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SoxProspects News

May 4, 2023 at 12:00 PM

April Players of the Month: Nick Yorke and Shane Drohan

Nick Yorke and Shane Drohan have been named the SoxProspects.com Players of the Month for the month of April. Yorke (pictured) beat out the likes of Nathan Hickey and Chase Meidroth while Drohan beat out the likes of rotation mate Brian Van Belle, Jose Ramirez, and Nathan Landry for the first monthly awards of the 2023 season.

After a plethora of injuries limited him to just 80 games with Greenville in 2022, Yorke has gotten his 2023 campaign off to a strong start in Portland. In his first 18 games for the Sea Dogs, the right-handed hitting second baseman batted .284/.415/.552 (172 wRC+) with five doubles, two triples, three home runs, six RBIs, 19 runs scored, three stolen bases, 13 walks, and 17 strikeouts over 82 plate appearances. He was fittingly named the SoxProspects.com Player of the Week for the final week of April on Tuesday.

Yorke, 21, was originally taken by Boston with the 17th overall pick in the 2020 amateur draft out of Archbishop Mitty High School (San Jose, Calif). At the time, the selection was met with a fair amount of criticism given where Yorke was placed in public draft rankings. But the California native quickly silenced the doubters by earning Red Sox Minor League Offensive Player of the Year honors for what he did during his first full season as a pro in 2021. 

While the 2022 minor-league season was mostly one to forget, Yorke fared much better in the Arizona Fall League to close out the year and has maintained that same level of success in his first taste of competition at the Double-A level. He is currently ranked as the No. 6 prospect in the organization.

Drohan has also gotten his first full season with Portland off to a torrid start. In four April starts for the Sea Dogs, the 24-year-old left-hander posted a miniscule 0.78 ERA and 1.50 FIP with 26 strikeouts to four walks over 23 innings of work. He held opposing hitters to a .163 batting average against and was unsurprisingly named the Red Sox' Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month on Wednesday.

Boston took Drohan with its fourth and final pick in the COVID-shortened 2020 draft out of Florida State. The southpaw signed for $600,000 and has since risen through the ranks to become the No. 12 prospect (fourth among pitchers) in the organization. That rise can be attributed to the increased velocity and new cutter he displayed in spring training. 

Per our own director of scouting Ian Cundall, Drohan now sits between 92-94 mph and tops out at 96 mph with his four-seamer after averaging 90.8 mph with the pitch last year. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound hurler also operates with an 83-86 mph changeup and 75-78 mph changeup. 

Unlike Yorke, Drohan can become eligible for the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in his career this winter. A little more than a month into the season, he is certainly making a compelling case to be added to Boston's 40-man roster later this year. 

Photo Credit: Nick Yorke by Kelly O'Connor