While Blake Rutherford and Nick Solak took the headlines from the 2016 First-Year-Player Draft, there are a few prospects that could make prospect watchers happy. We take a look at five 2016 draftees that you should know for the 2017 season.
Alvarez, 22, was not a heralded draft pick last year, but he put together one of the most impressive debuts out of all the recent draftees.
In 13 games with the Staten Island Yankees, he hit .339/.364/.407 with 11 RBIs and four doubles. He demonstrated an above-average ability to field at the hot corner and quickly earned himself a promotion to Class-A Charleston. With the RiverDogs, he hit .274/.289/.404 over 53 games with 12 doubles, five home runs and 29 RBIs. While not overly flashy, Mandy has some of the best overall ability out of players drafted last year. He will get a shot to man the hot corner this season with the Tampa Yankees.
Now if you want to talk about impressive professional debuts, you have to talk about outfielder Timmy Robinson.
The 22-year-old out of Southern California displayed great range in the outfield for the Staten Island Yankees, and while he hit just .265/.343/.483 over 63 games, it was RBI numbers that stood out. With 52 RBIs, Robinson led, not just the team, but the entire New York-Penn League in runs batted in. He also was tied for second place in doubles with 18, had four triples and hit eight home runs.
Nick Nelson was the Yankees fourth-round pick last year out of Gulf Coast Community College.
The 21-year-old went on to make his professional debut in the Appalachian League with the Pulaski Yankees. Nelson earned a 0-3 record with a 3.38 ERA over ten starts, throwing 21 1/3 innings and striking out 19 batters. He limited opposing batters to just a .200 batting average against. Nelson is a guy that can get it up to 96 mph with his fastball, but mostly sits in the low-mid 90s at times; he complements it with a curveball that can easily keep batters off-balance.
Dom Thompson-Williams was drafted out of South Carolina University in the fifth round of the 2016 draft and was immediately assigned to the Staten Island Yankees after signing.
With Staten Island, he hit .246/.348/.344 over 56 games for the Baby Bombers hitting eight doubles, one triple, and three home runs while driving in 16 runs. He moved around the batting order but found a home at the top of the order leading off the game for Staten Island in 25 games.
Blaser, 23, started off hot with the Staten Island Yankees after being drafted in the eighth round of the 2016 draft but he cooled down as the season went on.
He hit .297/.335/.405 over the first 10 games of the season in June, but in the month of July, he hit just .162/.276/.203 in 22 games that month. He ended the season hitting .223/.316/.287 in 55 games in his first professional season. His hot start showed he could hit and hit for pop, but he needs to find the consistency to keep it going for a full season.