3 recent draft picks Yankees got right and 2 they will regret
By Adam Weinrib
Yankees Draft Pick They Will Regret: Brendan Beck, 2021 second round
It's always a bummer when the Yankees go safe with a top pick, we applaud them for going safe with said pick, and then the pick turns out to be very much unsafe.
Such is the case of Stanford right-hander Brendan Beck, the low-ceiling, high-floor arm the Yankees selected 55th overall in 2021, two picks after the Cincinnati Reds selected University of Virginia ace Andrew Abbott.
Both were expected to be "pitchability"-focused college arms who knew how to get outs and could zip through their respective systems, despite having underwhelming pure stuff. Abbott, somehow, has turned into a maniac, striking out 159 men in 118 innings last season and 60 in his first 30.2 innings this season, rising to Triple-A Louisville already. Beck, the next college pitcher selected? He had immediate Tommy John surgery, and has yet to make a professional start. He is now 24 years old.
Clearly, the Yankees believed in Beck, and the immediate injury was unpredictable. But the point of selecting Beck here was to limit the variance and (hopefully) scoot him quickly through the minors to fill the No. 4/5 starter role in the Bronx before too long. He has yet to make any sort of impact.
If the Yankees had not gone with the safe selection, they could've made a splash pick here, too. 6-6, 240-pound physical freak James Wood was available here, selected by the Padres with the 62nd pick. He was eventually shuttled to the Nationals in the Juan Soto trade, and is Pipeline's 15th-best prospect. Considering the Spencer Jones selection was made one year later, the Yankees obviously might've felt comfortable doing this, too. Slugging Rays first baseman Kyle Manzardo went 63rd; he, too, is a top-five prospect in that organization, and may reach MLB soon.
And (sigh) ... if we want to talk about evaluating pitching, Blue Jays flamethrower Ricky Tiedemann went 91st overall out of "Golden West College," and was -- pre-extension -- the main differentiator between Toronto's hypothetical Bryan Reynolds trade package and what the Yankees could've put together. Toronto out-scouted the Yankees here, point blank.