The Athletic's 2023 MLB Mock Draft has Yankees picking hometown shortstop (again)

Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees
Baltimore Orioles v New York Yankees / Elsa/GettyImages

If there's one thing the Yankees have proven with their MLB Draft strategy in recent years, it's that you can never have too many shortstops. Yes, even after a few of them click.

Anthony Volpe got the call to the bigs early this spring, and he's had several moments of supremacy already. Oswald Peraza, the Yankees' other Top-100 shortstop prospect, is at Triple-A, and may shift positions by the time his career in pinstripes is up.

Below Volpe (2019's first rounder) and Peraza resides Trey Sweeney, a lefty-swinging shortstop with an advanced bat who became the Yankees' first pick in 2021. Add in international signings Roderick Arias and Alexander Vargas, and there's plenty to work with.

Might the Yankees go back to the well in 2023? Would you bet against them hedging one more time, knowing they could eventually move several shortstops around the diamond?

This time, it's The Athletic's Keith Law beating the drum. His Yankees first-round selection in his latest mock draft is shortstop Sammy Stafura. To make it even more tantalizing, Stafura is a local kid from Walter Panas High School in Cortlandt, New York (Westchester County). He's in the Yanks' backyard. If they like him, they'll take him at 26 and ask questions later.

Yankees Mock Draft: Sammy Stafura, Walter Panas

Per Law, the Yankees have been "heavy" on Stafura lately, though they've also been connected to Miami HS shortstop George Lombard Jr., HS first baseman/pitcher Bryce Eldridge, and left-hander Thomas White.

Stafura, if he opts not to go pro, will attend Clemson on scholarship in the fall. No indication yet whether he's a Yankees or Mets fan (or something in between), but stay tuned for any relevant updates from his Instagram. Sources say he probably won't volunteer that information publicly until the draft is over ("source" is me).

If the Yankees pass on Stafura and opt for another position of need, they'll need to cross their fingers, as Law believes the (shudders) Houston Astros are also heavily scouting him as the draft approaches; they select 28th.

If New York does opt for the high school shortstop, he'll be their first HS selection in the first round since Volpe himself, ironically. Perhaps one hometown kid handling the bright lights will convince the Yankees to select another. Based on the early development of Volpe, Sweeney, Austin Wells and Spencer Jones, the team's last four first-rounders, it's hard to doubt whichever direction they go in.