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New York Yankees 2022 MLB Draft Report Card

To see 2022 Draft Report Cards for every team, see our Draft Report Card landing page here.

Best Pure Hitter: It was a pitching heavy draft for the Yankees, who signed just five hitters in the 2022 class. OF Spencer Jones (1) did have swing-and-miss concerns out of college, but his pro debut was strong—.344/.425/.538 with a 173 wRC+—and his contact rates were impressive (24% miss), considering his long limbs and power. OF Anthony Hall (4) might have the most advanced pure hitting approach currently, however.

Best Power Hitter: Jones (1) has huge raw power that is at least plus plus, and there are evaluators who think he could get to 80-grade raw power in the future as well. He averaged 88 mph exit velocities during his pro debut, with 107 mph 90th percentile exit velocity. 

Fastest Runner: Jones (1) has moved well for his size going back to high school and earned plus running grades from amateur scouts despite his 6-foot-7, 225-pound frame. He turned in 4.15-second times from home to first, gets out of the box well, runs the bases well and covers plenty of ground in the outfield. How that speed develops as he approaches peak physicality will be a question, but for now he’s a good or great runner.

Best Defensive Player: Jones (1) is also the top defensive player in the Yankees’ draft class. Hall (4) projects to move to a corner in the future, and while that could also be the case for Jones, there’s no real reason to move him off of center field other than the fact that it’s odd for a 6-foot-7 player to play that position—until you remember the Yankees trotted out another 6-foot-7 center fielder for 632 innings in 2022. That guy had a pretty good season.

Best Fastball: RHP Eric Reyzelman (5), RHP Trystan Vrieling (3) and RHP Chase Hampton (6) have all shown plus velocity with good movement traits. Reyzelman’s fastball likely stands out the most among his repertoire, since he threw it 94% of the time with Louisiana State and still managed a 39% swing-and-miss rate with the pitch. It’s been up to 99 mph and has a flat approach angle with good vertical life.

Best Secondary Pitch: RHP Drew Thorpe (2) had the second-best changeup in the college draft class, behind only East Carolina lefthander Carson Whisenhunt. The pitch is in the low 80s and earned plus-plus grades, with Thorpe able to generate ugly swings even if he told batters the pitch was coming.

Best Pro Debut: It’s hard to pick anyone other than Jones here, particularly when looking through the lens of his high-risk, high-reward profile and the results he’s already started to show. Many teams in the industry viewed his 25% college strikeout rate as a red flag in the first round, given how players with that strikeout rate have panned out historically. Jones cut that rate to 18.9% in a pro debut with most of his games coming at Low-A Tampa, and he has some mechanical tweaks that could be made to continue improving as well.

Best Athlete: Jones (1) is a legitimate freak athlete with exceptional power, speed and quickness—especially for his size. This article by Loden Sports gets into the nitty-gritty details, but essentially the group classified him as a 99th percentile athlete, with traits that translate nicely to throwing velocity, exit velocity and bat speed. Players as big as he is just aren’t typically as fast, and he has that speed without sacrificing in the power department. That athleticism could allow him to be one of the rare, oversized center fielders. 

Most Intriguing Background: Are you tired of hearing about Jones (1) yet?. He could fit here as well, given his two-way status in high school and the fact that many in the industry preferred his upside as a potential first-round talent on the mound as a lefthanded pitcher. He suffered an elbow fracture, made it to Vanderbilt and then was drafted as a first round slugger. RHP Hayden Merda (17) is an interesting projection arm who has some solid TrackMan traits on his stuff but is relatively new to pitching. RHP Kris Bow (14) was born in Iceland and few draftees (if any) can claim that.

Closest To The Majors: Thorpe (2) stood out for his advanced pitching ability, and if the Yankees can help him add a bit more power to his game, it would be unsurprising for him to coast through the minor leagues. 

Best Late-Round Pick (Or NDFA): The Yankees are excited about the upside potential of Bow (14) as well as their two bigger money day three signings: RHPs Ryan Harvey (11) and Jackson Fristoe (12). All three have solid upside and good pure stuff.

The One Who Got Away: The Yankees signed each of the 20 players they selected in the 2022 draft class.

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