Yankees 2020 First Round Draft Pick: Austin Wells
Pick: 28th overall
School: University of Arizona
The Yankees found themselves picking near the bottom of the first round yet again in 2020's COVID-shortened draft. New York decided to select college catcher Austin Wells with the 28th overall pick. Wells was a bit of a mystery going into the draft because while teams liked his bat, he wasn't able to actually catch that spring because of an elbow injury. The Yankees were not deterred and brought him into the organization.
The Yankees were rewarded in their faith in Wells, as he has turned into one of the top offensive catchers in the minor leagues. He has shown a plus hit tool and plus power in the minors, including last season, where he put up an .897 OPS with 20 homers across three levels of the minors. He isn't going to be a fantastic defensive catcher, but he has made real progress as a backstop and he should be able to stick behind the plate in the big leagues.
We don't want to jump the gun too much with Wells, especially since he lost some time this season with a broken rib, but it looks like the Yankees managed to draft a big league catcher who can hit. Again, they don't get full credit until Wells demonstrates that he can be a big league contributor, but everything is looking good so far.