In today’s episode of “What Are the New York Yankees Doing?”, we’ve reached the primetime Sunday night slot after their most brutal loss of the 2021 season.
It never ends.
After blowing a five-run lead in the ninth inning against the Houston Astros, just a few hours later the Bombers were on the clock during the MLB Draft with pick No. 20.
What did they do? They selected a shortstop (when plenty of pitchers were available) who might not even be a shortstop.
According to scouts, Trey Sweeney of Eastern Illinois might end up being a corner outfielder. The lefty slugger, who’s tearing the cover off the ball in the Ohio Valley Conference, is enjoying a breakout season with 14 homers and 58 RBI across 48 games.
All the best to Sweeney, who’s now officially a New York Yankee, but he was No. 55 of MLB.com’s draft board. Not that projections rule all, but 35 selections ahead of where he was believed to be picked? Of course the Yankees did this.
The other “issue” is that the Yankees are loaded on shortstops. Oswald Peraza, Anthony Volpe, Aexander Vargas and Josh Smith make up four of the top 14 prospects, according to MLB.com. As for outfielders, they have Jasson Dominguez, Estevan Florial, Kevin Alcantara and Everson Pereira making up four of their top 17.
Now’s the time to draft a lefty slugger without a true position? Oh … he was a favorite of “statistical models.” Got it. Classic overreach from a team that cannot really draft.
OK. We’re mad because of what’s happened this year coupled with the fact the Yankees generally don’t draft well. Let’s look at some positives, shall we?
Sweeney has progressed immensely since arriving at Eastern Illinois, only to become one of the best hitters in the country. In his career, he has 72 walks compared to 57 strikeouts. The Yankees love walks! But they also get trapped into guys who strike out a ton. Not the case here … yet.
How about some versatility? He has experience at second, short and third, and it’s believed he’ll turn out to be a corner outfielder.
Not terrible, but perhaps an experienced college pitcher could’ve helped the Yankees within the next couple of years? The Chicago Cubs took Kansas State lefty Jordan Wicks with the next pick. Miami Ohio righty Sam Bachman was still on the board. So was East Carolina’s Gavin Williams.
Perhaps they drafted Sweeney with hopes they can decimate the farm system a bit at the trade deadline because of his progress at the plate? Don’t know! But this is their 2021 first-round pick.
We will grow to love Trey Sweeney whether we like it or not. We have no choice. We need as many promising talents to join Jasson Dominguez in the farm system to create the next great Yankees core.
Another lefty slugger. Yup, time to balance out the lineup … in 2024.