The 2021 MLB Draft started on July 11 and ended on July 13. The Yankees selected 20 players over the span of three days. I personally had the privilege of speaking to five of those players drafted by the Yankees. I asked them what their feelings were going through them when they got that special call from none other than the New York Yankees.
1. Richard Fitts – RHP, Auburn
“It was an awesome feeling! I’m extremely excited and ready to be apart of this organization and I cannot thank God anymore for this opportunity!”Richard Fitts
The 21 year old, RHP out of Auburn was ranked #149 out of all the prospects. Fitts ended up being a key reliever for Auburn as a freshman in 19’. He threw 6 shutout innings to beat Georgia Tech in the NCAA regional playoffs. Fitts is a stud pitcher who operated with a low-90s sinker and developed a four-seam fastball as a starter.
Richard showed the ability to utilize that fastball by reaching 97mph with quality velocity. Fitts is a guy who should be watched in his time through the minors.
2. Cooper Bowman– 2B, Louisville
“All I gotta say is it was a legit dream come true”Cooper Bowman
The 21 year old 2B out of Louisville ranked #171 out of all the prospects. This guy was an absolute stud at short for Iowa Western CC. He batted .418 with 44 steals in 84 games helping the Reivers finish runner up in the 19’ Junior College World Series. After transferring to Louisville, he became a very dependable hitter, batting second behind #1 overall pick Henry Davis.
3. Tyler Hardman– 1B, Oklahoma
“I was instantly so excited and ready to get started! It was realization that my hard work paid off but it’s some to work again. A lot of emotions but pure excitement and accomplishment”Tyler Hardman
The 22 year old out of Oklahoma ranked #194 out of all the prospects. The numbers Hardman posted, makes his pick was severely underrated. He was originally drafted by the Rockies in the 37th round of the 2017 MLB draft. He starred in the Cape Cod League and two years later, winning all star recognition and the home run derby while ranking third with eight homers in 44 games.
During the 2020 pandemic, Tyler worked hard by getting into better shape which worked wonders for him. He became one of the best all around offensive players and winning the batting title with a .397 average in the Big 12.
4. Robert Ahlstrom- LHP, Oregon
“I grew up a Yankees fan so this is incredible! Can’t wait to get things going”Robert Ahlstrom
Ahlstrom is also one of those guys who could be a productive piece in this franchise. In 21’ he served as Oregon’s ace. Robert went 9-3 with a 2.50 ERA with 92 strikeouts over 90 innings, leading the Ducks staff. He led with a 1.03 WHIP and held his opponents to a .231 average.
He’s a pitcher who consistently throws strikes and has a fastball that goes 88-89 mph. The same goes for his curveball and change up. Ahlstrom has great command of his pitches which is something every pitcher needs.
5. Will Warren– RHP, South Eastern Louisiana
“It was a dream come true. I have had this dream since I was 4 or 5 and yesterday hearing my name called and being surrounded by friends and family….I just soaked it all up and realized I’m very blessed! Oh and Go Yankees!!”Will Warren
Warren was ranked #160 on Baseball America, hinting at a possible value pick. Warren switched roles during his early college years before committing to a full time starter. In his first year as a full time starter, Warren posted a 2.57 ERA through 14 starts and struck out 95 batters against 25 walks in 91 innings.
Will also added some velocity in his senior year, as Baseball America writes “His average fastball went from sitting 90-91 and touching 95 to sitting 91-93 mph and touching 95-97. His ability to carry that velocity deeper into games improved as well.” This will do him wonders as he makes his way up through the Yankees system. His curveball also comes with a very high spin rate. Warren is a guy who could surprise a whole bunch of people.