He also drove in 70 RBI, setting the AAC single-season record.

While Moylan did work a considerable number of walks (37 BB; 12.7% K rate), he struck out more than is ideal (65 SO; 26.9% K rate).

Ben Shields – LHP, George Mason

Ben Shields (Photo courtesy of George Mason Athletics)

A six-foot-four, 210 lb. left-handed pitcher that was a graduate student with a certificate in Business Fundamentals, Shields threw in 80.2 IP this past season as starter for George Mason.

In that span, he allowed 47 runs (42 earned), with 8 of those being home runs, on 63 hits. Shields walked 36 batters for a BB/9 of 4.02 (very poor) but struck out a team-leading 107 batters for a K/9 of 11.94 (excellent). He ended the season with an ERA of 4.69 and WHIP of 1.23.

Shields also led the team in starts (16), was tied for first in wins (7) and was second in IP (80.2). He was also ranked 30th amongst all NCAA pitchers in strikeouts (107).

His season-high strikeouts in a game came on March 31 where he struck out 14 batters and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits in 7 innings of work. His season-high pitch count in a game came on June 2, where he threw 116 pitches in a loss. Shields allowed 6 runs (all earned) on 9 hits and 2 walks in 6.1 innings.

Trent Sellers – RHP, Oregon State

Trent Sellers (Photo courtesy of Oregon State Athletics)

 

Sellers, a six-foot-two, 205 lb. right-handed pitcher, had a bit of an elevated ERA, especially when considering Pac-12 games. He pitched and started in 15 games where he earned a record of 7-5 and an ERA of 4.86. He ranked second in the Pac-12 with 106 strikeouts but allowed 45 runs (40 earned) in 74 innings of work on 71 hits.

He hit a season-high 12 strikeouts in a game where he pitched 5.1 shutout innings and allowed 4 hits and 2 walks. Sellers’ season high pitch count was 119 on June 2nd where he went 7.1 innings, allowing 2 runs (all earned) on 3 hits, 1 walk and 5 strikeouts.

Chris Kean – C/RHP, University of Louisiana, Monroe

RHP Chris Kean (Courtesy ULM Athletics)

Kean was signed on July 14 as a UDFA out of ULM, the second prospect the Yankees have selected this month from that college (10th round selection Nicholas Judice was also selected from ULM).

Kean was injured for a significant part of the 2023 season, only throwing in 4 games as a result of a foot injury suffered prior to the start of the season and an arm injury in April 2023.

ULM is non-traditional in the way they use their pitchers, with all 4 games that Kean appeared in seeming like bullpen games. That is, no pitcher went more than 3 innings, and 6+ pitchers were used in all 4 games. All that to say that while Kean made a few “starts”, at most he threw in 1.2 innings before suffering the aforementioned arm injury.

Regardless, Kean dazzled in those brief outings with a 1.93 ERA, 0.64 WHIP and an opposing batting average of .179. He also owned a K/9 of 13.50, striking out 42% of batters faced, and did not walk any batters. Kean also threw on average about 3 pitches per batter faced.

Friend of the site, Brian Recca, has some info on Kean in the below tweet, noting that he has a potent fastball and slider combo.

Written By

Originally a native of Southern Connecticut, John has lived in the Tampa area since 2010 and has been a Tarpons fan since 2012. John is excited to bring you along as the Baby Bombers work their way up to The Bronx.

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