UPDATE: The Yankees have signed their third-round selection as well. That’s all five top picks signed.
The New York Yankees have a long way to go before they can sign off on their 2022 20-round draft class and tell the fellas to get to work, but they polished off a large piece of the puzzle on Monday — and we do mean “large”.
According to MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis, the Yankees agreed to a contract with first-round outfielder Spencer Jones, the Aaron Judge clone with big-time power and similar collegiate holes. Prior to inking Jones, the highest selection New York had come to terms with was fourth-round outfielder Anthony Hall out of Oregon.
It’s surprising the top of the Yankees’ draft included an emphasis on position players, considering that ambition was swiftly abandoned as the Bombers went further down the board. In all, 15 of their 20 selections were pitchers, and all 15 of those pitchers came from the collegiate ranks.
Typically, a heavy emphasis on collegiate talent means a slightly easier path towards swift signings; with less time in their careers to play with, many college arms want to go professional at the first opportunity they have.
Needless to say, though, some of these non-senior signs might be a bit pricier than others, and while nobody learned much from Jones’ details, the Yankees will still have some money left to go over-slot later in the draft if such a move is required.
Jones reportedly signed for exactly his first-round slot value of $2,880,800, which was probably a wise move considering the Yankees were really the only team that fell in love with him to this degree. Now, the work begins.
Yankees sign first-round pick Spencer Jones for $2.88 million slot value
Again, while it’s unclear if any of the Yankees’ late-round picks require a little over-slot dalliance (19th-round Savannah Bananas viral sensation Beau Brewer?), New York not having to overextend themselves for Jones is a good thing.
Jones to the Yankees might’ve been the first round’s — nay, the entire draft’s — most obvious selection. California high school outfielder who went to Vanderbilt and posted something that approximated Judge’s exact stat line at Fresno State last year? Yeah. Written in stone weeks ago.
New York also signed second-rounder Drew Thorpe, a righty with a nasty changeup out of Cal Poly, for slot value on Monday, so still no real maneuvering had to be done. Third-rounder Trystan Vrieling, a right-hander out of Gonzaga, remains unsigned.
Terms of the team’s deal with 15th-round outfielder Tayler Aguilar out of Grand Canyon University were not announced, but that small-school signing feels like a prime opportunity to save a little dough for Vrieling and eighth-round infielder Brett Barrera out of Stanford. The clock is ticking, but Jones gets an assist for not begging for over-slot cash.