Yanks add promising talent in Hauver, Way
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Yankees continued to seek high-ceiling talent as the MLB Draft extended into its second and final day on Thursday, beginning with their selection of Arizona State University second baseman Trevor Hauver in the third round (99th overall).
A left-handed-hitting 21-year-old, Hauver batted .339/.494/.695 with six doubles, five home runs and 20 RBIs in 17 games during his junior season with the Sun Devils, which was cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Hauver, who was previously selected by the Royals in the 37th round of the 2017 Draft, played shortstop at Perry (Ariz.) High School. He played mostly outfield during his college career, due in large part to a stacked Arizona State roster that included talented infielders in No. 1 overall pick Spencer Torkelson and Alika Williams, the Rays’ selection at No. 37 overall.
It appears that the Yankees plan to give Hauver an opportunity to return to the infield. The 99th pick carries an assigned slot value of $587,400.
MLB Pipeline rated the 6-foot, 205-pound Hauver as the No. 130 prospect in this year’s Draft, with its accompanying scouting report drawing a comparison between Hauver and big league veteran Daniel Murphy. Hauver batted .339/.433/.574 with 13 homers and 50 RBIs in 57 games as a sophomore in 2019.
With their third and final selection of the 2020 Draft, the Yankees tabbed right-hander Beck Way from Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, Fla., making him the 129th overall selection. That fourth-round pick carries a slot value of $438,700.
The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Way was rated as MLB Pipeline’s No. 95 Draft prospect, having seen his stock rise following a strong showing as a reliever in the Cape Cod League last summer. He opened more eyes as a starter this spring, his first season on the new campus after transferring from Belmont Abbey (N.C.) College.
In an abbreviated season, Way made seven appearances (six starts), posting a 5-0 record with two complete games and a 0.67 ERA. In 40 innings, Way allowed just 17 hits while permitting five runs (three earned), issuing nine walks against 58 strikeouts and holding opponents to a .126 batting average.
“I love this game, and I’ve desired it since I was 5 years old,” Way told SiriusXM’s MLB Network Radio last month. “I always knew that I wanted to do something really great. For me, my whole career was all about my potential.”
A product of Mechanicsburg, Pa., Way typically throws his fastball in the 91-95 mph range, featuring a slider in the low 80s and a changeup that sits in the mid 80s. That repertoire suggests that Way -- who had committed to Louisiana State University -- could project as an effective starter or eventually transition into the bullpen with his fastball-slider combination.
"He threw hard [in high school], but when he was with me, he was 160 pounds soaking wet,” Way’s coach at Cumberland Valley (Pa.) High School, Levi Mumma, told The Sentinel. “He was skin and bones. We had always said, always, 'When this 18-year-old boy turns into a 20-something-year-old man, he’s gonna be something else.'"
The selections of Hauver and Way followed the Yankees’ lone choice on Day 1, when they used the 28th overall pick on slugging catcher Austin Wells from the University of Arizona. The club forfeited its second- and fifth-round picks as compensation for signing free-agent right-hander Gerrit Cole.
It was the second time in three years that the Yankees have called Wells’ name, envisioning his left-handed stroke as a natural fit for success in Yankee Stadium.
"I'm a catcher, and I want to be a catcher,” Wells said on Thursday. “I know I'm definitely willing to do whatever it takes to get to the big leagues. So if that's at another position, then I'll just hit home runs at Yankee Stadium and play wherever they need me to."