The New York Yankees chose to go up the middle with their second round picks in the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft. With the 89th pick overall, the Yanks chose center fielder Austin Aune from Argyle High School (Texas) and then with the 94th pick selected University of Miami catcher Peter O’Brien.
Aune has already agreed to forgo playing football and baseball at Texas Christian University to play for the Yankees. Aune, ranked 128th by Baseball America, predominately played shortstop during high school though he played a little center field in his junior year. In his senior year, he hit .447 with eight homers and 41 RBI. According MLB.com reporter Bryan Hoch, Aune entered the draft with a dollar amount in mind which would make him leave TCU. The Yankees must have met that number. From Aune:
I called my parents … and called my adviser and my adviser told me what the situation was,” Aune said. “We went over it as a family and thought it was a great offer, and I chose to accept it. The money and everything else was right for us. (MLB.com)
Aune has the potential to be a five-tool player according to MLB.com Live Draft Tracker analysis. He hits left-handed and with some power. He has plus speed which is why the Yankees feel he can transition easily to center field.
The selection of O’Brien may signal future moves for the Yankees. Choosing a catcher where they are already fairly deep could mean that they will dangle one of their current prospects during the trading season. O’Brien was selected last season in the third round by the Colorado Rockies. He is a big boy, 6’4″, 225 lbs., and was listed as the 56th ranked player in the entire draft by MLB.com and 69th by BaseballAmerica. In his senior year with the Miami Hurricanes, he hit .340 with 10 home runs and 40 RBI.
O’Brien is considered to have above-average to plus power. He also has a plus arm according to MLB.com Live Draft Tracker analysis. He’s gotten better behind the plate since last season and shows good agility for his size.