Chaim Bloom made his first draft pick as the Red Sox GM, and surprised quite a few people with his selection. With the 17th pick in the 2020 draft, the Sox took high school 2B Nick Yorke of Archbishop Mitty in San Jose, California. Yorke is also committed to play ball at Arizona next year.
(via @MLBDraft on Twitter)
With the recent addition of Chaim Bloom, rumors were swirling the Red Sox would go young with their first pick. Many believed they would draft a top HS talent in hopes of good upside, however nobody saw Yorke to be that guy. He was never ranked by anyone as a top 10 high school player. He was projected no higher than a late 2nd round pick, and many thought he’d go more like rounds 3-5.
No question about it, Nick Yorke can hit. He finished high school with a .450 batting average, along with 11 home runs and 77 RBIs. Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin even regarded Yorke as the best overall hitter he saw in high school baseball this year. However, this pick still poses its fair share of problems.
One of the biggest concerns with Yorke has been his lingering shoulder injury throughout high school. He missed some time his junior year, and had to play DH, making him a liability defensively. The second concern is that Yorke was one of few high schoolers that was projected to be a tough sign, meaning he would lean towards playing at Arizona next year rather than the MLB. This also could’ve put pressure on the Sox to draft him early, believing he might not sign if drafted with 3rd or 4th round compensation.
Overall, the pick is very interesting to say the least. If he signs, he has the capability to transform himself into a dominant professional hitter, assuming he can remain healthy. Some scouts have made interesting comparisons to Kevin Youkilis. If the pick doesn’t pan out or he doesn’t sign, expect Chaim Bloom and the Sox to take some heat for passing up on some big name prospects, like Jordan Walker and Jared Kelley.