Yankees surprisingly select George Lombard Jr. in first round of the 2023 MLB Draft

The New York Yankees went into the high school ranks with their first round pick on Sunday.

Jul 25, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; A general view of a New York Yankees hat, glove and baseball
Jul 25, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; A general view of a New York Yankees hat, glove and baseball / Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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With the 26th overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, the New York Yankees picked shortstop George Lombard Jr. out of Gulliver Prep High School in Florida.

The Yankees came into the 2023 draft really needing to make a splash. Their farm system is in need of more depth thanks to the mixed results they have gotten from their more recent first round picks. With how the 2023 season is going at the moment, planning for the future seems like what the Yankees should be doing.

Everything you need to know about the Yankees' first round pick, George Lombard Jr.

Pre-draft Prospect Rankings:

Baseball America ($): 31
MLB Pipeline: 31
Keith Law (The Athletic) ($): 34

Scouting Report: George Lombard Jr. has a tantalizing combination of feel for hitting as well as raw power for a high school prospect. While he does swing and miss a bit, he should add strength as he gets into pro ball and has shown the able to make adjustments at the plate.

While Lombard Jr. was drafted as a shortstop, it is far from certain that he will be able to stay there. He already isn't a quick twitch sort of athlete and as he adds strength, he could grow out of short and have to move over to third base. Fortunately, he does have a strong throwing arm, which would play just fine over at the hot corner.

Reaction: In a vacuum, this is a perfectly reasonable pick. Lombard Jr.'s talent fits where the Yankees were picking and he has enough present day ability and upside to justify picking him in the first round. He will take a while to get to the big leagues, but he is a worthy pick.

What is a little puzzling is that the Yankees seemed to leave a lot of higher ranked prep shortstops on the table like Colin Houck and Aidan Miller. The Yankees placed their bet, though, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

And somehow, after numerous mocks all pointing in the same direction -- local kid Sammy Stafura, also a shortstop -- the Yankees doubled down on the position, but pivoted. Huh.