Red Sox Select HS Infielder Nick Yorke No.17 Overall

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This year's MLB Draft is very unique with only five rounds total.  With the coronavirus epidemic cancelling high school and collegiate sports across the country, team scouts have a huge challenge ahead of themselves coming into the draft.  The Boston Red Sox will only have four draft picks due to the penalty handed down from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred for their role in the 2018 sign-stealing allegations. 

Photo courtesy of mlb network
This is Chaim Bloom’s first draft as the Red Sox new Chief Baseball Officer.  The former Rays executive was brought to Boston to rebuild their minor league system and give the roster a competitive balance without always shedding huge free agent dollars.  With his first selection, Bloom went almost Bill Belichick-like and selected a player no one expected.  The Red Sox drafted 18-year-old high school infielder Nick Yorke with the No. 17 selection. 

When the pick was made, ESPN’s Karl Ravech barely knew anything on the Archbishop Mitty High School infielder.  Ravech would say on live television “I have a lot of notes, but I don't have much on Nick Yorke.”  The crew at ESPN had to take a few minutes and fill airtime trying to give analysis on a player that really no one knew much about.  That wasn’t exactly a great look for the leader in sports.  According to most scouts, Yorke didn’t crack mock drafts or the top 60 in any draft rankings. 

Since ESPN wasn’t able to give you some background on Yorke, let us at the Boston Sports Syndicate break down some notes on Yorke.  Baseball America had Yorke ranked 96th out of 500, while MLB Pipeline had him ranked No. 139 and Kiley McDaniel, who is the Todd McShay for the MLB Draft, has him ranked No. 69.  While people may have never heard of Yorke, it doesn’t mean this 18-year-old player will not be a future big leaguer. 

Yorke is listed at 6-feet and 195 pounds and Bloom raved about his newest prospect.  “We love this kid’s bat.”  Bloom would go on to add, “We think he has a chance to be a special bat who is going to play the infield.  We feel that if the spring had gotten to play out the way it would have in a normal year the public perception of him would have been a lot different.”

In high school, he batted .457 with 134 hits, 100 runs and 77 RBI in 94 games over the last four years.  But due to coronavirus Yorke only played in five games this season. 

In Yorke’s Baseball America profile they wrote, “some evaluators believe Yorke is the best pure hitter on the west coast, among high schoolers.” 

Yorke possess some power in his bat, he hits the ball very well to his pull side and up the middle.  In the field Baseball America projects him more as a second baseman. “Scouts have said his arm has looked good, with a better arm stroke recently and above-average arm strength.  With solid footwork, instincts and an internal clock, he has a chance to stay at shortstop, or he could slide to third base.”

The question is why did the Red Sox take this player this early in the draft?  Mainly because Yorke will be an underslot selection allowing them to spend more money later on in the draft.  Now I know what you might be thinking, the Red Sox are now going cheap in the draft?  No, with no second-round pick, the Red Sox can draft a player they like in the first and use some of that money later for other players. 

Yorke is a confident kid.  "Personally, I feel like I was a first rounder," Yorke said.  "I know a lot of rankings and sites didn't have me there.  But, I'm more of a blue collar, put your head down and go to work kind of guy.  I didn't go out and do all the Perfect Game things that a lot of guys get ranked on.  It was kind of wherever I played ball, I played my hardest and the Red Sox fortunately saw me one of those times."

Yorke will join a Red Sox system that is the midst of a rebuild and an overhaul. Since Bloom has taken the helm, he’s added Jeter Downs and Connor Wong from the Mookie Betts deal.  I am not counting Alex Verdugo as a prospect because he is now a big league player.  Downs feels more like the long term solution at second base, and maybe Yorke slides elsewhere in the infield.



Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisHenrique

Check out the Red Sox Podcast to be Named Later, the Syndicate’s podcast dedicated solely to the Boston Red Sox and the rest of Major League Baseball.

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Red Sox Select HS Infielder Nick Yorke No.17 Overall
Red Sox Select HS Infielder Nick Yorke No.17 Overall
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