Yankees 2022 First Round Draft Pick: Spencer Jones
Pick: 25th overall
School: Vanderbilt University
Finally, we come to the 2022 draft, where New York was again picking near the bottom of the first. The Yankees turned to pro player factory Vanderbilt University this time, as they grabbed Spencer Jones with the 25th overall selection. Jones was actually a really good two-way prospect out of high school, but an elbow injury and a commitment to Vandy led him to play in college. Despite only becoming an everyday position player relatively late in this college career, his decent hit tool and raw power got him on teams' radars. It didn't hurt that he possessed a 6'7" frame that is easy to dream on.
So far, the Yankees taking Jones has looked pretty smart. While his size has made him a bit vulnerable to striking out, Jones raked in his pro debut last year, and he has an .800 OPS with 10 homers and 21 stolen bases so far in 2023. It doesn't look like Jones will move particularly quickly through the minor leagues, but he is already considered one of the top prospects in the Yankees' farm system.
This is tricky because Jones is still very early in his development. Part of the issue here is that Jones is striking out over 30% of the time in High-A and there is a real chance that that never improves as he ascends the minor league ladder. There is a lot to be excited about with Jones, but he could easily still flame out.
Grade: B...but very incomplete