10 things to know about Yankees' top pick

June 11th, 2020

Here are 10 facts you should know about catcher Austin Wells, whom the Yankees selected with the 28th overall pick in the 2020 Draft on Wednesday night.

• Wells became the first first-round Draft pick out of the University of Arizona since in 2015 (taken 19th overall by the Pirates). Arizona has now produced 12 first-round picks in the history of the June amateur Draft, including current Indians manager Terry Francona in 1980 (taken 22nd overall by the Expos). The earliest an Arizona product has been selected is ninth overall, as Eddie Leon was chosen by the Twins with the ninth pick in 1965, though he didn't sign.

• Before attending Arizona, Wells was a baseball star at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. The school has produced 10 Major Leaguers, including 1995 American League Rookie of the Year Marty Cordova and Rangers outfielder .

• Wells was previously selected in the 35th round of the 2018 Draft by the Yankees, but he honored his commitment to Arizona.

• Wells’ parents were both athletes at the University of Arizona, as his father played baseball while his mother was a gymnast.

• Wells didn’t take long to adjust to the collegiate level. In fact, he homered in his very first trip to the plate with Arizona.

• Wells was named the Pac-12 Conference Freshman of the Year in 2019, after hitting .353/.462/.552 in 56 games. He started every game for the Wildcats, becoming the first freshman to do so since Newman in 2013.

• Prior to his sophomore season, Wells was included on the Buster Posey Award watch list along with some of the other top catchers in the nation. Adley Rutschman, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 Draft, and Joey Bart, who went second overall in ’18, were the last two recipients of the award, which won’t be handed out this year, after the season was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. Wells was building a strong case for the honor before then, slashing .375/.527/.589 with two homers, six doubles and 17 walks over his first 15 games.

• For his strong showing as a sophomore, Wells was selected to the All-American second team by the "Collegiate Baseball" publication.

• According to MLB Pipeline, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Wells can generate power to all fields with his simple, left-handed stroke. The catcher also draws a lot of walks, counterbalancing his propensity to strike out.

• While Wells’ bat could carry him to the Majors, it’s questionable whether he will remain behind the plate on a long-term basis. Per MLB Pipeline, he’s an adequate defender, but his throws are inconsistent. He could end up moving to first base or left field, a la , who was initially a catcher when the Cubs picked him fourth overall in 2014.