Yankees GM Brian Cashman


Yankees GM Brian Cashman


Getty

Yankees GM Brian Cashman

It has not been a bad year for Yankees former first-round draft picks. Anthony Volpe has been the starter at shortstop all season, and is batting .284 with six home runs. Clarke Schmidt, before suffering a lat injury that could keep him out for two months, was having his best season, at 5-3 with a 2.52 ERA. Austin Wells has struggled to hit but has come so far as a catcher that he still has value behind the plate.

Oh, and 2013’s first-round pick, a fella named Aaron Judge, has put together a decent year, too. He’s just batting .288 with a .417 OBP and a .658 slugging percentage, leading MLB in homers (21) and walks (48).

So let’s get excited for the upcoming 2024 MLB draft, which sees the Yankees picking 26th in what is widely considered a top-heavy draft. No problem—there should still be some worthwhile pieces available.

At Baseball America, the prediction is that the Yankees go with third baseman Billy Amick out of Tennessee, a 6-foot-1, 217-pound slugger who has hit .310 with 21 home runs in 56 games. Amick has batted third for a Volunteers club that went 53-11 and is the No. 1 seed in the College World Series.


Billy Amick Underwent Appendix Surgery

Leadoff hitter Christian Moore is the big prize of the Tennessee offense, but he is likely to be gone with the Yankees pick. Amick is not a bad consolation. Here’s how BA sums up his game:

“If Amick and Christian Moore both go in the first round that would make Tennessee the third team in this draft with multiple first-round players—along with Wake Forest and Florida State. Amick is not the pure hitter that Moore is but he has a vicious righthanded swing with tons of strength and raw power, has performed at two high-profile schools in the best two conferences in college baseball and also improved defensively this spring.”

Amick began his career at Clemson, and spent two seasons with the Tigers before transferring last year. He had a big boost with Hyannis of the Cape Cod League over the summer, posting a slash line of .368/.442/.579 in 44 plate appearances and helping the Harbor Hawks to the league’s Final Four.

Amick would be a good depth piece for the Yankees’ system, a third baseman who has the ability to play other positions.

He missed more than two weeks in March and April of this season because of appendicitis, but a strong return has boosted his stock back up.

“It was super easy,” Amick said. “When I had my scan, I had surgery that night, so it was nice and easy. I went home and slept in my bed. Just had to rest it for 10 days. … Just had to work back into stuff. I haven’t felt any pain.”


Yankees Gearing Up for Next Month’s MLB Draft

In general, this draft is interesting because it lacks a consensus No. 1 pick, with any of a handful of players pegged as possibilities to got to Cleveland, where the Guardians pick first. College position players are expected to be the big lure early on.

Travis Bazzana of Oregon State is emerging as one of the more consistent picks for the top overall slot, and was the pick of both MLB.com and Baseball America, but he is no lock. At Yahoo Sports, MLB analyst Jordan Schusterman tabbed eight players with the potential to go No. 1 overall.

The eight:

  • Georgia 3B/OF Charlie Condon
  • Oregon State 2B Travis Bazzana
  • Florida 1B/LHP Jac Caglianone
  • Texas A&M OF Braden Montgomery
  • Wake Forest 1B Nick Kurtz
  • West Virginia INF JJ Wetherholt
  • Arkansas LHP Hagen Smith
  • Wake Forest RHP Chase Burns

ESPN.com has Condon listed as their No. 1 pick, and The Athletic’s Keith Law has the Guardians going with Bazzana. The prospect site Future Stars Series has Cleveland going with Burns first. There’s still plenty of time, of course—the draft gets going July 14.

Sean Deveney is a veteran sports reporter covering the NBA, NFL and MLB for Heavy.com. He has written for Heavy since 2019 and has more than two decades of experience covering the NBA, including 17 years as the lead NBA reporter for the Sporting News. Deveney is the author of 7 nonfiction books, including “Fun City,” “Before Wrigley became Wrigley,” and “Facing Michael Jordan.” More about Sean Deveney



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