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(Photo by Matt Mattino - University of Arizona Athletics)

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Who is Austin Wells, Yankees First-Round Pick?

What does the University of Arizona product and 28th overall MLB Draft selection bring to the table?

For the second time in three years, the New York Yankees decided to go with a backstop as their first-round selection. They took Austin Wells out of the University of Arizona with their 28th overall draft pick in the 2020 MLB Draft on Wednesday. Wells, who was primarily a catcher in college, hit .375 with two home runs in his pandemic shortened sophomore season in 2020. Overall in his college career, he hit .357 with seven home runs.

A native of Las Vegas, NV, Wells was drafted by the Yankees back in 2018 out of high school but elected to go to college instead. It is assumed that Wells will ink a deal, but he has leverage in contract negotiations since he has three years of NCAA eligibility left.

Recent rumors and future roster openings point to Wells playing a corner outfield spot in professional baseball. He has been compared to Cubs’ Kyle Shwarber, a lefty power-hitting former catcher who has transitioned to a role in the outfield. Wells’ defensive skills have not been as impressive as his offense, which is one of the reasons why he is rumored not to stick at catcher.

Austin Wells has already proved his ability to move around the diamond. While playing for Yarmouth-Dennis in the prestigious Cape Cod League in 2019, he spent time at all three outfield positions, as well as first base and catcher.

Wells, a left-handed hitter, is a rarity as a catcher who consistently gets on base while also hitting for average and showing some power with the bat. In both of his seasons at Arizona, he walked more than he struck out. He also features speed on the base paths. In the Cape Cod League in 2019, he stole eight bases without getting thrown out.

The future looks bright for Wells, and his left-handed swing will play very well with the short porch at Yankee Stadium, making this draft pick look like a win for New York.

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Eli Fishman is a 16-year old college and minor league baseball writer for Double G Sports. He writes about MLB and MLB Draft prospects. Eli has experience broadcasting college baseball and has his own website and YouTube channel where he interviews professional baseball players.
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