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Recent Yankee mock draft results

Last week I wrote about two prospects who have been mocked to the New York Yankees in this year’s draft: Carson Tucker and Justin Foscue. We have a few new mock drafts this week from Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline, Keith Law of The Athletic, and Mike Axisa of CBS Sports. Here’s who they have the Yankees taking.

Austin Wells

Wells is a catcher from the University of Arizona and Callis notes he has “hittability, power, and plate discipline, though he may wind up at first base or in left field.” Wells is a bat-first catcher which fits the Yankees mold. Axisa and Law do not have Wells going in the first round of the draft. MLB Pipeline grades Wells as a 55 hit and power prospect which speaks to his hitting ability. The Yankees actually drafted Wells in the 35th round in 2018 so you know they like him. Here is the full report from MLB Pipeline:

Wells was a solid prospect at Las Vegas high school power Bishop Gorman, but a combination of him only DHing all year along with his commitment to the University of Arizona took him out of contention to sign. The Yankees did take him in the 35th round in 2018 and he’s now back as a Draft-eligible sophomore coming off a solid freshman season and very strong Cape Cod League showing.

There is no question that Wells’ bat plays. The left-handed hitter has power to all fields, with good timing and a simple setup at the plate. He has strength and bat speed and controls the bat head well to make loud contact. He does strike out a bit, but he also draws a lot of walks. There are more concerns about where he might play defensively. He’s adequate behind the plate, and while his arm stroke and release are fine, his throws are inconsistent. He is a decent enough athlete to play first or figure things out in left field.

A team taking Wells with its first pick might want to send him out as a catcher until he proves he can’t play the position. His bat should play regardless of his eventual defensive position and he could end up following a Kyle Schwarber type path to the big leagues.

Clayton Beeter

In addition to having an 80-grade name, Beeter has an 80-grade curveball according to scouts who were able to see him before the pandemic. Law says the RHP from Texas Tech also has a “plus fastball and a deceptive delivery from a high slot.” Axisa has Beeter going No. 29 overall to the Dodgers and Callis does not have him going in the first round. MLB Pipeline ranks him as the 51st best prospect in the draft and writes:

Beeter has had as many elbow operations as quality starts (two) in college, yet he pitched so well this spring that some scouts think he belongs in the first round. He blew out his elbow during fall practice before what would have been his first season at Texas Tech, having Tommy John surgery in December 2017 and an arthroscopic procedure seven months later. He led the Red Raiders’ 2019 College World Series semifinalists with eight saves as a redshirt freshman, then really opened eyes with nearly twice as many strikeouts (33) as baserunners (18) in 21 innings in 2020.

Beeter added rather than lost velocity as he worked longer stints this year, sitting at 93-96 mph and peaking at 98 with his fastball. He has a pair of power breaking balls, a wipeout curveball in the low 80s and a slider in the mid-80s that some evaluators believe is even better. He even flashes at least a solid changeup, though he doesn’t turn to his fourth option very often.

Employing an overhand delivery that creates deception and steep downhill plane, Beeter tunnels his pitches extremely well. Scouts can’t figure out how he went from averaging 8.7 walks per nine innings as a reliever to 1.7 as a starter without any significant mechanical changes. His lack of track record is worrisome but it’s hard to argue with the quality stuff and strikes he unleashed this spring.

Dillon Dingler

Another fantastic name, Dingler is an offense-first catcher out of Ohio State. Axisa writes Dingler “has good power and good strike zone knowledge” and that he is a safe pick. Law has Dingler going 26th overall to the A’s and Callis has him going 23rd overall to the Indians which makes him the only first-round consensus among these players. Dingler is MLB Pipeline’s #24 overall prospect and they write:

Dingler teamed with Ball State right-hander Kyle Nicolas, another early-round prospect for the 2020 Draft, to win Ohio state Division I baseball and basketball titles when both were Jackson High seniors in 2016-17. He spent most of his freshman season in center field and broke the hamate bone in his left hand during the season opener as a sophomore, costing him a month and limiting him after he returned. He performed well this spring, giving him a chance to become the third first-round pick in Ohio State history, following Nick Swisher (2002) and Alex Wimmers (2010).

Dingler reminds area scouts of former Wright State catcher Sean Murphy, a 2016 Athletics third-rounder who has blossomed into one of baseball’s top catching prospects. He doesn’t quite have Murphy’s plus-plus cannon but he does possess well above-average arm strength and his accuracy continues to get better as he gains experience. His receiving also continues to improve and he shows more athleticism and mobility than most backstops.

While Dingler batted just .267/.362/.396 in his first two college seasons, he controls the strike zone well and has plus raw power, so he should be able to hold his own as a right-handed hitter. He ran a sub-6.6-second 60-yard dash during the Buckeyes’ scout day this fall, though he probably won’t maintain plus speed as he stays behind the plate. In addition to his physical tools, he also offers strong makeup and was voted an Ohio State captain as a sophomore.

My Take

This is an interesting mix of players. Dingler and Wells are similar as offense-first players. Wells has a higher hitting potential but Dingler has a better longterm defensive ability. I would guess the Yankees favor Wells because they drafted him out of high school. However, as a draft-eligible sophomore, Wells has a lot of leverage and with the restrictions on the draft this year, I wouldn’t be surprised if he decides to stay in school until next year.

Beeter is the wild card here with a ton of upside but little to no track record. Nobody seems to know how he suddenly got better this year which is concerning but also intriguing if it sticks. It is also worth noting these are all college players, and it would make sense for teams to favor drafting college players this year since they likely have had more time to scout them.

You can contact Rohan on Twitter @rohanarcot20