This draft class is strongest when it comes to pitching. So far we’ve looked at outfielders, corner infielders and catchers, middle infielders and some local prospects. Today we’ll look at some pitching prospects that could be available for the Yankees to take at #51.
This is just my opinion, but I think if the Yankees were going to take a pitcher with their first pick it should be one with a lot of ceiling and upside. Hardly groundbreaking, I know. There are though plenty of polished college pitchers likely to be available at 51 for the Yankees. In my opinion, the Yankees have plenty of pitching prospects that have back end of the rotation potential already. I would prefer them to take a bat here. If the first round choices are pitching heavy, which seems likely at this point, then it’s possible some good positional talent may be available at 51. With pitching available throughout the draft, the Yankees could spend money later to land some good arms, something they haven’t been afraid to do in the past. That’s just my two cents though.
Dillon Maples, RHP, West End HS, NC
An athletic 6’3” 195 prep prospect, Maples father was an Orioles prospect at one point and his high school coach is James Baldwin, the former White Sox player. Maples has excellent stuff with a strong arm and is an athletic kid committed to UNC. His fastball sits 92-94 and has touched 97 this spring with good movement. His curveball is an above average pitch already, that’s a hard, sharp 77-80. He shows the feel for a changeup but hasn’t needed it to this point. His delivery is sloppy to this point- he doesn’t use enough of his lower body and while his arm is strong enough to generate that good velocity, his command can suffer. Athletically, he should be able to make the adjustments.
Hudson Boyd, RHP, Ft. Myers HS, FL
Boyd touches 95 with his fastball, has a tight 74-80 curveball and a 80ish changeup. His delivery has good extension and with his good size (6’3”, 235) he has easy velocity that can play up. With a little more consistency in his delivery, Boyd could have two above average pitches and at least an average changeup. His ability to maintain his velocity deep into games as a HS product is a good sign and it’s not hard to see him as a rotational workhorse in the future.
Anthony Meo, RHP, Coastal Carolina
Meo brings great fastball velocity, sitting 93-96 and touching 97 at times this spring. With a quick arm and good athleticism, Meo brings a hard slider that sits 86-90, an average curveball and underdeveloped changeup. Inconsistencies in his spring have led to some conflicting reports. Some scouts see him as a two pitch reliever while others think he’ll certainly be a starter. His delivery could use some work and his command is pretty good.
Kyle Crick, RHP, Sherman HS, Texas
The big prep prospect (6’4, 225) is a classic Texas flame thrower, already sitting 93-95 and touching 96. He throws a slider that could use some work and a passable changeup which hasn’t seen much work against HS opponents. He’s also pretty athletic and will need to make some adjustments with his delivery as a pro. He’s committed to TCU so he’ll probably require a good bit of money to keep away school.
Michael Kelly, RHP, Boca Raton HS, FL
Kelly is another big, solid guy (6’5”, 210) who is still growing into his frame but already shows lots of promise as a pitching prospect. Touching 94 with his fastball and sitting 89-93, he also throws a curveball that has some sharp break and a changeup. Both his secondary offerings are a bit raw. Kelly is very projectable though. With some refinements to his delivery and continuing to grow into his body, scouts believe his velocity could jump up a notch. He has a quick strong arm so scouts think when he uses his lower body better, his stuff should improve. He’ll require plenty of development, but the raw tools are all there.
Michael Fulmer, RHP, Edmond HS, OK
Fulmer has gotten better as the spring has progressed and he’s moved up draft boards accordingly. Sitting in the mid 90s with his fastball and touching 97, Fulmer also throws a low 80s slider with late break and tilt. He also has a changeup but it’s just average mostly due to lack of use against lesser high school opponents. He’s a solid 6’2”, 200 now and committed to Arkansas.
Kevin Comer, RHP, Tabernacle HS, NJ
I’ve mentioned Comer before in the bit about local prospects but he’s a legitimate first day prospect. Already 6’4”, 210, Comer has good athletic blood lines as both his parents were college athletes. He easily sits 90-94 with his fastball, a hard 12-6 curveball that can get a bit slurvy at times and the makings of a decent changeup. His delivery is pretty simple but his commitment to Vanderbilt complicates things. A team that wants to sign him will have to offer him a good amount of money.
Cody Kukuk, LHP, Lawrence HS, KS
A very projectable 6’4”, 190, Kukuk isn’t a polished talent but has enough raw ability and upside as a left hander he’s sure to garner plenty of interest. Sitting 90-93 with his fastball and touching 94, he features a good breaking ball that sits in the upper 70s and has good depth already. He also throws a changeup that needs work. Kukuk is athletic but his delivery is pretty sloppy and he’s yet another prep talent that wastes his strong lower half in his motion. High school lefties who already throw in the 90s with size and athleticism don’t last forever so Kukuk figures to be a fairly early selection.
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