We have two mocks this week. One from John Manuel at Baseball America and Kiley McDaniel did one at Fangraphs.
Starting with BA’s Manuel has a different pick than his previous ones.
- YankeesNew York wants an arm, but most of its preferred picks would be gone here. They don’t mind dealing with tough signability, but they remain unlikely to gamble with difficult medical issues, steering them away from Kolby Allard (back) and Nathan Kirby (lat muscle strain; he’s not pitching for Virginia in its regional this weekend), not to mention Tommy John surgery victims Brad Aiken and Michael Matuella. They’re said to be the high-water mark for Cal Poly Pomona righty Cody Ponce, whom they prefer over Funkhouser.
Selection: Cody Ponce, rhp, Cal Poly Pomona
The reason he didn’t take Kaprielian is because he has the cubs taking him at number 9. I would prefer Whitley but he is taking a few spots ahead of Ponce. My preference is also on the HS pitchers over college as the teams don’t have to break bad habits and when you are in this range you aren’t getting elite college pitching.
- Yankees:New York has been tied to SoCal prep catcher Chris Betts all spring, and he’s available with their second selection.
Selection: Chris Betts, c, Wilson HS, Long Beach
So the Yankees would get Betts here and that is a great pick for them. If they can do this the top of the draft would look good for the Yankees.
Full mock for BA is right here.
Kiley’s mock is what I prefer as this is his selection for the Yankees. Below is his selection for the Yankees.
- Yankees – Garrett Whitley, CF, Niskayuna HS (NY), Wake Forest commit
I’ve heard both that the Yankees are looking at college pitchers and that they’d like a position player here, but both could be true, as there isn’t a college bat that fits in this range, many teams are wary of prep/injured pitchers in this range and there’s still college pitching leftover. Ian Happ and Trenton Clark would both stop here and Andrew Benintendi was a target until it became clear he’d go a good bit higher. Whitley has 1-1 and Mike Trout buzz, even if both are kinda crazy, along with being from New York, so the PR value and position player aspect fit for the Bombers here. Prep C Chris Betts, Kaprielian and Bickford could all fit here as well.
While I don’t think Whitley is Mike Trout having an elite centerfielder who can hit and dominate on both sides of the ball is a very big deal. Having Whitley be a local kid also helps with PR for the team and the organization. Lots of people love Betances because he is from the Bronx.
I know that Baseball Prospectus will have their next mock out next Friday. Should have another from Law, BA, Kiley and MLB so check back next Friday for all the mock draft updates.