As for the Yankees, Callis has them selecting Vanderbilt RHP Jordan Sheffield with their first round pick, No. 18 overall. The Yankees were connected to Sheffield in Baseball America’s most recent mock draft as well. These mock drafts aren’t guesswork. They’re a reflection of what Callis and Baseball America (and Keith Law) are hearing. They’re informed speculation. Chances are the Yankees are indeed in on Sheffield. Here’s a piece of MLB.com’s scouting report:
Of all the pitching prospects in the 2016 Draft, Sheffield may have the best chance to develop three plus offerings. His fastball can sit at 94-96 mph and reach 98, and he has maintained his velocity in the late innings of his starts. Both Sheffield’s hard three-quarters breaking ball (which is more likely to become a slider than a curveball) and his circle changeup can be out pitches at times.
Within the write-up Callis seems to indicate the Yankees are targeting a high school arm first and foremost. We’ve heard them connected to California HS RHP Kevin Gowdy more than anyone these last few weeks — here’s my write-up on Gowdy — though he’s far from the only first round caliber prep arm. Last year the Yankees reportedly grabbed RHP James Kaprielian only after all the high school bats they wanted were off the board.
The 2016 draft begins two weeks from Thursday, so at this point teams have their boards pretty well established. They’re now getting their final looks at players and tweaking their preference lists, not overhauling them. It’ll take an injury to change things significantly at this point.