Personally, I am not a fan of the center field prospect. He seems to be a copy of Brett Gardner, with some extra strength. He has possibly the best speed in the draft, but that is usually a tool that could be gotten relatively cheap from other players, see Willy Taveras and Nyjer Morgan. The defense he brings has great potential, led by what speed typically brings, range. The Cal State Fulllerton star can hit for contact and could become a prototypical leadoff hitter. His power is below average, but greater than Gardner, due to the aforementioned extra strength. One aspect of his game that I would change is his batting stance. Just like Nick Swisher previously did, he has a lot of moving parts in his stance (as seen in the video above). It can only help to make it a more calm stance, which could improve his contact. 15 homeruns seem like a possibility for the lefty with the short right field porch, but there are better players available in the first round.
Tyrell Jenkins is a tall, skinny, and athletic pitcher with plenty of projection, which is what I like to see in a pitcher. The mechanics don’t have any apparent major flaws for a tall pitcher and has nice, loose arm action. As with most tall pitchers, he struggles with his command. His fastball sits around 91-92mph, but don’t forget he is still in high school. When his body fills out, it will likely sit around the mid 90s. Also, the heater has good sinking movement which will produce missed swings and groundballs, which could be a fit in Yankee Stadium. His slider has good movement (as seen at 0:50 and 1:10). Both pitches are projected to be above average. The change-up is fine, but nothing to write home about. It sits in the 70s, so it creates a great differential between the fastball and off-speed pitch. It’s tough to determine how good the Henderson High School pitcher could be, but ace-like potential could be expected. However, like Cole, the Yankees will need to be patient and wait on Jenkins to develop.
Like Cole, draft analysts are indecisive of whether the Clemson slugger will be available at the Yankees turn. However, I really like this kid, and not just because two of his heroes are Brett Favre and Chipper Jones (who are two of my idols too). The two sport athlete, who could possibly be the starting quarterback too, is extremely strong and athletic. His great ability is hitting. While he only really showed it off this season, especially with a .255 avg. in 2009, he proved that was a fluke. The power is really what will make him the big bucks. He isn’t a base-stealing threat, but he won’t clog the bases like Bengie Molina. It can probably be described as slightly below average. His defense isn’t good, but it could certainly improve. His jumps are below average but his fine speed will likely produce enough range to play an average right field. He is a prototypical, power hitting right fielder.
Next up is A.J. Cole. The reason that he was only on one Mock Draft wasn’t because writers think he will drop farther, it is exactly the opposite. Many early projections placed him in the top 10, but the pitcher dropped a bit due to break outs of several players, such as Michael Choice. Most people believe he will already be chosen by the Yankees’ pick. I would love this pick, it would be a great prospect to pick up if he is available. Scouts like his quick and loose arm action from the three-quarters slot (but in the video, his mechanics seem a little violent). He is more of projection pick, hoping he will develop what you hope they do. Being a high school kid, you could see him adding both a little bit of height and weight. His fastball regularly sits between 91 and 94 mph and he can step it up to 96 mph if needed. The velocity will improve as he grows in size and becomes stronger. His slider sits between 77-80mph, which is a great gap between his fastball and breaking ball. However, it is a hung in the strike zone more than it should. Scouts believe that Cole’s body potentially filling out and his arm action, could produce a very a great curveball. The changeup is average, possibly a little above average, and better than his current slider. His arm speed is good and it sits in the mid-to-high 70s. This pick would be giving what the Yankees desperately need, a young pitcher with true ace potential. He has the potential for a consistent mid 90s fastball, a nasty curveball, and an average changeup. In other words, he can be a true beast. The real reasons for a possible drop would be his rawness and the step-up of various other, more advanced prospects. The Yankees shouldn’t have a problem taking a raw pitcher, considering the great upside he brings, but they will have to stick him in the minors and leave him there for a while. He won’t have a Joba rise in the system.
The Westlake High School infielder is probably the least known of the names talked about in this article. The scouting reports don’t seem like one of a first-round pick, so this report will be a little less detailed. Obviously, since he’s still in high school, he has plenty of room to grow. He has gap power, which isn’t great for a prospect that had to move from third-base to first-base. He has room to improve the power into very good power, but not anything that will absolutely blow your mind. Contact could become above average. His speed is what you expect from a first-baseman. On defense, he has limited range, which was the cause of his position switch. His arm is about average for a first-baseman. What you get with Yelich is the possibility of very good power and good contact, nothing much more at firstbase.Comparison: Justin Morneau
Signability is becoming more of a concern with this high school athlete, and he deserves the big bucks. The outfielder would be an exceptional selection if he’s available. He is a raw player with exceptional hitting ability. The video shows that Wilson’s stance resembles Curtis Granderson’s, and a little less elbow movement likely wouldn’t hurt. Currently, he doesn’t have that great of contact or power numbers, but in the future it could drastically change. His hitting tool could become above average to elite. Scouts predict that Wilson’s power could become elite and the ability to hit 35 homeruns. Defense seems solid, and the video showed he’s a smooth fielder. The only complaint I had was the jump on the ball at 0:02, where he took a step in the wrong direction. His arm looks strong and is quick on his feet. Wilson would be a great pick that I would love the Yankees to make if possible. Comparison: Jermiane Dye
Last Thoughts There are plenty of choices for the Yankees to take with their first-round selection. Austin Wilson and A.J. Cole would be extraordinary selections with their pick. I wouldn’t worry about money, as long as there’s a chance they will sign. I would be very happy with Tyrell Jenkins and Kyle Parker as well. Christian Yelich and Gary Brown would be weak picks, since there will be more complete player available.