3 recent first-round draft picks Yankees definitely wish they could do over

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Walker Buehler #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

1. Passing on Walker Buehler in 2015

The Yankees chose the wrong pitcher in 2015. Bar none.

Ahh, remember 2015? When we finally applauded the Yankees for getting it right, drafting a pitcher and listening to the consensus instead of going off the board?

Yeah, better days, right?

Because, as it turns out, the Yankees took UCLA righty James Kaprielian with pick No. 16, and it turned out his inverted “W” pitching mechanics led to the injury problems that many projected. Sitting ripe for the plucking at No. 24? Vanderbilt righty Walker Buehler.

You know the story from here. The Dodgers have a controllable ace-type pitcher and drafted behind the Yankees, and the NYY dealt with Kaprielian’s absence for a few years before dealing him as a part of the Sonny Gray trade with Oakland.

The righty was thought of as a fast riser when the Yanks made the pick, but who were we to know that there was a far faster and more stable riser several picks behind him? Add in the fact that Buehler came from a similar pitching factory in Vandy, and it seems like a big miss by New York’s scouting department.

In case you’re not a Buehler fan and prefer a riskier option who still paid off, Braves ace Mike Soroka went 28th. The Yankees picked again at 30, choosing glove-first shortstop Kyle Holder, whose bat has never developed. Two picks behind him? Charlie Hayes’ son, Pirates wunderkind Ke’Bryan Hayes.

Yikes all around.