2016 MLB Draft: Yankees Select Blake Rutherford
With the 18th overall selection in tonight’s MLB Draft, the Yankees selected high schooler Blake Rutherford. The 19-year-old played centerfield for West Hills Chaminade in California. Prior to the draft, Rutherford was a considered a top 10 prospect on many big boards. According to MLB.com, he was the fourth-ranked outfielder — and eighth prospect overall — in this year’s pool.
Height/Weight: 6’2″/190 lbs.
College Commitment: UCLA
Tools (Future grades on 20-80 scale)
.557 AVG, 4 HR, 9 RBI, .676 OBP, 13 2B in 78 AB over 27 games
MLB.com: “The left-handed-hitting outfielder from the Southern California high school can do just about everything on a baseball field. Rutherford has the chance to be an above-average hitter with above-average raw power. He’ll record average to plus run times, and his speed helps him on the basepaths and in the outfield. Rutherford is a solid defender in the outfield, though most feel he’ll move to right field in the future. The good news is his bat should profile just fine if that move does happen.”
Based on scouting reports and pre-draft grades, it looks like the Yankees took the best player available. Some have labeled this selection a steal. Any time you see a top-10 talent sitting on the board at 18, it’s a wise move to take him. But with that likely comes a red flag, and in the case of Rutherford, that would be his age. At 19 he’s a bit old for a high school grad, but he’s tools-y and scouts like his skill set. Rutherford has drawn comparisons to Darin Erstad, Jim Edmonds and Alex Gordon.
MLB Trade Rumors (Spoiler alert: Rutherford grew up a Yankee fan)