Looks like the Yankees might just have a superstar shortstop in their pipeline after all!
No, not that one. Not that other guy, either.
No, not the 17-year-old, though we understand why you might’ve thought that. He seems like a beast.
Wait, four in the top 10 prospects?! Mercy.
2021 first-round pick Trey Sweeney could be the forgotten man in the Yankees’ young shortstop puzzle, but that’s only because we’ve barely gotten a look at him yet.
Plus, his “small school” pedigree (Go Eastern Illinois Panthers!) means there isn’t a lot of familiar college tape on the kid; most fans didn’t watch him, say, wreck Oregon State in the College World Series. They just heard the Yankees used their late first-rounder to add another shortstop to their glut of not-ready-for-MLB-action shortstops and mentally moved on.
Snap judgments (and small-college sample sizes) aside, it certainly seems like Sweeney is in for a huge season, considering the behind-the-scenes measurements he put up in college. Ohio Valley Conference numbers aren’t a be all, end all, but Sweeney’s advanced metrics are pretty, um, advanced for his age.
Yankees draftee Trey Sweeney might have the best natural bat in the MLB Draft.
Again, nothing to be gleaned beyond a shadow of a doubt here, but Sweeney hits the ball hard, Sweeney puts the bat on the ball near-constantly, and he discerns balls and strikes better than anyone else in his draft class.
And that has nothing to do with the level of collegiate competition he faced.
We saw Sweeney make a brief cameo at the minor-league level last season, and it went well — an .875 OPS and six homers in 29 games at Low-A Tampa is totally acceptable for a first-rounder being thrown directly into the fire. After all, how many Yankees draftees disappear after signing and then reappear midsummer the next season with no explanation?
We still haven’t seen TJ Sikkema since 2019. Hope the big lefty’s doing well. Where is he?
Though Sweeney might be the man in the middle between some pretty lofty competition at short, his bat should carry him through the system fairly quickly, even if his glove begs a move to third.
Weirdly, we have more to be optimistic about here than we did regarding Anthony Volpe prior to his 2021 breakout. The Sweeney data is a lot more intense. Something to remember as you’re mapping out your infield wishlist.
We’re willing to eat crow here.