With their fourth-round selection (#127 overall) in the 2018 MLB Draft, the New York Yankees have taken College Right-Handed Pitcher Frank German. He is a junior at the University of North Florida. German is a two-time Atlantic Sun Conference First-Team player. This prospect was never previously drafted.
German has a mid-90s fastball, an above average slurvy breaking ball, and a circle change with some late life. The approach was productive this season, as this prospect pitched to an 8-3 record, with a 1.58 ERA. According to the University of North Florida Athletic page, German:
“had 11 outings with one earned run allowed or fewer including three with 0 earned runs allowed.”
North Florida has never had a pitcher taken in the top five rounds of the Draft, with only outfielders Todd Dunn and Donnie Dewees going that early. German, who began the year as the Ospreys’ Tuesday starter but worked his way to being their Friday night ace en route to being a Golden Spikes Award semifinalist, has the chance to become the first.
German has a solid three-pitch mix that points to a future as a starting pitcher at the next level. He’ll throw his fastball in the 90-94 mph range and maintains his velocity, able to reach back for that 94 late in starts when he needs it. His breaking ball is close to a 12-to-6 curve with late and sharp break to it and he throws an effective mid-80s circle change that has the bottom fall out of it. He commands all three pitches well and has thrown a lot more strikes, while missing more bats, this year compared to his sophomore season.
German has a limited ceiling, that of a No. 4 or 5 starter. But his performance in his Draft season has had more than GSA voters take notice, giving him a good chance to become the first North Florida pitcher to go in the top six rounds since the Tigers took Tyler Stohr in 2008.
The trend from the 2017 MLB Draft was that the Yankees like taking experienced righty college arms. This pick continues with this path and shows that the Yankees should know how to develop this type of talent.