Yankees, Mets Round 1 Breakdown
It was an eventful night for the Capital Region baseball fan on Thursday as the MLB Draft's first round took place at MLB Headquarters.
In a surprise plot twist, Shenendehowa pitcher Ian Anderson shot up the draft board and landed with the Atlanta Braves with the third pick. It's the highest that a Section II product has ever been taken.
With the No. 18 pick, the Yankees took HS outfielder Blake Rutherford and with the No. 19 pick, the Mets took Boston College ace Justin Dunn.
MLB.com's draft profile on Rutherford:
When a player is on the radar for multiple years, there is a danger of prospect fatigue. Rutherford has been a known quantity for a while, playing for USA Baseball's 18U team for two summers in a row, so he has been evaluated more than most high school players.
The left-handed-hitting outfielder from the Southern California high school ranks can do just about everything on a baseball field. Rutherford has the chance to be an above-average hitter with above-average raw power. He'll record average to plus run times, and his speed helps him on the basepaths and in the outfield. Rutherford is a solid defender in the outfield, though most feel he'll move to right field in the future. The good news is his bat should profile just fine if that move does happen.
Rutherford will be 19 when the Draft comes, a year older than most high schoolers, and some evaluators wish they had seen more from him as a result. That shouldn't deter a team in the first round from considering Rutherford's ability to be an everyday player, if not more, at the big league level.
And on Dunn:
At the start of the spring, Dunn was an interesting college reliever with arm strength, albeit one with a four-pitch mix many scouts were intrigued to see as a starter. They got their wish as Dunn became a part of Boston College's weekend rotation in April and saw his Draft stock take off.
Dunn has always had a plus fastball and he maintained it in his early starts, lighting radar guns up to 98-99 mph and sitting in the 92-95 mph range. He utilizes two breaking balls, both of which are Major League average: a three-quarters curve and a solid hard slider. His changeup will also flash average, though he didn't need it much as a reliever. His command is fringy at present, but his outstanding stuff helps make up for it.
Many teams feel Dunn has a very good chance to start as a Yordano Ventura type athletic, yet slightly undersized, right-hander. As a result, he was flying up boards, with some feeling he could be gone by the end of the first round.