Yankees Select C Austin Wells on the First Day of the 2020 MLB First-Year Player Draft

With their first-round selection (28th overall) of the 2020 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, the New York Yankees selected C Austin Wells out of the University of Arizona. Wells, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound catcher, hit .357/.476/.560 (99-for-277) with 85R, 21 doubles, 7 triples, 7HR, 74RBI and 63BB in 71 games over two seasons at the University of Arizona.

During his pandemic-shortened sophomore year campaign, the Las Vegas, Nev., native hit .375/.527/.589 (21-for-56) with 12R, 6 doubles, 2HR, 14RBI and 17BB in 15 games and was tabbed a Second Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball.

He was also named to the Buster Posey National Collegiate Catcher of the Year Award watch list in 2020. In 2019, he was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. Entering the 2020 draft, the 20-year-old was ranked as the No. 21 overall draft prospect by Baseball America and the No. 27 prospect by MLB Pipeline.

 During the summer of 2019, Wells was named the Cape Cod League’s Outstanding Pro Prospect after hitting .308 (48-for-156) with 23R, 13 doubles, 7HR and 26RBI in 42 games with the Yarmouth–Dennis Red Sox. The left-handed batter was also named a starter to the League’s All-Star Game. 

“We are very happy to get Austin Wells today,” said Yankees Vice President of Domestic Amateur Scouting, Damon Oppenheimer. “We thought he was one of the top hit and power combinations in the draft. We love his desire and makeup, along with his athleticism. We have known him for years and seen him progress quite a bit behind the plate to allow us to believe he can be an impact guy.” 

The Yankees previously selected Wells out of Bishop Gorman High School (Nev.) in the 35th round of the 2018 First-Year Player Draft. During his senior year, he hit .527 with 46R, 20 doubles, 6 triples, 4HR and 46RBI, striking out just 17 times while collecting 34BB primarily as a designated hitter.

He was the 2016-17 Gatorade Nevada “Baseball Player of the Year” and was selected to the Under Armour All-America Baseball Game in 2017. It marks the second time in the last three years that the Yankees selected a catcher in the first round (also Anthony Seigler in 2018) but only their third time doing so since 1984 (also David Parrish in 2000).  

The 2020 draft resumes on Thursday, with the second round beginning at 5:00 p.m. ET.  The Yankees will make selections in the third and fourth rounds, after forfeiting their second and fifth round picks as a result of their offseason signing of qualifying free agent RHP Gerrit Cole. The deadline to sign players selected in the 2020 MLB First-Year Player Draft is 5:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 1.

C AUSTIN WELLSSelection: First round (28th overall)School: University of ArizonaHometown: Las Vegas, Nev.DOB: 7/12/1999Age: 20Bats: Throws: RHeight: 6’2″ Weight: 220 lbs. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email