With the 23rd overall pick in the first round of the 2018 First-Year-Player Draft, the New York Yankees selected catcher Anthony Seigler could be the pick at number 23 if he’s available. Seigler is from Cartersville High School in Georgia and is not only a switch-hitting catcher, but he is also an ambidextrous pitcher.
Seigler was drafted as a catcher and is known for his strong defensive skills behind the plate. On their list of the Top 500 prospects in this class, Baseball America (subscription needed) talked about the strong skills that the Florida commit (ranked #42) has behind the plate:
“Seigler’s pro future is behind the plate. He is an impressive receiver and has a strong throwing arm, with pop times that hover around 2.00 seconds in-game.”
If you look at where Seigler was projected to go in the mock drafts, Baseball America had him going 22nd to the Colorado Rockies, Perfect Game had him going 32nd to the Tampa Bay Rays, and FanGraphs had him going to the Los Angeles Dodgers with the 30th pick. So, if those projections do hold, Seigler could be a possible selection for the Yankees.
Seigler did get a chance to play for Team USA in the Under-18 World Cup in 2017. While he only hit .182 at the plate, a couple of things stood about his time with the team. For one, he had a .400 on-base percentage. Plus, he walked more times (eight) than he struck out (seven) in 22 at-bats.
This season, as of May 20, the six-foot, 190-pound catcher has a .424 batting average with 13 home runs and 32 RBIs. Seigler’s team was in the AAAA Georgia state championship, and they ended up losing in the third game.
As for how Seigler has done on the mound, he has not allowed a run on the hill this season over the course of 19.2 innings (five saves). The Yankees have a history of taking ambidextrous pitchers going back to when they selected Pat Venditte in the 20th Round of the 2008 Draft out of Creighton University.
Despite the switch-pitching history, the Yankees don’t have a track record of taking catchers in the First Round. They have only selected two of them since 2000. Those players were Dave Parrish (2000) and Jon Poterson (2004). However, they did take Austin Romine and John Ryan Murphy in the Second Round (2007 and 2009 respectively).
If the Yankees were able to find a way to sign him and prevent him from going to Florida, he can develop his power at the professional level and continue to add to his consistent hitting approach at the plate. Plus, they would quietly fill an area of need in their organization.