Red Sox second base protégé – Nick Yorke
Nick Yorke was Boston’s first-round pick in 2020. The best thing a lot of people were saying about him at the time was that the Red Sox were able to sign him for cheaper than slot value, which allowed them to sign Blaze Jordan in the third-round.
Other than that, a lot of people weren’t too thrilled though. It took Yorke exactly one season to go from underwhelming in many people’s eyes to a “can’t miss prospect”.
How did he do it? By slashing .325/.412/.516 with 20 doubles, five triples, and 14 home runs in 97 games (378 at-bats) between Low-A and High-A in 2021. The right-handed hitter drove in 62 runs and scored 76 more, stealing 13 bases. He struck out 69 times, and drew an impressive 52 walks.
The 19-year-old (will turn 20 on April 2nd) was so incredibly mature at the plate. I would say “for his age”, but for anyone he looked great.
Yorke has it all. He’s going to hit for average, and his eye will give him some sky-high OBPs. Meanwhile, he has pretty decent pop. Expect a lot of extra-base hits and potentially over 20 homers a year. There’s not elite speed, but there’s more-than-enough for him to steal 15-20 bases as well.
Oh, and the defense took massive leaps during the season. The second baseman committed eight errors in the first month of the season. He committed just one error the rest of the season though. And suddenly it went from looking like a potential issue, to Yorke looking like he might turn into a Gold Glove type second baseman.
Pedroia leaves behind a massive legacy. Yorke has the talent and potential to fill it perfectly though. Let’s see if he can be a “heart-and-soul” of a team too.