Questions may remain regarding the details of how the 2020 MLB Draft will work but the league still plans for the event to happen. Teams, including the New York Yankees, are preparing however they can despite not being able to scout players this spring like usual.
Even the prospect experts, like the team at MLB Pipeline, have started to prepare and predict who might end up landing where. The Pipeline team published their first mock draft and have the Yankees selecting Carson Tucker with their first selection.
New York picks 28th in each round.
Normally, the MLB Draft runs 40 rounds deep but it has been drastically shortened this year. The league and MLBPA have already agreed to trim the draft down to just 5 or 10 rounds, a decision that is going to have huge ramifications on this year’s draft class. A number of high school prospects will end up going to college because of these changes. Numerous college players may end up returning to school for the same reasons.
The draft is, at least for now, still scheduled to take place in early June.
Tucker is an 18-year-old shortstop from Mountain Pointe High School in Arizona. His older brother, Cole, plays for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
MLB Pipeline has Tucker as the 52nd best prospect on their Top 150 rankings. He is the seventh highest ranked shortstop on the list. There are positives in his draft profile:
“While more reserved than Cole, Carson has the chance to join his brother as a big league caliber shortstop. At the plate, the right-handed hitter displays excellent bat control and bat speed over power, though he showed added strength this season. He’s often content to push the ball the other way and to the right center field gap, though the ball does jump off his bat. He began showing he can turn on balls and drive them to his pull side more consistently, helping his profile.”
The MLB Draft remains different than the draft for most other sports. Players don’t join the big league teams right away. Draft picks don’t make an immediate impact on the field in most cases. MLB teams often select the best player available to them in the first round, rather than focusing on a position of need.
Athletic shortstops are always valuable to a team. There is nothing to suggest that Tucker can’t stick at shortstop long term, but the possibility of potentially moving him elsewhere on the diamond is likelier with a more versatile background.
If this projection comes to be, it would mark the second year in a row that the Yankees select a shortstop in the draft’s first round. Last year they selected Anthony Volpe out of a New Jersey high school.