Latest MLB Mock Draft gives Yankees one of college baseball's top unicorns

Another Stroman...and more?
New York Yankees v Minnesota Twins
New York Yankees v Minnesota Twins / David Berding/GettyImages

Typically, the Yankees don't break the mold much atop the MLB Draft: shortstops in front, pitchers in back. One of the franchise's biggest recent shockers was not selecting Sammy Stafura in 2023, a high school shortstop who played in the team's backyard ... much like Anthony Volpe four years prior. But the Yankees didn't ignore Stafura in favor of a massive 180 pivot; instead, they just preferred a different shortstop, and one with big-league pedigree in George Lombard Jr.

If's latest projection is to be believed, though, the Yankees might have something special planned this summer.

This year's draft pool has the potential to be electric, topped by "unheralded-recruit-to-collegiate-home-run-king" Charlie Condon, Oregon State infielder Travis Bazzana, and first baseman/lefty Jac Caglianone, who'll be an offense-first player in MLB, unless he gains enough notoriety to eventually do both.

Further down the list, expected to be selected in the late first or early second round, is Mississippi State pitcher Jurrangelo Cijntje. According to MLB's analysis, their current projection indicates the Yankees might select Cijntje, who's earned Marcus Stroman comparisons.

...from the right side. Because the best part about Cijntje is that, after earning those comparisons, he can flip the glove around and dice up same-side hitters as a left-handed pitcher as well.

2024 MLB Mock Draft: Yankees select switch pitcher Jurrangelo Cijntje

Cijntje is no novelty. He's like the evolutionary version of once-upon-a-time Yankees reliever Pat Venditte (who, it should be noted, made the bigs and spurred a rule change that'll complicate Cijntje's life somewhat if he scales the same mountain).

Thus far in 70 2/3 innings this season, Cijntje has struck out 98 batters, maintaining a 3.48 ERA in SEC play. He can reach the mid-90s from both sides, peaking at 95 MPH as a right-hander and 93 from the left. The Yankees, with Andy Pettitte in the fold, have done an improved job at coaching up left-handed pitchers, with Carlos Rodón's transformation looking revelatory thus far in 2024. We all know there couldn't be a much better pitching fit than Matt Blake.

With the position player portion of the farm already relatively stacked, and the Yankees sitting towards the bottom of the first round once again after being penalized for overspending, why not take a chance?

At the very least, it'll make a great story.