The MLB Draft will start this Wednesday. Over the next few days, we will profile several players the Yankees have been connected to who they could select with their first pick. You can find mock draft results and brief profiles herehere and here. This profile and others this week will be more detailed. Hopefully the Yankees actually select one of these players! Up today: Bryce Jarvis
Jarvis is RHP out of Duke University. The Yankees actually selected Jarvis last year in the 37th round as a draft-eligible sophomore, but he did not sign. Instead of pitching in the Cape Cod League last summer, Jarvis opted to train at Driveline and at Cressey Sports Performance. The result: he gained 20 lbs and reportedly 5mph on his fastball velocity. It’s worth noting the Yankees have recently hired former Driveline and Cressey employees in prominent roles. Sam Briend is the new pitching coordinator for the organization, and he used to work at Driveline. New pitching coach Matt Blake used to work at Cressey, and of course Eric Cressey himself joined the Yankees this offseason. That combination means the Yankees likely have more information on Jarvis than other teams do, especially with such a shortened season.
Jarvis split his time between the rotation and bullpen his first two years at Duke before moving into the rotation full-time this spring. In 27 innings, Jarvis had an incredible stat line of 11 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, and 40 K. Those results plus the increase in stuff are why Jarvis is considered a first round talent this year. Jarvis actually threw a perfect game this year and has a chance to join Marcus Stroman as the only first rounders out of Duke.
MLB Pipeline ranked Jarvis as the 25th best prospect in the draft class and Baseball America has him at 37th. BA notes Jarvis was able to maintain 93-96mph on his fastball throughout his starts this year, but that the shortened season hurt teams’ ability to see if he can sustain it throughout the year. Jarvis throws a slider in the mid-80s and a changeup that are both considered potential plus pitches. Keith Law notes Jarvis is a “fierce competitor” and that he now has a “starter’s arsenal” which is what you want to hear about a first round pitching prospect. Recent mock drafts have Jarvis going anywhere from 21st – 29th overall which is right in the Yankees range at 28. Here is video of Jarvis:
Jarvis might be my favorite player the Yankees could draft this year. Unlike most pitching prospects, there isn’t a real risk that he’ll end up in the bullpen. With three solid pitches plus a developing curveball, Jarvis can stay a starter. The only question is if the work he put in over the summer can last over a full season. Previously drafting a player means the Yankees like him, and his work at Driveline and Cressey means he shares the Yankees’ analytic and developmental philosophy. If available, Jarvis would be a great pick for the Yankees.