Outfielder Mike Yastrzemski may be the grandson of Red Sox Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, but the Vanderbilt product has carved out a great amateur career of his own. The Orioles selected him in the 14th round (429th overall) in the First-Year Player Draft on Saturday.
Expectations have always been high for Yastrzemski, who was named to the All-SEC and All-Defensive teams this year for the Commodores, who advanced to the SEC Tournament championship game this season.
Yastrzemski may not belong in grandfather Carl's category of elite player, but scouts say he is still a good prospect in his own right. He had a breakout senior year this season, showing a great feel for hitting and baserunning.
"We like him. He's a legitimate prospect in his own right," Orioles scouting director Gary Rajsich said. "Yes, he has a famous name, but he really is a good ballplayer. He's got good instincts for the game, he's got tools, he's really a good hitter. He has an advanced approach to playing the game. In his own right, he is a prospect."
He started 192 straight games in his career at Vanderbilt, helping his college team advance to the College World Series in 2011 and the Regional level last year. Through 63 games (all starts), he hit .322 with a .466 slugging percentage and a .415 on-base percentage.
Yastrzemski hit three homers, drove in 43 home runs and went 19-for-26 in stolen-base opportunities. Scouts say that power is not part of his game, and some question whether he has the range to play center field at the next level.
But Yastrzemski's defensive prowess and potential at the plate -- also his pedigree surely does not hurt -- was what drew attention to him leading into this year's Draft.
"I think we got him right where he should have gone," Rajsich said. "We were happy he was there so we could select him."
It's also worth noting that for a year at Vanderbilt, Yastrzemski was roommates with Regan Flaherty, the younger brother of Orioles second baseman Ryan Flaherty.
Derek Wetmore is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less