Heading into the 2020 MLB Draft, Nick Yorke was not a name on many people’s radars in the first round.
The second baseman had an advanced plate approach but was projected to be drafted in the second or third round. The Red Sox, however, shocked many when they selected Yorke with the 17th overall pick in the first round. In his first pro season, the 19-year-old is showing why the Red Sox held him in such high regard.
While the season is far from over, Yorke is opening eyes in Salem.
In 45 games this season, Yorke is batting .297. The Archbishop Mitty product has also shown some power as he has 13 extra-base hits, including three home runs. In his first minor league season, Yorke has created offense at the top of the Salem lineup. He has also shown the ability to make adjustments.
Entering May, the former first-round pick was struggling to get on base. In his first 82 at-bats, Yorke was batting .195. Since the calendar flipped to June, he has been a different hitter. The California native has cut down on strikeouts and raised his average by 100 points. In that span, he has also stolen six bags and been a threat on the bases.
Although Yorke’s early selection drew some criticism, his talent has been on full display.
Nick Yorke has been FLOURISHING since he moved up to the leadoff spot in Salem. pic.twitter.com/nwn6NCgS9u
— Brendan Campbell (@brendan_camp) July 7, 2021
As Yorke has grown more comfortable in the minors, he has been a hitting machine. In five games this month, he has 11 hits in 21 at-bats. The Red Sox’ No. 8 prospect has only gone hitless in one of those games and has four RBI. While he isn’t expected to arrive in the majors until 2024, his bat is living up to expectations. Since being moved to the leadoff spot, he has truly flourished.
Expectations for Yorke
Although Yorke is still a few years away from the majors, his progress will be closely watched this season. In Salem, he has been able to build on his success from Spring Training. His plate approach has translated well to the minors, and he has started to show some power. He has also been solid defensively and is making an impact seemingly every night. Despite being just a year out of high school, Yorke has adjusted to the increased pressure.
As Chaim Bloom continues to build a consistent winner, Yorke will be a player to keep an eye on. Through the first three months of the season, he has shown why the Red Sox see him as a crucial part of their future infield.
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