The Red Sox caught a lot of flack when they took Nick Yorke in the first round of the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft.
Perhaps someday that criticism will prove warranted. At this point, however, Yorke is doing all he can to prove that Chaim Bloom and Co. knew what they were doing.
The 19-year-old second baseman, who didn’t play professionally last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, hit just .195 with zero homers in May while striking out 21 times over 21 games for the low-A Salem Red Sox. Since then, Yorke has hit .369 with six homers and a 1.039 OPS while striking out just 22 times over 44 games.
He stayed red-hot Sunday night, going 3-for-4 with a pair of home runs and a walk.
The Newport Beach, Calif., native is hitting .312 with six homers and an .861 OPS on the season, and his strikeout rate is down to 15 percent.
Those who follow the Red Sox farm system the closest have noticed Yorke’s impressive performance. He entered the season ranked outside the top 10 on most system prospect rankings but now ranks eighth on SoxProspects.com, MLB Pipeline and Baseball America.
So, what’s next for Yorke? Well, a promotion to the High-A Greenville Drive could be in the cards.
Cameron Cannon, a second-round pick in 2019, seemingly is headed for Double-A Portland. His promotion would open up a spot at second base in Greenville.
Yorke has proven capable of handling Low-A pitching. So, the Red Sox would be wise in exposing him to more advanced arms before the minor league season ends.
As for his path to the big leagues, Yorke still has a long way to go, and many evaluators identify his defense as an area that needs great improvement. Nevertheless, Yorke is yet another prospect in Boston’s resurgent farm system that is generating considerable buzz.
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