Most people viewed Boston’s draft class as fairly average following the 2020 MLB Draft. Some felt that the Red Sox reached on their first round pick. I feel that Boston did a great job this year.
Round 1 – 17th Overall – Nick Yorke – 2B – Archbishop Mitty HS (CA)
This selection came as a surprise, considering MLB Pipeline had him ranked as the 139th prospect in the draft. When evaluating this selection, one needs to keep in mind that the Red Sox did not have a second round pick in this year’s draft due to the replay room cheating scandal in 2018.
This means that the Red Sox were not going to select again until the 89th pick. By that time Yorke might have been selected already. It is also important to note that teams cannot trade draft picks in MLB. Boston could not have traded back in the draft in order to gain more value. They had to select Yorke with the 17th pick if they wanted him.
Clearly the Red Sox had Nick Yorke as one of if not the best player on their board, so they could not wait around til the third round and hope that he would still be available. Even with other highly touted prospects available, Boston selected the 18-year old because they liked him the most, and they did not want to lose him
In a shortened five game season with Archbishop Mitty High School, Yorke impressed with a slash line of .533/.632/1.000. Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom had this to say on Yorke’s draft stock.
“We feel that if the spring had gotten to play out the way that it would in a normal year, the public perception of him would have been a lot different,”
It will be interesting to see what Yorke’s ETA turns out to be. Yorke will likely replace Pedroia at second base whenever Pedey retires.
Boston has been given mostly C draft grades because of this pick, as some feel there were better prospects on the board at the 17th selection, but the Red Sox liked Yorke the most and did not want to risk him being unavailable in the third round.
Round 3 – 89th Overall – Blaze Jordan – 3B – DeSoto Central
With their third round selection, the Red Sox had one of the better steals of the draft. MLB Pipeline had Jordan ranked as the 42nd ranked prospect in the draft. Boston jumped on the chance to draft a high-caliber prospect at 89th overall.
The Mississippi product is somewhat of a phenom after a clip of him hitting 500 foot home runs at age 13 went viral. With his enormous power, Jordan could be Boston’s starting first baseman within five or so years.
The one thing the 17-year old will have to improve on is his ability to make consistent contact. Strikeouts could become an issue for Jordan as he faces better pitching when progressing through the minor league system. Opposing pitchers will find ways to attack him, and if Jordan can quickly adjust the Red Sox might have the biggest steal of the 2020 draft.
4th Round – 118th Overall – Jeremy Wu-Yelland – LHP – Hawaii
This is a very underrated selection for me. Jeremy Wu-Yelland is loaded with lots of potential, but MLB Pipeline did not rank him in their top 200.
Yelland has potential as both a starter and a reliever, and he also hits up to 97 MPH on the radar gun with his fastball. He complements his four-seamer with a good curveball that has great speed differential from his fastball. His fastball overpowers hitters, and his offspeed pitches catch them off guard.
A good comparison I have for Yelland is former Red Sox draft pick Jalen Beeks. Both guys have stuff that can play well at the big league level. Like Beeks, Yelland has experience as a starter and a reliever. This could allow him to play an Opener or Bullpenning role in the future.
Yelland is a versatile pitcher with a great arm, and he should find success progressing through the minor league system.
Round 5 – 148th Overall – Shane Drohan – LHP – Florida State
This is a pick that has a lot of upside due to Shane Drohan not having as much experience as others in the draft. Drohan is still a ways away from reaching his true ceiling. MLB Pipeline had him ranked at 147th, so the pick fits the ranking.
There will certainly be a lot of development before Drohan can reach the majors, but his natural athleticism will help him figure it out along the way. This is another selection where Boston made the right pick.
Featured image via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports
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