In his latest 2011 MLB Mock Draft, John Sickels of SB Nation’s Minor League Ball — one of the most astute minor-league experts in the business — has selected high school outfielder Williams Jerez for the New York Yankees with the 51st pick. The Yankees do not have a regular first-round pick, with the 51st selection being compensation for the free-agent loss of Javier Vazquez.
Jerez is a local product from Brooklyn High School. Of Jerez, Sickels writes: “I had another local product, New Jersey prep Kevin Comer, here in the last mock, but Jerez’s stock is rising and he’s linked with the Yankees.”
Here is a scouting report on Jerez:
Jerez certainly passes the eye test. He’s fantastic athlete and a big kid at 6-foot-4 and 190 lbs., showing off all five tools. Power is his weakest tool at the moment, but the lefty swinger gets good leverage in his hacks and projects to have average pop down the road. Jerez has good foot speed that he uses both in the field and on the bases, and his arm is strong and accurate. How much he fills out and slows down as he gets older will determine if he can remain in center field long term. There is definitely some rawness to Jerez’s game, especially since he hasn’t faced the best competition as an amateur. He’s a long-term project, not doubt about it, but one with considerable ceiling. … Damon Oppenheimer has always been fond of toolsy athletes, and he really kicked it up a notch last year. Jerez fits that profile to a tee.
The Yankees need athletic position players, and with their resources they of course have time to develop them. So, a pick like this one might make sense.
Thoughts, Yankees fans?