Yankees Draft: Bobby Miller Going to Dodgers a Bad Look for New York?
The New York Yankees passed on Bobby Miller to select Austin Wells with the No. 28 pick.
The first round of the 2020 MLB Draft took place on Wednesday night and Yankee fans will be happy to know the team took slugging Arizona catcher Austin Wells with their first-round selection. There’s no denying the 20-year-old’s talent — he had 74 RBI and a 1.035 OPS in 71 career college games.
However, did New York need another talented hitter, specifically a catcher? Gary Sanchez figures to be in the Bronx for a while, and the team drafted Anthony Seigler with their first-round pick in 2018 (though he admittedly hasn’t progressed in the manner the organization had hoped).
Often times, the MLB Draft, considering these players aren’t immediately ready for pro action, is a “best player available” situation. Focusing on team needs for the short term is almost irresponsible because they won’t be solved for about 2-5 years, depending on the player. Perhaps the Yankees went with Wells because he’s a safe bet with his bat and can be used as a first baseman or corner outfielder in case the whole catching thing doesn’t work out.
While that’s good news, there’s no denying the Yankees have a long-term pitching concern, and the fact they don’t have their second- and fifth-round picks in a five-round draft certainly doesn’t help, so passing on Louisville star Bobby Miller may have been a mistake.
Fans are hoping Clarke Schmidt, Deivi Garcia, Luis Gil, and others pan out, but we’ve seen so many duds and others the organization gave up on. Who, you ask? Ian Kennedy, Ty Hensley, Jacob Lindgren, Ian Clarkin, James Kaprielian, etc. That’s a good place to start.
Very rarely do we see a homegrown talent rise through the ranks and take the Yankees rotation by storm. Seriously, was the last one Andy Pettitte? Dellin Betances was an eighth-round pick, so we can’t overlook that, but developing starters has largely been a growing problem for the Bombers.
And when you look at a team like the Los Angeles Dodgers, who drafted and groomed guys like Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, Ross Stripling and Chad Billingsley since 2000, you have to be somewhat concerned they selected Miller with the very next pick after the Yankees passed on him. Four guys doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but it is when you consider how many prospects don’t make it to the bigs.
Miller’s three years at Louisville were impressive: he went 15-2 with a 3.28 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and 175 strikeouts in 41 games (25 starts), totaling 170 innings. Here’s a good rundown of his skill set:
And last year in the College World Series, he took a no-hitter into the ninth inning of the super regional game against East Carolina.
We’re by no means saying Wells was the wrong pick, but you have to wonder if passing on Miller was a mistake given his track record and the fact the Dodgers pounced on the opportunity to draft him the very next selection. The organization is packed with talented hitters and the Bombers are still trying to find a true homegrown pitcher to take Yankee Stadium by storm.