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Trey Sweeney adds to Yankees' depth of shortstop prospects

Eastern Illinois' Trey Sweeney stands with MLB Commissioner

Eastern Illinois' Trey Sweeney stands with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred after being selected by Yankees as the 20th pick in the first round of the 2021 MLB baseball draft, Sunday, July 11, 2021, in Denver.  Credit: AP/David Zalubowski

Yankees draft honcho Damon Oppenheimer said on Wednesday that he expects first-round pick Trey Sweeney to remain a shortstop even though some experts have projected that the 6-foot-4 lefthanded hitter will have to move to another position because of his size.

"I'm not sure why that would be written about him," said Oppenheimer, the Yankees’ vice president in charge of domestic amateur scouting. "He's smooth. He's got good hands. He runs well enough. His range is good and he's got a plus arm, so realistically he has all the tools and the intangibles to be a shortstop. Defensively, we don't see any issues why he wouldn't stay there. He's also versatile enough to be able to play other positions, but the shortstop side of it should not be a problem. I think he's a shortstop."

Sweeney, once he signs, will join a crowded position in terms of Yankees shortstop prospects. That includes 20-year-old Anthony Volpe, the team’s first-round pick in 2019 (30th overall) who was recently promoted to High-A Hudson Valley.

Volpe started the season by hitting .302 with 12 home runs, 49 RBIs and a 1.078 OPS for Low-A Tampa. The Watchung, New Jersey, native also stole 21 bases.

At Double-A Somerset, the Yankees have 21-year-old Oswald Peraza, who started the season at Hudson Valley and is batting a combined .294 with eight home runs, 27 RBIs and has 22 stolen bases.

Oppenheimer also said he expects second-round pick Brendan Beck, a righthander out of Stanford, to potentially be a fast mover through the minor league system: "We think he can be really close . . . there's not a lot of development that has to go. He just probably is going to need to build up innings. He throws strikes, he has four pitches, he's been up to 96, 97 [mph]. Can also gear it back like a starter and pitch at 92 and go get it . . . We think we got a guy who has four pitches, he's got command, and he's athletic. We think we're getting a high-end starter."

The Yankees expect to be able to sign third-round pick Brock Selvidge, the only high schooler the team picked in the first 13 rounds, Oppenheimer said. Selvidge, a lefthanded pitcher, has a scholarship offer to LSU.

"We think we're going to get that one done," Oppenheimer said, "and that he will become a Yankee real soon and get his career started."

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