No. 6: Red Sox second base Nick Yorke
2022 was a down year for Nick Yorke, as the prospect was dealing with a number of injuries – mainly a wrist problem. This caused him to sporadically miss time. Even when he was in the lineup, it was clear he wasn’t at 100%.
Due to that, the numbers took a big dip. The right-handed hitter slashed .231/.303/.365 with 10 doubles, one triple, and 11 home runs in High-A. He drove in 45 runs, scored 48 more, and stole eight bases as well. Yorke could never get a lot of momentum rolling though and only appeared in 80 games.
Even with the injuries, there is a lot to love. The offense should be fine. He looked like an absolute stud in 2021 and had quite a few great stretches in 2022 as well. His lack of consistent playing time due to injury hampered his ability to get into a groove, however. Still, the pieces are there. He can hit for contact and draws a decent amount of walks. Good gap power with some pop. Could be a high-average hitter that manages 15 home runs.
Speed isn’t a huge factor in his game, but Yorke isn’t slow. He’ll leg out a lot of extra-base hits, and can get around the bases to score some runs. Stealing somewhere in the 10-to-20 range bases a year is a definite possibility as well.
The biggest surprise with Yorke has been his defense. He was definitely seen as a more offensive-minded prospect when he was first drafted in 2020. That looked to be the case when he recorded eight errors in the first 14 games (122 innings) of his career at second base.
Since then, however, Yorke has committed just two errors over his next 139 games (1,213 innings) at the position.
Yorke has shown an incredibly reliable glove. He has good footwork and soft hands. He will make all the routine plays while flashing highlight reel abilities on plenty of occasions as well. Not a crazy arm, but it’s more than strong enough for second base as well as very accurate.
The Red Sox prospect will spend the entire 2023 season as a 21-year-old. That’s also important to remember. For most of the year not only was he dealing with injuries, but with older pitchers who had more experience than him. There’s no reason to be too worried, 2023 could be a major bounce-back year for Nick Yorke.