Yankees Draft: New York Takes Slugging Arizona Catcher With Pick No. 28
By Adam Weinrib
With the 28th pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, the Yankees draft: Austin Wells, C.
You’ve got to give it to this team: the Yankees draft like they don’t have Gary Sanchez behind the plate for an extended period of time.
In 2018, they used their first-round selection on Anthony Siegler, who hasn’t progressed as much as they’d hoped when they chose him as a bat-first catcher.
And in 2020, New York has once again gone to the well and selected Arizona star Austin Wells, bucking conventional wisdom, which had already forecast Louisville starter Bobby Miller as a guarantee. Nope!
Miller, of course, went to the Dodgers exactly one pick later. Surely, that won’t eventually impact the cross-country rivalry.
Wells’ tenure in Arizona was short, but beastly. His first collegiate at-bat was somehow just 16 months ago, and in a whim, he was en route to Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honors and Cape Cod League stardom. In a shortened 2020 season, he hit .375 with a .589 slugging percentage in 15 games.
This isn’t the first time the Yankees went after him, either, so we should’ve known better than to forecast Miller to the NYY instead. Wells was a 35th-round pick of the Yankees back in 2018 out of his Las Vegas high school, but he opted for college and ended up in the exact same spot, a few years later. And yes, he’s still 20 years old!
Will the decision to let a potential above-average pitcher walk to the Dodgers, who’ve been a pitcher development machine for the past few years, backfire? We’ll hold our tongues for now. Needless to say, we’re intrigued by Wells — and at least the Yankees didn’t save money by taking the 139th-ranked prospect at No. 17 like those money-savers in Boston did!
We, uh, would not have done that. If we were them. Just saying. That…would not have been our plan.
Fingers crossed New York’s selection turns out wiser!