Nick Yorke

GeorgeThomas

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I got to see him play several times when Salem was playing the Delmarva Shorebirds. He has a good presence and awareness on the field. His swing looks fluid, though not a lot of power.. There was one play where the infielders were making a bit of a mess and Yorke scored from second on a heads up play. I look forward to seeing him progress.
 

scottyno

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Having a guy in the top 100 already who a year ago was an under slot surprise pick seems like a pretty big win for Bloom
 

bringbackburks

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After last night's 3-4, Yorke is at .334/.421/.523 for the season. While the majority of his PA's came at low A, he hasn't missed a beat at Greenville. The combination of his production, age and relatively advanced level (he's one of only a handful of 2020 HS draftees to now be at Hi-A) makes it very credible to claim he's been the best HS hitter from the draft thus far. Even if he's not quite there (Jordan Walker, Veen and Hassel are close) his performance is a huge win for Bloom.
 
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TimScribble

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He’s hitting over .400 since the promotion. SSS and all, but that’s impressive.
 

Cesar Crespo

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First 24 PA in A+: 1bb/8k.
Last 40 PA in A+: 7bb/6k.

Hitting .375/.453/.607 with 8bb/14k in 64 PA in A+

At both levels: .331/.420/.517, 18 doubles, 4 triples, 13 HRs. 49bb/61k.

There are 9 games left for Greenville. If it's more of the same, I'd be shocked if he DOESN"T start next season in AA.

Still 0 PA against younger pitchers. He's been on base in all 14 games at A+. He's been on base at least twice in 12 of those games, including his first 10 at the level. He's been on base 3 times in 3 games.

In those 14 games, he has been on base a total of 29 times.
 

amRadio

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What would he have to do in the next 9 games to NOT start next year in AA? Maybe a terrible spring could impact it, but the way he's handled his first true pro season I have to think it's time to present his bat some genuine challenges and see how he adjusts - or if he needs to. .331/.420/.517 is an absolutely pornographic first pro season for a 19 year old out of high school.
 

Cesar Crespo

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What would he have to do in the next 9 games to NOT start next year in AA? Maybe a terrible spring could impact it, but the way he's handled his first true pro season I have to think it's time to present his bat some genuine challenges and see how he adjusts - or if he needs to. .331/.420/.517 is an absolutely pornographic first pro season for a 19 year old out of high school.
At most, he'll play 7 of those games. That's about 30 PA. I'm guessing he'd have to have like 0bb/15k. If he has more BB than K from here on out, I can't see him being in Greenville. It's almost always a sign a player is too advanced for the league.
 

MonstahsInLeft

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If anybody wants to get more of the backstory on Yorke, the Sox Prospects podcast this week had a long interview with Sox Amat. Scouting Dir. Paul Toboni and he goes in detail about their timeline of scouting and selecting him.

In addition to elite bat control and eye for the strike zone it sounds like they really loved his intangibles (leadership and drive). Lack of showcases due to COVID may have kept him out of the spotlight a little too.

At one point it seems like they had him as a near lock for the second round pick that they lost that year which partially explains why they ended up “reaching” for him in the first.
 

gammoseditor

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What would he have to do in the next 9 games to NOT start next year in AA? Maybe a terrible spring could impact it, but the way he's handled his first true pro season I have to think it's time to present his bat some genuine challenges and see how he adjusts - or if he needs to. .331/.420/.517 is an absolutely pornographic first pro season for a 19 year old out of high school.
Not sure if it’s still true with the new front office, but they used to not like promoting guys to Portland to start the year. They didn’t want them getting off to a cold start.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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It makes sense to me to start him back in Greenville though. Like any player at any level... they can find themselves in the middle of a stretch of godlike focus and talent far above and beyond their normal baseline (I always think of JBJ's tantalizing stretches). I'm not skeptical AT ALL of Yorke but I'd like to see him start his first month back in Greenville to see how he starts up there and then promote him up to Portland even if he's not close to his current levels of hitting but showing something possibly closer to a truer talent level
 

amRadio

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Not sure if it’s still true with the new front office, but they used to not like promoting guys to Portland to start the year. They didn’t want them getting off to a cold start.
I had to look this up and what a great observation. The only player in recent memory I found after looking who got his first AA exposure straight out of spring training was Devers. He had a significantly larger A+ sample at the time, but was overall less impressive statistically at A/A+ at basically the same age.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I had to look this up and what a great observation. The only player in recent memory I found after looking who got his first AA exposure straight out of spring training was Devers. He had a significantly larger A+ sample at the time, but was overall less impressive statistically at A/A+ at basically the same age.
Triston Casas got 7 PA in A+.

Maybe I'm missing something?
 

nighthob

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Nope, I was. I was mostly just trying to think of players who are already finished products and totally overlooked Casas.
Yorke’s track might even be faster than Casas’s. His bat to ball skills are elite and he commands that strike zone like a badass fothermucker. The only real question with him is his defensive position, but his bat is nearing the point that even that question is rendered moot. But an average fielding 2B with that bat’s a future all star.

In addition to elite bat control and eye for the strike zone it sounds like they really loved his intangibles (leadership and drive). Lack of showcases due to COVID may have kept him out of the spotlight a little too.

At one point it seems like they had him as a near lock for the second round pick that they lost that year which partially explains why they ended up “reaching” for him in the first.
It’s shaping up to be a great draft with the way that Jordan’s been smacking the ball around. Doubly so as the Yorke under slot signing allowed them to land Jordan in the first place,
 

Cesar Crespo

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From what I've seen, Yorke will be around the 75 range on most lists. That seems really conservative to me given how he raked. Scouts must not like other parts of his game that much because his bat alone would get him into the top 100. I was going to say I differ from most and have Yorke as the sox 3rd best prospect but Sox prospects updated its list again and has Yorke at 3. Also worth noting all the mid season list and right at end of season lists are far different than the lists they make in the offseason.

I still think he starts next year in AA, although he did struggle in the last 5 games (2 games with 3ks) so I'm not as sure as before. There's also a chance he gets another 100ish PA at A+ before they pull the trigger.

He was also named the Redsox Minor League Offensive Player of the Year.

Sox Prospects has Blaze Jordan at 10 now too. Not a bad early return for the 2020 draft. A top 100 prospect and an 18 year old cracking the top 10.
 

nvalvo

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From what I've seen, Yorke will be around the 75 range on most lists. That seems really conservative to me given how he raked. Scouts must not like other parts of his game that much because his bat alone would get him into the top 100. I was going to say I differ from most and have Yorke as the sox 3rd best prospect but Sox prospects updated its list again and has Yorke at 3. Also worth noting all the mid season list and right at end of season lists are far different than the lists they make in the offseason.

I still think he starts next year in AA, although he did struggle in the last 5 games (2 games with 3ks) so I'm not as sure as before. There's also a chance he gets another 100ish PA at A+ before they pull the trigger.

He was also named the Redsox Minor League Offensive Player of the Year.

Sox Prospects has Blaze Jordan at 10 now too. Not a bad early return for the 2020 draft. A top 100 prospect and an 18 year old cracking the top 10.
I think the fear is that he has a long way to go to be even project as an average defender at 2B. If he can't make it as a middle infielder, that's not the end of the world given the quality of his bat, but he's short for an infield corner, and the great hit tool and moderate power is a fringe-y profile for a LF/DH.

We're hoping for him to have seasons like one of Jason Kipnis' better years: a guy who you can live with at 2B, who posts a .290/.360/.450 type line; Kipnis did that in 2013 for Cleveland and was worth 5 WAR. If Yorke can't play second, suddenly his comp is more like Daniel Nava in 2013: a similar slash line — better even — but half the WAR.

Now, from what I've read, I think Yorke probably sticks as an unglamorous but competent 2B. But there's risk, and that is likely why the ratings are so timid.
 

nighthob

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It's way too conservative, that hit tool is just fucking absurd. People worrying overmuch about the power are ignoring his age. In his first real minor league season he lit up A and A+. Next year they'll likely let him light up A+ for a while before sending him on to AA. At this rate we can expect him in Boston by 2023. And he's going to smack the bejesus out of the ball.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Glob article on Yorke being named Red Sox minor league Offensive PLayer of the Year:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/09/22/sports/nick-yorke-named-red-sox-minor-league-offensive-player-year/

I don't know if the formatting will translate but the article includes a really interesting chart:

Rare company
Teens who hit .300 with .400 OBP and .500 slugging mark in full season ball, 2011-21 (Min. 300 plate appearances)
[TH]YEAR[/TH] [TH]PLAYER[/TH] [TH]AGE[/TH] [TH]LEVEL[/TH] [TH]AVERAGE[/TH] [TH]OBP[/TH] [TH]SLUGGING[/TH]
2021 Nick Yorke 19 A/HiA .325 .412 .516
2018 Vlad Guerrero Jr. 19 AA/AAA .381 .437 .636
2017 Bo Bichette 19 A/HiA .362 .423 .565
2013 Byron Buxton 19 A/HiA .334 .424 .520
2011 Mike Trout 19 AA .326 .414 .544
2011 Oscar Taveras 19 A .386 .444 .584



Good company so far!
 
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jmcc5400

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Glob article on Yorke being named Red Sox minor league Offensive PLayer of the Year:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/09/22/sports/nick-yorke-named-red-sox-minor-league-offensive-player-year/

I don't know if the formatting will translate but the article includes a really interesting chart:

Rare company
Teens who hit .300 with .400 OBP and .500 slugging mark in full season ball, 2011-21 (Min. 300 plate appearances)
[TH]YEAR[/TH] [TH]PLAYER[/TH] [TH]AGE[/TH] [TH]LEVEL[/TH] [TH]AVERAGE[/TH] [TH]OBP[/TH] [TH]SLUGGING[/TH]
2021 Nick Yorke 19 A/HiA .325 .412 .516
2018 Vlad Guerrero Jr. 19 AA/AAA .381 .437 .636
2017 Bo Bichette 19 A/HiA .362 .423 .565
2013 Byron Buxton 19 A/HiA .334 .424 .520
2011 Mike Trout 19 AA .326 .414 .544
2011 Oscar Taveras 19 A .386 .444 .584



Good company so far!
Jesus, look at those numbers from Vlad.
 

amRadio

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Dad of Vlad got to AA at 21 but yeah, when he got there he slashed .360/.438/.612 and got called right up to the show.
 

OnTheBlack

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Dad of Vlad got to AA at 21 but yeah, when he got there he slashed .360/.438/.612 and got called right up to the show.
Was a kid growing up in Harrisburg PA when he played for the AA Senators. Saw him take one step from the third base line and chuck it over the right field fence. He signed an autographed baseball for me after. From that moment on I fell in love with Baseball.
 

BigSoxFan

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I think the fear is that he has a long way to go to be even project as an average defender at 2B. If he can't make it as a middle infielder, that's not the end of the world given the quality of his bat, but he's short for an infield corner, and the great hit tool and moderate power is a fringe-y profile for a LF/DH.

We're hoping for him to have seasons like one of Jason Kipnis' better years: a guy who you can live with at 2B, who posts a .290/.360/.450 type line; Kipnis did that in 2013 for Cleveland and was worth 5 WAR. If Yorke can't play second, suddenly his comp is more like Daniel Nava in 2013: a similar slash line — better even — but half the WAR.

Now, from what I've read, I think Yorke probably sticks as an unglamorous but competent 2B. But there's risk, and that is likely why the ratings are so timid.
What are the concerns with his 2B defense? Range? General fielding skills? Both?
 

amRadio

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Isn't a lack of range in the middle infield a bit mitigated by the shift these days? Assuming there aren't rules coming to nerf the shift significantly, I think a lack of range is manageable, probably.
 

Chainsaw318

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Range. His footwork, hands, arm and instincts are all fine. His range suffers due to being slow.
That’s interesting, but that doesn’t fit the impression given by the SoxProspects guys, (or maybe just as I interpreted it).

Their report seemed to focus more on a lack of natural fluidity to his actions- individually the parts were all fine, but as a whole seemed a little less than the some of the parts, either due to inexperience or just a lack that type of athleticism.

I don’t recall specific comment of Yorke’s range. His arm, that it’s not strong enough to fit on the far side of the infield and his speed - he is not fleet of foot, but didn’t interpret that as a limiting his range item, but more in his base-running.
 

Cesar Crespo

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That’s interesting, but that doesn’t fit the impression given by the SoxProspects guys, (or maybe just as I interpreted it).

Their report seemed to focus more on a lack of natural fluidity to his actions- individually the parts were all fine, but as a whole seemed a little less than the some of the parts, either due to inexperience or just a lack that type of athleticism.

I don’t recall specific comment of Yorke’s range. His arm, that it’s not strong enough to fit on the far side of the infield and his speed - he is not fleet of foot, but didn’t interpret that as a limiting his range item, but more in his base-running.
It's partly why he was moved off SS. With the inexperience at 2b, you can't really tell if it's a lack of that type of athleticism or just inexperience. And range isn't everything, especially in today's game. It's not like he's a statue.
 

The Gray Eagle

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So Yorke had a lousy, injury plagued 2022. .668 OPS in 80 games, .232/.303/.365 with 11 HR.

Seemingly healthy, he hit well in the Arizona Fall League though, adding over .100 to each of his slash lines: .342/.424/.526 for a .950 OPS in 19 games. 12 BB and 16K in 92 PA.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=yorke-000nic

Posted by @TimScribble in the Fall League thread, he looks to have made a big adjustment to his stance:
View: https://twitter.com/SPChrisHatfield/status/1589398410196824065


Hopefully he'll keep it going and have a good season next year.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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So Yorke had a lousy, injury plagued 2022. .668 OPS in 80 games, .232/.303/.365 with 11 HR.

Seemingly healthy, he hit well in the Arizona Fall League though, adding over .100 to each of his slash lines: .342/.424/.526 for a .950 OPS in 19 games. 12 BB and 16K in 92 PA.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=yorke-000nic

Posted by @TimScribble in the Fall League thread, he looks to have made a big adjustment to his stance:
View: https://twitter.com/SPChrisHatfield/status/1589398410196824065


Hopefully he'll keep it going and have a good season next year.
Aren’t almost all slash lines pretty inflated in the AZFL? I really like Yorke and having him (even as trade bait) at the top of the prospect rankings really helps.
 

jmcc5400

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Aren’t almost all slash lines pretty inflated in the AZFL? I really like Yorke and having him (even as trade bait) at the top of the prospect rankings really helps.
Leadwide OPS was .771 so that gives him, what, a ~ 123 OPS + as a player very young (- 1.5 years) for the league. Take the positives where you can find them!
 

The Gray Eagle

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Article in The Athletic about Yorke and the swing and stance changes he is working on.
https://theathletic.com/4329852/2023/03/22/prospect-nickyorke-coming-off-down-season-hopes-swing-changes-bring-results/

As Yorke prepares for a season likely to begin with Double-A Portland, that dream might not be far off. But first, he’ll have to prove that 2022 was an anomaly.
The work toward that end really started shortly after the Greenville season concluded. Yorke took a week off then headed to the Arizona Fall League early to meet with Triple-A Worcester assistant hitting coach Mike Montville, who was serving as Yorke’s hitting coach in the AFL for the Scottdale Scorpions. Along with Red Sox minor league hitting coordinator Lance Zawadzki, the pair devised a plan for Yorke that included moving his hands above his head in his batting stance.
Barrels turned into fouls and grounders last year, so he is hoping the changes will put a stop to that. And hopefully he will stay healthier.
At 6 feet, 200 pounds, Yorke still hit the ball hard last season, but was hitting more balls into the ground versus in the air like he had in 2021 at the same exit velocities. He was fouling off more pitches that he’d barreled the previous season and so the swing adjustments aimed at getting to the ball quicker.
It didn’t help that the injuries snowballed on Yorke last season. Turf toe, wrist soreness and back stiffness limited his time on the field and when he returned, it took him a while to find his rhythm at the plate.
And yet...
He’d been hampered at the start of minor-league camp with low back tightness, but that has since subsided and he played in his first game at second base on Monday with Red Sox starter Corey Kluber on the mound getting in his day’s work.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Speier in the Glob talks about Yorke's offseason adjustments starting to pay off:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/05/04/sports/why-red-sox-prospect-nick-yorke-chose-playing-arizona-fall-league-instead-rest-after-disappointing-2022-season/

Yorke is off to an excellent start, hitting .271/.407/.529 with a 16.3 percent walk rate and 22.1 percent strikeout rate. Though he’s among the youngest players in the Eastern League, he ranks seventh in on-base percentage and slugging.
The underlying numbers are promising so far:
Beyond those numbers, there are markers of substantial improvement. His chase rate is down from roughly 25 to 20 percent. His hard-hit rate has more than doubled to roughly one of every nine plate appearances (above major league average). His top-end exit velocities are up, with more of his hard-hit balls getting pulled to left field. He’s swinging at better pitches and making better, more frequent contact.
“To see that this early, we’re extremely happy about that because that’s probably one of the biggest jumps you make, High A to Double A,” said Zawadzki. “Being able to rebound, being able to make that jump and be doing what he’s doing, that’s great. He has a chance to be a complete hitter.
“There’s huge upside on the power. Obviously, it’s still coming. This guy has had a pure ability to hit since we drafted him. I think that was one of the most appealing things when we did get him. So you put that into the perspective of, if you’re not chasing, you have that power ability, and then if you do get behind in the count or when a situation calls for it, you’re able to go to right field.”
 

koufax32

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Avg. up to .300 and OBP over .415 makes me comfortable enough to start banging the promotion drum.
 

tbrown_01923

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Avg. up to .300 and OBP over .415 makes me comfortable enough to start banging the promotion drum.
Remember he had a few injuries he was dealing with last year. In 80 ABs in 2021 he hit 333 at greenville, a down 2022 (multiple injuries) but a good 2022 AFL. Looks like he is back in line with historic data in spite of the jump to AA. He becomes an interesting piece again.
 

koufax32

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Remember he had a few injuries he was dealing with last year. In 80 ABs in 2021 he hit 333 at greenville, a down 2022 (multiple injuries) but a good 2022 AFL. Looks like he is back in line with historic data in spite of the jump to AA. He becomes an interesting piece again.
Yeah I was pretty willing to dismiss most of last year’s performance. That may have been wish casting a bit on my part, but as this year’s sample size grows, it definitively gives credence to the idea that last year can be explained away by injury. Another piece of evidence is his promotion to AA despite his lackluster 2022. Full steam ahead, IMO.
 

Fishy1

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Love to see the K rate down 3 percent to a manageable 22% and the BB rate up to 15%. That's impressive given the promotion
 

tbrown_01923

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Yeah I was pretty willing to dismiss most of last year’s performance. That may have been wish casting a bit on my part, but as this year’s sample size grows, it definitively gives credence to the idea that last year can be explained away by injury. Another piece of evidence is his promotion to AA despite his lackluster 2022. Full steam ahead, IMO.
Yeah it is pretty exciting to see what we have up the middle in the minors - hoping those options deliver some value for us in the bigs (either directly or through a trade). I wonder hope much value Yorke has in trade, given he is undersized, 2nd base only, just okay with glove, and a "reach" where he was drafted...
 

moondog80

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Yeah it is pretty exciting to see what we have up the middle in the minors - hoping those options deliver some value for us in the bigs (either directly or through a trade). I wonder hope much value Yorke has in trade, given he is undersized, 2nd base only, just okay with glove, and a "reach" where he was drafted...
With Mayer up possibly next year, Story here for at least two more years, Valdez looking like he has at least the bat for the majors, and the presence of Hamilton, Romero and a handful of other promising MI in the farm, seems like Yorke's value is as a trade chip.
 

The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa

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Yeah it is pretty exciting to see what we have up the middle in the minors - hoping those options deliver some value for us in the bigs (either directly or through a trade). I wonder hope much value Yorke has in trade, given he is undersized, 2nd base only, just okay with glove, and a "reach" where he was drafted...
Are 6 foot, 200 pound baseball players considered undersized these day? Assuming those measurements are real...
 

tbrown_01923

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I was going off of memory about him being on the smaller side and that he needed to stick to 2nd, per sox prospects:

Physical Description: Sturdy frame. Filled out for his age. Thick lower half. Lost 25 pounds between his draft year and first full pro season. Some remaining projection, mainly in his upper body, and could stand to add some strength.

So maybe decent sized...
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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With Mayer up possibly next year, Story here for at least two more years, Valdez looking like he has at least the bat for the majors, and the presence of Hamilton, Romero and a handful of other promising MI in the farm, seems like Yorke's value is as a trade chip.
Between Valdez and Yorke, which has a better chance to be Jeff Bagwell? Because I don't want the Sox to trade Jeff Bagwell again. If I had to choose, I'm keeping Yorke. I trust Bloom and the FO to know best.