While the majority of the Boston Red Sox’s top prospects have performed as advertised this season, one enticing prospect in particular has endured a season of struggles. The tide appears to be turning in the right direction, however.
Nick Yorke, the Red Sox’s No. 4 prospect on MLB Pipeline, has been on a tear as of late. In his past four games, the 20-year-old slugger went 7-for-18 with a double, two home runs, six RBIs and 14 total bases.
While he’s struggled to find consistency, he certainly hasn’t lost any pop in his bat. His home run on Wednesday cleared everything.
Last season Yorke lit up both levels he was sent to, justifying his first-round selection in the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft despite some confusion at the time. Between Single-A Salem and High-A Greenville the 6-foot, 200-pound slugger hit .325 with 20 doubles, five triples, 14 home runs, 62 RBIs and a .928 OPS in 97 games.
This season Yorke is hitting just .235 with seven doubles, one triple, eight home runs, 35 RBIs and a .671 OPS in 59 games. He still has some time to rack up similar power numbers but his decline in batting average and OPS are somewhat concerning.
A large reason for his decline appears to be his dramatic change in plate discipline. His strikeout-to-walk ratio went from a solid 69-to-52 a year ago to 64-to-24 so far this season.
The national media might be down on the right-handed bat but it won’t take long to jump back up the list if he can continue to stay hot. He’s already shown an ability to tear up minor league baseball, has the draft pedigree and still is only 20 years old.