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New York Yankees 2023 MLB Draft Review


See Also: 2023 MLB Draft Database

Draft Theme: Hitters With Big EVs.

The Yankees seem to value exit velocity data more than most teams, and all of their college hitters selected among the top 10 rounds stand out for their ability to impact the ball. Ninth-round OF Jared Wegner is most notable in that category as a more physically developed 24-year old who had some of the best exit velocity data in the country, but both 1B Kiko Romero in the seventh round and 2B Roc Riggio in the fourth round have produced impressive peak exit velocity numbers. We don’t have that data on first-rounder SS George Lombard Jr., but his increase in power and speed was one of the factors that moved him up draft boards this spring. 

Most Interesting Day 2 Pick: 2B Roc Riggio, 4th round

Riggio was a highly-touted prep hitter who played on the same Thousand Oaks (Calif.) High team as A’s first-rounder Maxwell Muncy. Riggio lived up to his billing as a solid hitter as a freshman with Oklahoma State, and slashed .295/.413/.519 with 11 home runs and 14 doubles, and is a draft-eligible sophomore in the 2023 class. Riggio took another step forward during the 2023 season and hit .333/.459/.676 with 18 home runs and 17 doubles and he cut his strikeout rate from 22.4% to 17.1%, while raising his walk rate from 13.1% to 16.4% year over year. Listed at 5-foot-9, 180 pounds, Riggio is undersized but solidly filled out and can put a thump in the ball, with at least average power and most of that going to the pull side and straightaway center field in games. He managed an average exit velocity of 86-87 mph in 2023, but his peak velocities neared 110 mph and he does a nice job maximizing the power he has by getting the ball in the air at good angles consistently. Riggio has a solid offensive approach and doesn’t swing-and-miss or chase at an overly high rate, though he could do a better job making contact against spin and offspeed stuff. He’s a bat-first second base prospect who has always been described as a fringy defender, though he should be fine making the routine play.

Most Interesting Day 3 Pick: RHP Bryce Warrecker, 20th round

Warrecker is a massively imposing righthander who stands 6-foot-8, 240 pounds. He had a fantastic 2022 summer in the Cape Cod League with Orleans, where he posted a 2.08 ERA over 39 innings with 35 strikeouts and eight walks, and throughout his Cal Poly career he’s been a consistently good strike thrower. The 7% walk rate he posted in 2023 is the highest rate of his career, and he managed a 4.89 ERA over 14 starts and 81 innings, with a 21.4% strikeout rate. Warrecker previously pitched out of the bullpen for Cal Poly, but was a solid starter in 2023 where he showed solid command of a fringy three-pitch mix. Warrecked sits in the upper 80s and has been up to 92 with his fastball this spring, though there are scouts who believe he has more velocity in the tank and can get to an above-average fastball in the future in a bullpen role. He has thrown a changeup in the low 80s that is a fringe-average pitch now that could get to average, and the same is true for a slider in the 78-82 mph range that has around eight inches of horizontal break. Warrecker profiles best as a reliever at the next level, where potentially his stuff will take a step forward, and he could fit in the 8-10 round range for the draft.

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