No. 2: Red Sox second base prospect Nick Yorke
Something that surprised a lot of people back in 2020 was when the Boston Red Sox used their first-round pick (17th overall) on infielder Nick Yorke. The second baseman was good, absolutely – but it seemed like a reach.
One year in, and there is no one left questioning this move. Yorke has been superb. In 2021 he spent time in Low-A and High-A. He appeared in 97 games (378 at-bats) in that time and Yorke only went out and slashed .325/.412/.516 as a 19-year-old. Wild doesn’t even begin to describe it.
The right-handed hitter showed some nice pop too, mashing 20 doubles, five triples, and 14 home runs. He drove in 62 runs and scored 76 more, stealing 13 bases. There was almost nothing to complain about. He’s not going to strikeout much (69 times in 2021) and will draw plenty of walks (52) at the same time. That disciplined at such a young age is so impressive.
What makes these numbers even better though, is the poor start to the year. Heading into a game on May 30, Yorke was hitting .177. So one month in, and he was sub-.200. Even worse, he was struggling a bit defensively with eight errors in that time as well.
Obviously the hitting corrected itself. But he was a whole different animal defensively too. Yorke committed just one error the rest of the way. He has solid range, really good footwork, a good glove, and a great arm for second base (used to play shortstop and could look good there too if needed).
Yorke has the potential to hit .300 with 30ish doubles and 15-plus home runs. He’ll be a great run producer and has enough speed and great base running skills that he could steal 15 bases as well. The ability to limit strikeouts and get on-base makes him a perfect 1-or-2 hitter.
Defensively, he could be well above-average. Not a perennial Gold Glove candidate, but he could be in the race regularly and win one or two.
Overall, the Red Sox hit an absolute home run with this draft pick. Nick Yorke looks to be an incredibly advanced hitter and someone that could be hitting .300 every year. Should be at the top of the order for a long long time. Even more impressively, he might find his way to the Majors within the next two years (with next season being an extremely long shot but possible).