By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Red Sox went with a position player with their first pick of the 2020 MLB Draft, selecting infielder Nick Yorke out of Archbishop Mitty High School (California) with the No. 17 overall pick.
Considered a middle infielder with high offensive potential, Yorke’s selection was viewed as a surprise to many, with the broadcast panel seemingly unprepared to discuss Yorke’s potential. (That’s never a good sign when you’re talking about the 17th overall pick and Boston’s lone Night 1 pick thanks to the MLB investigation that stripped them of their second-round pick.) The broadcasters weren’t on their own here; MLB.com ranked Yorke as the 139th-best player available in this year’s draft and Baseball America outright admitted that they didn’t have a Yorke graphic ready to tweet out.
At the same time, Baseball America was quick to point out that they viewed Yorke as a potential sleeper and that some scouts they talked to considered him to be the “best pure hitter in California.”
Yorke’s official profile on MLB.com didn’t disagree with such an assessment.
“Scouts believe Yorke has a real chance to swing the bat, with perhaps even plus hit potential from the right side of the plate,” MLB.com wrote of Yorke ahead of the draft. “He’s a natural hitter with a pure swing and an advanced approach at the plate and there’s enough power potential in there to believe he could eventually be a run-producing type of player.
“He’s played shortstop in high school, and might have the range, hands and instincts to stay there, but he had shoulder surgery and has anchors in his shoulder causing him to DH for all of his junior year in 2019. He was back on the dirt this spring, but what had been solid average arm strength had not yet returned. Still, he could profile very well as an offensive-minded second baseman with a bat that could be worth luring away from his commitment to the University of Arizona.”
The Red Sox will not make their second selection of the 2020 MLB Draft until the No. 89 overall pick.