When the Yankees secured spark plug infielder Roc Riggio a few weeks back, that marked their entire 2023 draft class signed, sealed, and delivered (though Riggio made them sweat).
Ahead of the Oklahoma State Cowboy signing on the dotted line, it remained unclear whether the ~$781,000 remaining in New York's draft pool would be enough to sway him away from spending his junior year at school. Ultimately, Riggio signed for "just" $693,000, per Baseball America, leaving the Yankees with a bit of leftover cash from their allotment.
What happened to the money? An extra jersey sleeve sponsor? Insurance payment on the Carlos Rodón contract? "Research" slush fund for the City Connect jersey that never was and never will be?
Well, wonder no more, because the Yankees just splashed the remaining $88,000, as well as $150,000 additional, on lefty-handed slugger Jackson Castillo, a member of the JUCO CSN Coyotes and a player who planned to matriculate at Auburn in the fall if he didn't turn pro.
Spoiler Alert: He turned pro.
Yankees finish 2023 MLB Draft spending with Jackson Castillo
Add Castillo immediately to the "intriguing UDFA pile" alongside the previously-covered Josh Moylan, who slammed his first pro home run over the weekend.
It should come as no great shock to Yankee prospect followers, either, that Castillo cameoed in the wood bat Cape Cod League this summer as he looked to plot his next professional course.
He performed admirably, and will now report to the Yankees after picking a pretty exciting direction.
Castillo was poised to transition from the College of Southern Nevada to the SEC, filling a position of need for Auburn after the departures of three core outfielders this offseason.
Unfortunately for those of the War Eagle persuasion, he's instead chosen the pinstripes. His size isn't prototypical (he registers at 6'0" on the dot), but his ability to get on base, swipe bags, and hit for power will hopefully translate quickly to the Yankees' system.
At the very least, there may be no better use of "expiring draft pool money" than a JUCO prospect of this caliber, especially when the alternative is, "It does not get spent." Good job by Hal Steinbrenner approving the expenditure.