The Red Sox were on the clock for the 17th overall pick this year, and most of the talk for the last couple of weeks has been that they would be looking for upside with this first selection. Over the last 24 to 48 hours, though, some talk had been creeping in about them potentially taking a high schooler further down the ranking for an underslot deal to have more money to spend later. That is indeed the path they are taking. With their first selection in this draft, the Red Sox selected Nick Yorke, a second baseman out of Archbishop Mitty High School in California.
When I say the Red Sox went down the rankings for this pick I am not exagerrating. Yorke was ranked 96th on Baseball America’s list, 165th on FanGraphs’s and number 139 on MLB Pipeline’s. This is going to lead to a lot of strife, and it’s not entirely unfair. There was some big-time talent available here and the Red Sox passed on it. That being said, this is the reason you can’t judge a draft class based on just one pick. Yorke was thought to be a tough sign as a commit to Arizona, but he should still be an underslot signee at number 17 overall. That allows the Red Sox to take more chances with their later picks in this draft.
We’ll have more on this pick tomorrow because I need to do a whole lot more research on Yorke before I can say too much with any sort of confidence. That said, the bullet point scouting reports seem to indicate he is a hit tool-led prospect who could potentially develop a little bit of surprising pop but is more likely to settle in at fringe-average power. Defensively he’s currently viewed as a second baseman but a move to shortstop isn’t totally out of the question.