After selecting Anthony Seigler in the First Round of the MLB First-Year Player Draft, the New York Yankees went with a community college player in the Second Round, and they went the catcher route again. With their pick, they selected Josh Breaux from McLennan Community College in Texas.
— Pinstriped Prospects (@PinstripedPros) June 5, 2018
Breaux was selected last year by the Houston Astros in the 36th Round back in 2017. At the JUCO level this season, he hit .404 with 18 home runs and 69 RBIs. Like Seigler, Breaux was also a right-handed pitcher, but he is expected to be a catcher at the professional level. Here is what Baseball America (subscription required) had to say about him when they ranked him the 88th best prospect in the class.
“Breaux is below-average defensively, but he’s shown significant improvement over the past two years. His plus-plus arm serves him well, but he’s a little stiff and has to work on improving his flexibility and receiving. Breaux is a solid athlete and runs well for a catcher (6.8 seconds in the 60-yard dash), giving him an option of playing in the outfield as well.”
While defense isn’t the strong point of his game, he has the power tool in his offensive arsenal. The six-foot-two, 200-pound hitter, has also shown good patience at the plate and that is a plus especially with a young hitter. This season, he had 48 walks compared to 32 strikeouts, and he had four triples. He committed to Arkansas, but as a Second Round pick, it’s tough to see him not decide to go to the pros. Here is a video of him courtesy of Perfect Game Baseball:
Breaux got the chance to take part in the Cape Cod League last year, which is a summer league where wooden bats are used. In 35 games for the Falmouth Commodores, he hit six home runs and drove in 24 runs. The strikeouts were high (33), but he had the second most home runs of any hitter on the roster.
It is a little surprising to see the Yankees go with two catchers with their first two picks. However, it is important to remember that the team does not draft for immediate need and catcher is a position that they needed to address at the lower levels of the organization. They can take their time with Breaux as his game continues to develop.
With the fast speed that Breaux has for a catcher, the Yankees can try him out as a catcher, and if it doesn’t work, they can try to use his strong arm and speed at another position if needed. As he makes the jump from JUCO, it will be something to watch as to whether or not the power will carry over.