We have entered the month of May; the minor league baseball season is officially a month old, and in one month from now the 2018 First-Year-Player Draft will kick off.
The Yankees will have the 23rd selection in the first round of the draft after coming just one win shy of the World Series in 2017. That is seven selections later than they had in 2017 when they had the 16th overall draft pick.
This year the Bronx Bombers will have one of the lowest draft pool allotments, coming in at $6,089,100 compared to the Kansas City Royals who currently have the highest draft pool allotment at $12,781,900. The Yankees will have the fifth lowest amount, only being higher than the Red Sox, Nationals, Astros, and Dodgers, who each have below $6,000,000 to spend on the draft.
MLB Pipeline’s Jonathan Mayo believes the Yankees will go after North Oconee High School’s Kumar Rocker with their first pick of the draft. The 18-year old right-handed pitcher has lit up the radar gun, showing off a fastball that is in the 95-97 miles per hour range, topping out at 98 according to our friends at 2080Baseball.
Rocker is the son of a former NFL defensive lineman and is considered one of the top high school pitching prospects in the draft class. He compliments his big-league fastball with a wipeout slider that comes in at 85-87 miles per hour and a developing changeup that rivals some fastballs at 88-89 MPH.
Over at ESPN, Keith Law has the Yankees taking another high school arm in the person of Organ Lutheran’s Cole Winn. The assumption makes sense due to the Yankees love for players out of Southern California.
Winn does not possess the same type of fastball that Rocker has, sitting at 92-94 miles per hour and topping out at 95 according to 2080Baseball. When he was a junior, he was named the Colorado State High School Pitcher of the Year and has committed to pitching at Mississippi State. His fastball might not be as overpowering as Rocker’s, but he is said to have three plus pitches including his slider that was clocked at 83 miles per hour and a changeup.