Height: 6 – 2
Age: 20 (5/16/96)
Donny Sands signed with the New York Yankees for $100,000 after being selected in the eighth round (243rd overall selection) of the 2015 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Sands, a draft pick out of Salpointe Catholic High School in Arizona, was a shortstop and pitcher. He had committed to be a two way collegiate student athlete at the University of New Mexico if he did not elect to sign with the Yankees.
Sands split time across two minor league levels in 2015. After making his professional debut with the (Rookie) Gulf Coast Yankees 1, he earned a late season promotion to the Class A (Low) Charleston RiverDogs. Sands played in 55 combined games, hitting .309/.395/.361 with 10 doubles, 30 runs scored, 30 runs batted in, and seven stolen bases (12 attempts). Donny’s performance in the Gulf Coast League (GCL) earned him a Postseason All-Star selection. He ranked third among all GCL hitters in on base percentage (.405) and seventh in batting average (.309).
The Oro Valley, Arizona native is currently ranked as the Yankee organization’s 28th best prospect by MLB.com. He has received an initial 55 hit, 45 power, 45 run, 55 arm, and 50 field grade by MLB.com, giving him a 45 overall prospect grade. Along with playing third base, the Yankees have asked Sands to attempt to catch this season.
Sands has tremendous arm strength, footwork and great hands. These tools make him an above average infielder, and a very interesting catching candidate. At the plate, Donny projects very nicely. MLB.com says, “With quick hands and a fluid right-handed swing, Sands has a precocious feel for controlling the barrel. He made consistent line-drive contact while walking more than he struck out in his first taste of pro ball”. Although he did not homer in 2015, he has the potential to hit more than 10 home runs as he continues to develop. His strength, bat speed, quick hands, footwork and overall hitting ability will make him a prospect to continue to watch closely.
He is very highly regarded in the Yankees system as his work ethic, competitiveness, baseball acumen, and tools have really impressed the organization. Yankees Vice President of Domestic Amateur Scouting Damon Oppenheimer and his staff deserve a lot of credit for finding Sands. He went mostly undiscovered by other organizations as a result of his lack of experience in high school showcases.