Draft Buzz: Yanks Eye Two Prep Stars

Of course it's impossible to project just who will be on the board for teams who make their first picks further down in the draft, but quite often clubs will set their sights on players they are confident will still be in the mix. Teams like the Yankees have done this in the past, and according to multiple industry sources may be focusing their efforts on a couple prep players already.

The Yankees' follow list for their top pick at 51st overall clearly consists of more than just two players, but two players that we now know are near the top of that list are Jake Cave and Tyler Goeddel. Cave is a lefty throwing two-way star out of Kecoughtan High School in Virginia. Goeddel is the brother of Erik Goeddel and is a 3B/OF out of St. Francis High School in California.

Word is the Yankees have had a heavy contingent of scouts, including Damon Oppenheimer, in to see Cave consistently throughout the spring. The same goes for Goeddel. Both of these players will also likely workout for the Yankees around the beginning of June.

The question is, however, how right are these players for pick number 51 in the draft. According to my board, they fit just about right in that spot. Out of the two, I have Cave ranked higher. He's a two-way star, as mentioned above, and it's unclear how most teams view him, including the Yankees. He has a short, crisp left-handed swing and produces a lot of loft to right-center field. There's not much effort involved. He does pull off at times and he has a little added movement in his setup that could be cut down. As impressive as his batting practice is with his easy pull power, I've seen him do a lot of damage in game action as well against superior pitching.

At 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, Cave is an excellent athlete with plus speed. Though, whether he can play center field remains to be seen. But, he is going to bring left-handed and good overall athleticism. That is unless you want him on the mound, where he is equally impressive. Cave was at his best at AFLAC where he worked at 90-93 mph, and showed a feel for a 79-81 mph changeup. Mechanically he's a little crude, but he's around the plate and has plenty of fastball life. In other words, he's probably more of a finished product as an outfielder with a plus arm, plus speed and easy left-handed power, but his ability on the mound is also clearly top couple round caliber. According to sources, Cave is looking for $1-1.5 million to sign.

And, then there's Tyler Goeddel. Also a player I've gotten a number of looks at, Goeddel has a lot of projection involved. Standing at 6-foot-4, 175 pounds Goeddel is a long, lean and has a lot of room to grow. And, already he is showing the makings of being able to drive the ball a long way. He uses his hands exceptionally well and stays inside the ball nicely in order to hit toward the middle of the field. Goeddel is good athlete with better than average wheels. He's pretty advanced mechanically at the plate, and the only thing scouts are really waiting for is some added strength. And, his position, whether he is a third baseman or corner outfielder long term, remains to be seen as well.

When draft day arrives, who the Yankees select will no doubt depend on who is on the board. But, these two players are undoubtedly near the top of their wish list. And, both of them have the type of upside to warrant a selection at pick 51.

Other Notes

- Danny Hultzen is telling teams outside of the top five picks that he will not be talking with them. So, at this point, it's safe to say he's lock in the top few picks.

- High school shortstop, Johnny Eierman, is being linked heavily to the Kansas City Royals with KC's second pick at 65. He's a two sport athlete, and lives relatively close to the Kansas City area.

- Bubba Starling's asking price has been speculated about quite a bit. Recent rumors from industry sources are now saying Starling is going to request well north of $5 million.

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