trey sweeney yankees
Mandatory Credit: Nikos Frazier | Journal & Courier via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Trey Sweeney wasn’t a big name among MLB Draft scouts earlier in 2021, but his big year for Eastern Illinois caught the Yankees’ attention.

Danny Small

The New York Yankees take Trey Sweeney with the 20th pick in the MLB Draft. Sweeney is a shortstop from Eastern Illinois University.

The Yankees need to add some high-end prospects up the middle of the field and Sweeney fills that need. Sweeney flew up draft boards this spring with a monster sophomore season.

From Baseball America‘s scouting report:

Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 185 | B-T: L-R
Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
Age At Draft: 21.2
BA Grade: 50 | Risk: High
Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Run: 45 | Field: 45 | Arm: 55

“Sweeney is a 6-foot-4, 200-pound infielder who ranks among the top of the bat-first, tweener profile players in the draft. He’s been a shortstop at Eastern Illinois and was previously viewed as a player who would not stick at the position and would eventually move to a corner or become more of a utility player, but he showed improvements this season at the position. He’s an average athlete with a plus arm, and he’s shown the ability to get to power, but the hit tool is what has most impressed. Sweeney controls the zone, has good bat-to-ball skills, and makes hard contact. For the Panthers this year he slashed .382/.522/.712 with 14 homers in 48 games, walking 46 times with just 24 strikeouts. Scouts have wondered what he might do against tougher competition on a consistent basis, but he continued to show up when he did come across tough arms. He has a big leg kick and a big bat tip in a noisy swing, but if he’s able to quiet it down, what he does at the plate could translate to the next level. He showed fewer holes in the swing on the outer half this season and he’s done a better job of keeping his barrel in the zone. Sweeney has been an impressive college shortstop and has a long track record of production and steady play.”

From The Athletic‘s scouting report:

“Sweeney has been a favorite of teams that base their draft boards heavily off statistical models, not least because he destroyed the Ohio Valley Conference this year. He’s not as popular with scouts, who see a tough-to-repeat swing that doesn’t work against better velocity, and a well below-average runner who is going to move off shortstop and might end up in an outfield corner. His hands are quick enough at the plate, so maybe it’s just a lack of reps against good fastballs, but he has to hit and hit for power – which he did do against the available competition this year, at least – to profile as a regular.”

From CBS Sports‘ scouting report:

“Sweeney bullied his Ohio Valley Conference competition this season, hitting .382/.522/.712 with 14 home runs and 22 more walks than strikeouts in 226 trips to the plate. Sweeney’s underlying data is, predictably, quite good and it confirms that 1) he impacts the ball, and 2) he commands the strike zone. (You know, in case the .522 OBP and the .330 ISO didn’t give it away.) He’s not further up this list because there are concerns about his long-term defensive home (though he’ll probably stick at shortstop for a bit longer), and about the viability of his swing. Sweeney has the tendency to tip his barrel during his load, a no-no as it pertains to hit-tool projection and a tic that could cost him against better pitching. A team comfortable with those aspects of his game will view him as one of the best collegiate hitters in a class that has few good ones.”

From Prep Baseball Report‘s scouting report:

“Coming into the 2021 season, the 6-foot-3, 205-pound shortstop was regarded as a late-round option, but he’s done enough damage in the box to quickly change that opinion. In 48 games, he hit .382/.522/.712 with 14 home runs and almost twice as many walks (46) as strikeouts (24). He has quick hands from the left side, getting on plane well and producing above-average raw power to his pull side. It’s not a simple swing, as he has a high leg lift, bat tilt load and much pre-pitch movement. Defensively, he can throw from all angles with average arm strength and solid carry. He makes the routine plays at shortstop, but has below-average range mostly due to below-average lateral quickness and a longer transfer. He is likely to move to third or second base.”