With the 28th pick in this year’s draft, the Yankees selected catcher Austin Wells.
Wells is a power-hitting lefty from the University of Arizona who they previously drafted out of high school in 2017. Wells dominated college pitching lately – hitting .308/.389/.526 in the Cape Cod League last summer and .375/.527/.589 in limited action this year.
I wrote an in-depth profile of Wells earlier today (thank you Brian Cashman for drafting someone I wrote about!) which you can find here. I’ll re-purpose what I wrote earlier about Wells:
Wells is exactly the kind of catcher the Yankees look for. Sanchez and recent draftees Pete O’Brien and Josh Breaux are all offensive-first catchers with questions over their defensive abilities. Catcher offense around the league is putrid, which is what makes Sanchez such a competitive advantage. Two other signs the Yankees like Wells are, they drafted him before and he performed well in the Cape Cod League. Scouting director Damon Oppenheimer has said some of the team’s late-round selections are strategic to build relationships, and Wells could be an example of that. They are also known to favor hitters who played in the Cape Cod League or other wood-bat leagues to see how their skills will translate to MLB. The biggest risk factor with Wells right now is that he has leverage as a draft-eligible sophomore. He can return to school and enter the draft again next year if teams aren’t willing to meet his price, and in this crazy year, the Yankees may not want that risk or be willing to meet Wells’ number. Personally I’m all about the upside and would be ecstatic with Wells as the first-round pick tonight.
And to get you excited about the pick, here’s some video…