Yanks go for college talent on Draft Day 2

July 18th, 2022

NEW YORK -- After selecting 6-foot-7 Vanderbilt outfielder Spencer Jones and Cal Poly ace right-hander Drew Thorpe on the first day of the MLB Draft, Yankees vice president and director of amateur scouting Damon Oppenheimer remained busy during Monday’s Day 2, scouring the prep and collegiate ranks to fit the best available talent for pinstripes.

The Yankees’ present has been exciting to watch, with a Major League-most six All-Stars converging upon Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium for the Midsummer Classic festivities, and Oppenheimer’s goal is to make the future even brighter. Rounds 3 through 10 of the MLB Draft project to have imported considerable talent into the Yankees organization.

Round 3: Trystan Vreiling, RHP, Gonzaga University (100th overall)
Notable skill: The 6-foot-4 Vreiling has a legitimate four-pitch mix. He’ll throw his fastball anywhere in the 91-95 mph range, playing up because he can command it to all four quadrants of the strike zone. He throws both a curve and a slider, with some scouts preferring the former, a low 80s breaker with down action that has power and command at times. His mid-80s slider has cutter action, and his changeup is a weapon, thrown with excellent arm speed and deception.

Fun fact: Vrieling was a two-time WCC Pitcher of the Week and Second-Team All-WCC honoree in 2022, a season that saw him finish in the nation’s top 40 in strikeouts (107).

Quotable: “I like to be one or two pitches ahead of the batter, not just living in the moment.” -- Vreiling, to KREM

Round 4: Anthony Hall, OF, University of Oregon (130th overall)
Notable skill:
A left-handed-hitting and -throwing outfielder, Hall has a chance to be an impact bat. There’s some juice in his swing with plus raw power, especially to the pull side, and he has shown the ability to hit the ball the other way too. His approach improved in the Cape Cod League, where he took more pitches and used the whole field more consistently.

Fun fact: Hall attended Point Loma High in San Diego, the alma mater of a pair of Yankees perfect game artists -- Don Larsen and David Wells.

Quotable: “It’s just [about] pace and having quality ABs, and hunting patiently for the pitch.” -- Hall, to Oregon News

Round 5: Eric Reyzelman, RHP, LSU (160th overall)
Notable skill: The 6-foot-2 Reyzelman is a flamethrowing reliever, daring opponents to catch up with a mid-90s fastball that has touched 99 mph. Reyzelman was second on LSU’s pitching staff with 29 appearances, posting a 4.04 ERA over 42 1/3 innings, striking out 66 batters against 18 walks.

Fun fact: Reyzelman is the son of a pair of Jewish immigrants who fled the former Soviet Union. He was twice cut from the baseball team at De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif., and underwent Tommy John surgery in March 2020. Reyzelman transferred to LSU before the 2022 season from the University of San Francisco.

Quotable: “Had I not gone what I went through in high school, I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am. I think that I needed to be told no, and I guess one year wasn’t enough. I needed it multiple [times] for the switch to finally flip in my head to say that I needed to make a change.” -- Reyzelman, to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Round 6: Chase Hampton, RHP, Texas Tech (190th overall)
Notable skill: Hampton showcased a 92-96 mph fastball and an 84-87 mph slider in a 12-strikeout performance on June 3 vs. Notre Dame, potentially capping his collegiate career. Hampton was 5-4 with a 4.29 ERA in 15 games (11 starts) this season, striking out 72 against 28 walks while permitting 51 hits in 56 2/3 innings.

Fun fact: If Hampton opts to begin his professional career, he finished college strong. Hampton struck out 37 batters with a 1.66 ERA over his last four appearances, spanning 21 1/3 innings.

Quotable: “My competitiveness is my biggest strength. I like to go after guys, no matter who’s up there at the plate. I like to get them in the box and out of the box as fast as possible.” -- Hampton, to Baseball Prospect Journal

Round 7: Cam Schlittler, RHP, Northeastern (220th overall)
Notable skill: The 6-foot-6 Schlittler generates solid power with a fastball that sits in the low 90s and occasionally touches 95 mph. Scouts have said they’d like to see him refine his other pitches, a slider, changeup and curveball. He was the CAA Pitcher of the Week for this past March 7, a season in which he was 5-8 with a 3.44 ERA in 15 starts.

Fun fact: Schittler’s 1.88 ERA in 2021 was the best in the CAA, helping earn him selection to the Collegiate Baseball Preseason All-America second team. Schlittler’s father, John, is the chief of police in Needham, Mass.

Quotable: “I was probably 9 or so when I started playing. It was something I loved doing right away. I could see myself pitching when I got older.” -- Schlittler, to the Boston Herald

Round 8: Brett Barrera, SS, Stanford (250th overall)
Notable skill: Barrera swings a potent bat, having posted a .351/.394/.575 slash line in 63 games this past season at Stanford. He has above-average power, collecting 19 doubles, three triples and 11 home runs, with 53 RBIs.

Fun fact: Barrera made the Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll as a sophomore in 2021 and was a four-year member of the Principal’s Honor Roll at Huntington Beach (Calif.) High.

Quotable: “We never check our stats. Stats aren’t something we’re chasing. We’re just trying to win. It’s easy to hit when you’re winning.” -- Barrera, to PAC-12 Network

Round 9: Matt Keating, RHP, USC (280th overall)
Notable skill: Keating arrived at USC as a two-way player, envisioned as a back-end reliever who would compete immediately for a late-inning role. In 24 appearances this past year, Keating was 2-3 with a 3.60 ERA. He permitted 24 hits in 30 innings, walking 15 against 44 strikeouts.

Fun fact: Keating played two varsity seasons at Creighton Prep in Omaha, Neb., where he also competed in football and powerlifting. He entered the transfer portal to UNC in July.

Quotable: “[Keating] has been our guy all year coming out of the ‘pen. He’s shut down really good teams.” -- USC head coach Jason Gill, to the Daily Trojan

Round 10: Will Brian, LHP, Eastern Kentucky (310th overall)
Notable skill: Brian recovered after a frightening seizure in the Colonels’ locker room on Nov. 19, 2021 to stand among the NCAA’s best relievers this past season, going 3-1 with a 1.83 ERA and 15 saves in 31 appearances. In 39 1/3 innings, Brian permitted just 16 hits while walking 14 and striking out 53.

Fun fact: He was named a first-team All-American by NCBWA, third-team All-American by ABCA and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. Brian’s 15 saves this past season established a new school record.

Quotable: “We were in the locker room, just hanging out, talking about our new gloves. Everything is kind of a blur. The next thing I know, I wake up and there’s people around me. Then I wake up in an ambulance, nurses telling me that I had a seizure. … I have great teammates, I have a great wife, great coaches. Everything is falling into place for a reason.” -- Brian, discussing his seizure with the Lexington Herald Leader