Jeremy Wu-Yelland, a lefthanded pitcher from the University of Hawaii whom the Red Sox took with their third pick in last month’s abbreviated MLB Draft, has signed with the club, according to MLB.com’s Jim Callis.
Wu-Yelland, who just finished his junior year at Hawaii, signed for $200,000, less than half of the $487,900 slot value for the 118th overall selection. The Washington-born Wu-Yelland was a fourth-round pick, but Boston’s third selection behind high-schoolers Nick Yorke and Blaze Jordan. The team lost its second-round choice in MLB’s sign-stealing investigation.
Wu-Yelland was Hawaii’s Opening Day starter as a sophomore, but made 17 of his 24 appearances the last two seasons out of the bullpen, including all seven this year. He fanned 44 in 46⅓ innings as a sophomore, then 16 in 13 innings this season before the pandemic struck.
Red Sox director of amateur scouting Paul Toboni said the team listed him as a starter, but isn’t entirely sure whether that will stick as a pro.
“We think the strikes are good enough. We think that he’s able to get his pitches moving in a number of unique directions. Command, I think there’s enough there right now, but we’re hoping he can take a little bit of a jump in that regard, too,” Toboni said after the draft. “Just how big of a jump he makes, which once again, we’re super optimistic, I wouldn’t rule starting out. But I think we can always fall back on the plan of being up to 97 [miles per hour] from the left side out of the pen.”
Wu-Yelland pitched on the Cape last summer for Chatham, posting 26 strikeouts and walking 15 in 25⅔ innings.
With Yorke, Jordan, and Wu-Yelland under agreement, Boston’s lone unsigned choice is Florida State lefty Shane Drohan, whom they took in the fifth and final round. The team has approximately $479,900 left of its $5.13 million bonus pool, roughly 25 percent more than the slot value for the 148th overall pick.