The Red Sox selected Nick Yorke, a second baseman out of Archbishop Mitty High School (San Jose, Calif.), with the 17th overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft.
— Red Sox (@RedSox) June 11, 2020
Yorke said he was at baseball practice an hour and a half away from home when he got the call that he was selected.
“The Red Sox have always been on the radar,” Yorke said on a call with media Wednesday night. “When the phone call came, it was a nice surprise.”
Yorke is expected to sign with the team for less than the recommended value of $3.61 million, per The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier.
An industry source confirms what Nick Yorke alluded to in his conference call: He is expected to sign with the Sox for less than the recommended No 17 slot of $3.61M.
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) June 11, 2020
MLB Pipeline ranked Yorke No. 139 in their Top 200 draft prospects, and Baseball America tabbed him as a Top 10 sleeper pick.
“Personally, I feel like I was a first-rounder,” he said Wednesday. “I know a lot of rankings and sites didn’t have me there, but personally, I’m more of a blue-collar, put your head down and go to work kind of guy.
“I didn’t go out and do all the Perfect Game things that a lot of guys get ranked on, so it was kind of just wherever I played ball, I played my hardest and the Red Sox fortunately saw me in one of those times.”
Yorke said he first connected with the Red Sox during his sophomore year of high school, and Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom feels the existing relationship will help sign the 18-year-old, who is committed to the University of Arizona.
“We feel that if the spring had gotten to play out the way that it would in a normal year, the public perception of him would have been a lot different,” Bloom said on a call with media Wednesday night.
“Our scouting staff, I give a lot of credit for getting to know Nick really well and having a long-standing relationship with him, and so I think that this spring didn’t affect our perception of him as much as it would have otherwise.”
The 6-foot, 200 pound right-hander closed out his high school career batting .457 with 134 hits, 100 runs, and 77 RBIs through 94 games. Last June, he helped his Zoots Baseball club team clinch the USA Baseball West National Championship, earning Player of the Day honors after going 3-for-3 with a home run, three RBIs, and three runs in the semifinal game.
With the early end of baseball, we want to honor senior Nick Yorke. In his four years on varsity, Nick batted .457 on 134 hits, 100 runs & 77 RBI’s in 94 games. Nick was @WCALSports player of the year as a soph. Can’t wait to see him compete at the next level. #AlwaysAMonarch pic.twitter.com/feICVHGXhu
— AMHS Athletics (@AMHSAthletics) April 4, 2020
“He’s just a really advanced hitter for the high school age,” said Red Sox director of amateur scouting Paul Toboni. “We see developing power with him, too, and the fact that he plays on the middle of the infield. You group all of those things together and really, that’s what made us like him so much.”
Yorke played shortstop in the first half of his high school career, but shoulder surgery – which Toboni said the team is not concerned about – forced him to become the designated hitter last season, batting .505 with 40 RBIs.
Ryan Ozella, a former scout for Prep Baseball Report who runs a baseball consulting business, praised Yorke’s mentality and versatility in an interview with The Athletic.
“Doesn’t matter if the guy is throwing 75-80 miles an hour or the guy is throwing 100 miles an hour, he’s always on it and ready to hit,” Ozella said.
“If teams had seen him all season, people would probably be talking about him as a comp round type of player. A lot of upside. He can play shortstop, he can play second base. He can play center field. He can play wherever you need him.”
Toboni cited Yorke’s personality as a reason the team chose to select him with their first top-20 pick since 2016.
“From a maturity standpoint and from a makeup standpoint, he was one of our favorite kids in the draft as well,” Toboni said. “We spent a lot of time getting to know him and his family, and the more time we spent around him, the more comfortable we got with him.”
According to Baseball America’s Matt Eddy, Yorke is the first high school second baseman to be drafted in the first round since 2009.