When the New York Yankees used the 20th overall pick of the 2021 MLB Draft on Eastern Illinois shortstop Trey Sweeney, it received mixed reviews.
Another shortstop? Who scouts actually said probably won’t be a shortstop and currently doesn’t have a true position at the next level yet? Someone who played in the Ohio Valley Conference and didn’t break out until his junior year? Throw in the fact that many publications had him ranked beyond the top 50 players in this draft class, and that’s a whole lot of concern.
Another reason some fans scratched their heads initially was because Sweeney was said to be more beloved by analytics folks rather than scouts. It felt like another overreach by a Yankees front office that many have complained about misusing/overusing analytics.
We didn’t lambast the decision, we just had questions, and rightfully so. But it appears those questions are vanishing right before our eyes.
Sweeney only needed two games in the rookie league to show he was ready for the next level, and he’s caught fire in Low-A Tampa.
Across the two levels, he’s hitting .270 with a 1.028 OPS. That includes two doubles, three triples, five home runs and 12 RBI. So much for worrying about the Ohio Valley Conference lacking serious competition!
Yankees top prospect Trey Sweeney has homered in back-to-back games.
Sweeney’s already the Yankees’ No. 7 overall prospect too, according to MLB.com, and he’s introduced himself in an impactful way.
Look at him turn those hands and crank that inside pitch! Right now, it looks like those first team All-American honors from Baseball America, Perfect Game and ABCA (as well as at the NCAA level) were no fluke.
And when you consider the Yankees’ recent track record of drafting middle infielders (from a minor-league standpoint) has been impeccable (Anthony Volpe, Josh Smith and Trevor Hauver), it’s clear they have a “type” and know what they’re looking for in that department.
At the very least, Sweeney’s fast rise to Low-A and within the Yankees’ rankings increases the overall value in the farm system, which, you know, is essential for making blockbuster trades. Look no further than this past trade deadline with regard to how a deep pool of prospects can land you established MLB talent without having to massively overpay.
Keep tabs on the young slugger for the next month. It could lead to a long offseason of hype.