Yankees Select RHP Matt Sauer with the 54th Overall Pick

After taking right hander Clarke Schmidt in the first round of the MLB draft, the Yankees used its second round selection on another righty. This time, the organization drafted Matt Sauer, a high school arm out of California.

Sauer is committed to the University of Arizona, so an overslot bonus could be necessary to lure him away from college. The 54th pick is allotted $1.236M. Assuming that Schmidt's rehab from Tommy John surgery results in him receiving a below slot bonus (16th pick: $3.459M), some of those savings on Schmidt could be transferred to Sauer.

Baseball America and MLB.com both ranked Sauer the 28th best prospect in the draft. Fangraphs had Sauer two ticks lower, at 30. Keith Law diverged from the consensus and pegged Sauer at 67. Below are a couple of scouting reports not behind paywalls:


The combination of plus arm strength and big-time projectability/upside is often hard to find. But it’s a big reason why scouts were running to see Sauer, who had some serious helium as the Draft neared. Sauer brings the potential to have premium velocity from his 6-foot-4 frame. He’s reached 97 mph at times this spring and has sat comfortably in the 91-95 mph range in most starts. He combines that with a nasty slider, up to 87 mph, thrown from a three-quarter slot with good power, bite and deception. The changeup is a distant third pitch, but he hasn’t needed it much against high school competition. Some scouts are not in love with Sauer’s arm action and see him more as a potential power bullpen type of pitcher. Others see a potential three-pitch mix, two above-average to plus offerings, with the build to be a rotation workhorse. The high school reliever profile is a tough one to place on Draft boards, but the ceiling with Sauer is unmistakable. A team that believes he has a chance to start will roll the dice on that potential in the early rounds.


Hard-throwing righty who has been up to 97 and who holds his velocity late into starts. Has great feel for two potential impact breaking balls in a sweeping curveball and hard, upper-80s slider. Sauer has some delivery-based relief risk.

Sauer makes a lot of sense after the Schmidt selection, which certainly could have been perceived as a head scratcher given his health. Based on Sauer's rankings by a few publications, it sounds like the Yankees could walk away with another first round talent provided they meet his bonus demands.