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Who will the Yankees draft this year?

The MLB Draft is scheduled to take place sometime in June, likely around June 10. Due to the difficulties caused by the pandemic, the draft will only be 5 rounds this year instead of 40. Personally, I think that’s a terrible decision ruled by owner greed more than any baseball sense, but that’s an article for a different day.

Because the Yankees signed Gerrit Cole (gotta put that in every article to keep up hope!), they forfeited their 2nd and 5th round draft picks, which means they only have 3 picks in the shortened draft. With the draft about a month out, it is time to start looking at mock drafts and which players the Yankees might be looking at. So far, Jonathan Mayo of MLB Pipeline and Joe Tansey of Bleacher Report have released mock drafts that are free for all to read. Here is who they have the Yankees selecting.

Carson Tucker

Tucker is a high school shortstop from Arizona who may sound familiar because his older brother, Cole, was also drafted. Mayo notes “Because he lives in Arizona he was seen a lot before the shutdown during Spring Training, so he could sneak in here, following in brother Cole’s footsteps.” Tucker is a solid prospect overall with a  50 grade from MLB Pipeline. They rank his hit tool as a 55, his power as a 40, and all others at a 50. He is their 52nd overall ranked prospect. Here is their full report on him:

Back in 2014, Cole Tucker was a bit of a surprise first-round pick out of Mountain Pointe High School in Arizona and he became one of four Mountain Pointe products to make it to the big leagues when he debuted with the Pirates in 2019. His younger brother, Carson, hopes to join them, and though he’s a different player and personality than his older brother, he was enjoying a similar rise up Draft boards thanks to a very strong early spring.

While more reserved than Cole, Carson has the chance to join his brother as a big league caliber shortstop. At the plate, the right-handed hitter displays excellent bat control and bat speed over power, though he showed added strength this season. He’s often content to push the ball the other way and to the right-center field gap, though the ball does jump off his bat. He began showing he can turn on balls and drive them to his pull side more consistently, helping his profile.

Tucker has the feet and hands to play shortstop long-term, even though he’s an average runner. He has average arm strength, though his throws have good carry and he shows the ability to change arm action and slots as is needed for the premium position. Showing more consistency on the defensive side, along with the aforementioned gains at the bat, are why Tucker’s stock took a leap forward this spring, making a stronger case for a team to sign him away from his commitment to the University of Texas.

Justin Foscue

Foscue is a second baseman from Mississippi State. Tansey projects him to the Yankees whereas Mayo projects him two spots earlier to the A’s. Mayo notes Foscue is “An offensive-minded second baseman who was seen a lot last summer with Team USA, Foscue’s ability to handle the bat is sure to attract teams that like college performers.” Foscue is MLB Pipeline’s 32nd overall prospect. His running grade is 40 and all his other grades are a 50. Here is their full report on him:

Foscue went from light-hitting third baseman as a freshman to consensus All-America second baseman as a sophomore, helping Mississippi State reach the College World Series in both 2018 and 2019. He and Jordan Westburg form the best double-play combination in college baseball, with scouts fairly split about who is the better prospect. Foscue has a higher floor while Westburg has the high ceiling, and both project to go in the top two rounds of the 2020 Draft.

The U.S. collegiate national team’s starter at second base last summer, Foscue plays a game that is somewhat reminiscent of Jeff Kent’s. He provides more offense than most at his position, using strength, bat speed and a pull-heavy approach to generate plenty of power from the right side of the plate. Though he has an aggressive mentality, he has no difficulties making regular contact and projects as a 20-homer threat without excessive strikeouts.

Foscue records below-average run times out of the batter’s box but shows closer to average speed once he gets going. His arm and range are ordinary at second base, though he has good hands and instincts and turns the double-play pivot well. He might be able to handle third base at the next level but shortstop would be a stretch, limiting his potential utility value.

Concluding Thoughts

It is interesting both of these mocks have the Yankees selecting middle infielders. Usually you don’t draft for need in the MLB draft because it takes so long for players to develop, but I wonder if a shortened draft will make teams focus more on need than they otherwise would. The Yankees system is pitcher heavy, and position players would make sense. However, these are only two mock drafts and it will be interesting to see who else gets mocked to the Yankees in the coming weeks.

You can contact Rohan on Twitter @rohanarcot20