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Recapping Day One of the 2019 Draft

With the 30th pick in the first round, the New York Yankees selected Anthony Volpe from Morristown, New Jersey.

Volpe is Keith Law’s number 90 prospect out of Delbarton High School. The right-handed shortstop has a good swing and the ability to put the barrel on the bat. He is a decent defender who has a fluid fielding and throwing motion but doesn’t have a strong arm.

At the plate, Volpe has good bat speed and a line drive approach according to Perfect Game. In 2018 he was selected to the Perfect Game All-American Classic.

We like a lot about him,” said Damon Oppenheimer, Yankees Vice President of Domestic Amateur Scouting in a press release sent out after the first day of the draft. “He’s going to be a shortstop: the guy can hit, he can run, he’s got plus actions, he’s got really good hands, and he’s got a shortstop’s arm. He’s got tools. He’s been on the big stage with the USA national teams, so he’s got performance, and with a deluxe make-up, the kid brings it every day.”

In addition to playing shortstop, Volpe also is capable of playing second base and is currently committed to attend Vanderbilt University.

After a trade that sent pitcher Sonny Gray to the Cincinnati Reds, the Yankees received a compensation pick at selection number 38. With this pick, the Bronx Bombers chose T.J. Sikkema, a left-handed pitcher from the University of Missouri.

Sikkema finished his junior season with a 7-4 record and a 1.32 ERA. He struck out 101 batters with two complete games in 88.2 innings pitched.

From DeWitt, the 20-year-old pitcher was a 2017 freshman All-American and 2017 SEC Freshman Team. That same year he went 8-2 and recorded four saves. He recorded a 2.72 ERA with 81 in 79.1 innings.

“Sikkema has a unique ability to throw from different angles,” said Oppenheimer. “He’s got plus stuff, he throws it for strikes, and the guy’s a real ultimate competitor. He really gets after it on the mound. He can probably get to the big leagues quickly as a reliever, but we see him as a starter. When you can get a guy who pitched in the SEC with success, it goes a long way.”

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With the 67 pick, the last selection for the Yankees on day one, New York selected second baseman, Josh Smith. Smith, who bats left-handed and throws right-handed, was a 2017 Freshman All-American.

First drafted in the 38 round in 2016 by the Detriot Tigers, Smith opted to go to LSU where in his freshman season hit .281 with 48 RBIs. Smith saw less playing time in 2018, only batting .250 with 5 RBIs.

In 2019, Smith vastly improved from 2017 and ‘18 hitting .346 with 41 RBIs and nine home runs.

Oppenheimer stayed, “With Smith, you’ve got a left-handed hitter who was playing shortstop there at LSU. We see him as a middle infielder, whether it’s short, whether it’s second, whatever it takes. He’s a left-handed hitter with pop and he can really hit. We like the fact that he has the tools to stay in the middle of the field and be a good offensive contributor.”

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