Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
My initial reaction; ‘Oh my god they passed on Brady Aiken!’, who eventually was selected one pick later by the Cleveland Indians.
But after taking a few deep breaths and assessing the situation, I actually really liked the Yankees decision here. This is the third year in a row that the Yankees decided to draft a college player with their top pick. Jacob Lindgren in ’14, Eric Jagielo in ’13 and now James Kaprielian in 2015. Also, kudos to District on Deck Editor Ricky Keeler for selecting Kaprielian in our 2015 Yanks Go Yard Pre-Draft Special.
According to Baseball America’s scouting report, Kaprielian’s best pitch is a curveball, but he has a four-pitch arsenal.
To me, this feels like a real safe pick, and I expect Karielian will slide right in as the no.2 pitching prospect in the Yankees farm system behind Luis Severino. Despite the Yankees struggles to develop pitching, they have had some success with college pitchers, including Jacob Lindgren out of Mississippi State, Adam Warren out of UNC and Chase Whitley out of Troy University.
Obviously the Yankees are hoping Kaprielian will have more of an impact than the aforementioned pitchers, and in selecting him 16th overall, it seems as if the Yankees are continuing their recent trend of drafting players with a higher upside. I think the one distinct difference between Kaprielian and Jacob Lindgren, is that the Yankees won’t fast track him to the major leagues like they did with Lindgren. Instead, I think the Yankees will take their time developing him into a starting pitcher just like the organization is doing with Severino.
Maybe, just maybe, this UCLA pitcher will turn out better than the other UCLA pitcher who left the Yankees high and dry… that guy named Gerrit Cole who was drafted by the Yankees out of high school, but elected to attend college instead of signing.
Kaprielian will join the class of college pitchers the Yankees drafted last season, including Jordan Montgomery and Jonathan Holder, both of whom earned mentions in this weeks Yanks Go Yard minor league player of the week series!