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The Yanks only had three selections in the five-round draft after forfeiting their second- and fifth-round selections due to their signing of Houston Astros right-hander Gerrit Cole.
This year’s draft was only five rounds as a cost-cutting measure with the MLB season currently delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, per the Associated Press.
Here’s a look at the Yankees’ draft class and the current state of the farm system.
Yankees’ 2020 Draft Picks
Round 1, Pick 29: Austin Wells (catcher, Arizona)
Round 3, Pick 28: Trevor Hauver (second baseman, Arizona State)
Round 4, Pick 28: Beck Way (RHP, Northwest Florida State)
Wells is the obvious prize here.
Though he may not stick at catcher, scouts absolutely love his bat. A lefty who swings with power, MLB Pipeline’s Jonathan Mayo expects Wells to rise through the farm system rather quickly.
“We are very happy to get Austin Wells today,” Yankees vice president of domestic amateur scouting Damon Oppenheimer said. “We thought he was one of the top hit and power combinations in the Draft. We love his desire and makeup, along with his athleticism. We have known him for years and seen him progress quite a bit behind the plate to allow us to believe he can be an impact guy.”
The former Wildcat batted .353 with five homers and 60 RBI last season at Arizona. Now, he’ll look to rake in the minors as well.
The Yanks’ farm system isn’t as strong as it was a few years ago, in part because a few prized prospects (e.g. Gleyber Torres and Aaron Judge) are now with the big club. Jim Callis, Mike Rosenbaum and Mayo of MLB.com have them ranked 22nd overall.
The trio touted 17-year-old Jasson Dominguez, who is ranked No. 55 overall on MLB’s top-100 list.
“The much-hyped Dominguez headlines a deep contingent of high-upside international players who will need a few years in the minors,” they noted.
Right-handed pitchers Clarke Schmidt (No. 88) and Deivi Garcia (No. 92) round out the Yankees’ top 100 prospects.
The good news for the Yanks is that the mix of younger players and older vets on the main roster should be good enough to compete for a World Series whenever baseball starts again. Their championship window is now, so the Yanks can rebuild the farm system while staying competitive at the MLB level.