Boston Red Sox 2020 first-round pick: Nick Yorke (second baseman)
The Boston Red Sox used the 17th overall pick in the 2020 draft on second baseman Nick Yorke.
Okay, now we're getting to the players that feel almost impossible to grade. Because we're officially at the prospects that are just that, prospects. No one from this point on has reached the Major Leagues yet. And that's not a dig on them. It's far too early for that. We'll try our best, though.
Luckily, the Red Sox have been great at drafting recently. So here's a little spoiler alert for you, these aren't going to be bad grades.
And we're starting off with Nick Yorke, someone that many people thought Boston reached for in the first round. Maybe they could've snatched him up with their next pick, but they didn't seem to want to take that chance.
It also helps that taking Yorke here freed up the money for them to give more to Blaze Jordan later in the draft. Jordan has looked phenomenal in High-A this season. That won't be going into my grade, but it's certainly a nice little bonus.
Yorke has already had a wild ride in the minor leagues. His first year in the system (2021) saw the right-handed hitting second baseman dominate. He slashed .325/.412/.516 with 20 doubles, five triples, and 14 home runs in 97 games (378 ABs) between Single-A and High-A. Yorke drove in 62 runs, scored 76 more, and stole 13 bases. He also walked 52 times compared to 69 strikeouts.
2022 was a tough year for him, though. Yorke spent the year in High-A but only appeared in 80 games due to injuries. Wrist problems hampered him all year, and he slashed .231/.303/.365 with 10 doubles, one triple, and 11 home runs. The walks were down, and the strikeouts were up.
Somewhat surprisingly, Yorke started 2023 in Double-A. He's wasted no time proving that last season was a fluke. The 21-year-old is one of the youngest players in the league. He's had two plate appearances this season against pitchers that are younger than him. His other 160 were against pitchers older than him.
At the time of writing, Yorke is slashing .269/.395/.478 with six doubles, two triples, and six home runs. He's driven in 17 runs, scored 33 more, and stolen five bases. Yorke's already drawn 26 walks. That's just seven less than he had all of last year (33).
It's hard not to love Nick Yorke's game. He brings a professional approach to the plate and isn't afraid to take pitches. However, he'll also jump on something that he likes (he took a 3-0 pitch deep the other day).
Yorke's also an underrated defender who will make all the right plays. There's really not much he doesn't bring to the field with him.
Draft Grade: B+