You read that right. The Yankees selected 3B/OF Dante Bichette Jr. (son of former Major League Dante Bichette) with the 51st pick of the MLB Draft. Bichette smacked 10 home runs and drove in 40 RBIs as a senior at Orangewood Christian. Bichette is a two-time All Central Florida Player of the Year. Some may remember Bichette from his Little League World Series days back in 2005. Scouts are a little divided on his long-term potential, but here are some initial thoughts.

A Young DBJ in the LLWS

 

It’s always difficult to project an 18-year-old infielder that projects long-term as a corner outfielder. Bichette is rated as a plus hitter and an average defender with a plus arm. Baseball America had this to say about Bichette..

The younger Bichette is a high school infielder, but his profile will wind up being that of a power-hitting left fielder. He lacks fluidity defensively, and his best tool when he’s not in the batter’s box is his throwing arm. Offense is his calling card, and he’s a cage rat who often can be found taking extra rounds of batting practice. Bichette has had a lot of movement in his swing but has toned down a bit this season while still producing big power and plenty of bat speed. He has as much raw power as any prep player in Florida and runs well enough to be a corner outfielder if he can’t stay in the infield. He’s committed to Georgia.

Overall, a positive report from one of the most reputable scouting sources. ESPN’s Keith Law doesn’t seem to agree with BA, though..

Bichette has the name and very big raw power to match it, but he bails out badly at the plate with an all-or-nothing approach, swinging uphill to try to jerk the ball out to his pull side. He’s limited to an outfield corner and has to show he can shorten up and make contact to profile as an everyday player

**It’s also worth noting that Law did not have Bichette ranked in his Top 100 prospects.

So as you can see, both publications are ┬ásplit on Bichette’s long-term potential and rightfully so. He was the 51st pick in the draft and players drafted outside of the Top 10 are usually upside talents. In Bichette’s case, the bat will be something to watch as he fills out while the glove work will hopefully come in time. At 18-years-old, the upside is there and he has the pedigree to be a Major League player.

Side Notes: The Yankees original first round pick (#31 Overall) was surrendered to the Tampa Bay Rays as part of the Rafael Soriano signing. The Rays used the pick to land LSU outfielder, Mikie Mahtook. Tampa Bay had 10 picks (!!) in the first round and supplement round. The Yankees added the 51st pick as compensation for Javier Vazquez.

UCLA RHP Gerrit Cole went #1 overall to the Pittsburgh Pirates. As a high schooler, Cole was selected by the Yankees with the 10th pick of the 2008 MLB Draft. Cole told all interested teams that he was going to UCLA, but the Yankees offered the flame throwing righty $4 million to join their organization. Cole declined, attended UCLA, and became this year’s #1 pick. Had he signed with the Bombers, there’s no doubt he’d be the team’s #1 prospect, even ahead of Jesus Montero.