With two picks in the First Round of next month’s MLB First-Year Player Draft, the New York Yankees can go a variety of different directions with how they improve their organizational depth. In our past profiles, we have a looked at high school/prep school options with the 30th pick. This week, we look at a possible option with the 38th pick courtesy of 2080 Baseball.
2080 Baseball did their first mock draft of all 41 selections for Round 1 and the Competitive Balance picks. They have the Yankees taking a left-handed college starter with the 38th pick. That selection would be John Doxakis from Texas A&M University. Here is what they had to say about the choice:
“The Yankees follow their prep arm first-round selection with a steady college lefty capable of consistently working deep into games with a quality three-pitch arsenal at his disposal. The A&M pairs a low-90s fastball with a potential plus low-80s that works well as both a freeze pitch and swing-and-miss offering.”
For an organization that is looking for more left-handed pitching, Doxakis would address a need for sure. The six-foot-four junior is having a strong 2019 season for the Aggies in the SEC. Over the course of his first ten starts, he is 5-2 with a 1.81 ERA and has 77 strikeouts to 14 walks in 69.2 innings of work.
In a competitive SEC, Doxakis is third in the conference in ERA, fourth in innings pitched, and he was tied for eighth in strikeouts. Here is some video of his March 1 outing against Baylor courtesy of Perfect Game Baseball:
Doxakis has a fastball, changeup, and slider in his arsenal with the slider being his signature go-to pitch. That pitch has been key in some of his starts this year. He has struck out 12 batters twice this year and has five outings of eight strikeouts or more. One interesting thing you will notice is he has a quick delivery, which could be deceptive for opposing hitters and make it tougher for them to figure out what pitch is coming.
This year is the first season that Doxakis has been primarily a starter and he has proven to be very durable in his role. He has pitched six innings or more in six starts. If you stretch that sample size over to last year, that number goes up to 18. True, the Yankees would most likely be cautious with him out of the gate in professional baseball, but anytime you can add someone that can eat innings consistently, you take it.
The claim to fame for Doxakis came in May 2018 when he beat Auburn in the SEC Tournament. The significance of that win was that he outdueled Casey Mize, who ended up being the top pick in the draft by the Detroit Tigers. He struck out ten batters while giving up only one run on two hits and walking one batter over 7.2 innings.
If the Yankees were to draft Doxakis, it would be the 12th time that the team has selected someone from Texas A&M and the first pitcher selected since Adam Smith in the 25th Round back in 2011. In total, seven pitchers have been selected in Round 1 from the Aggies program (according to Baseball Reference) with a notable one being Michael Wacha by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2012.
If the Yankees wanted to take a chance with the 38th pick on a college arm, Doxakis might be the right choice because of his consistent production against tough competition in the SEC. They did it in 2017 when they took South Carolina right-hander Clarke Schmidt. Will they do it again two years later?