Thursday, June 19, 2008

C Kyle Higashioka, Eidson (California) – HS (230th Overall)

C Kyle Higashioka, Eidson (California) – HS (230th Overall)Kyle Higashioka, C
Eidson HS R/R, 6-1,190
Hometown: Huntington Beach, Ca.

STATUS: Signed - $400,000 signing bonus

With their seventh-round pick in the 2008 MLB Draft, the New York Yankees selected high school backstop Kyle Higashioka. A high energy catcher who has signed a letter of intent with the University of California, Higashioka batted .558 with seven homers and 25 RBIs this season.

Southern California Yankees scout Dave Keith thinks highly of Higashioka’s physical tools and personality. “Kyle can really swing the bat,” Keith told yankees.com. “He has intelligence behind the plate. He’s got the whole package.”

Higashioka caught New York’s first-round selection, RHP Gerrit Cole for the Yankees’ scout team last fall. The outing impressed Keith: “To see him handle Gerrit, and the movement Gerrit has with his slider, the changeup – I never saw a clanked ball.”

A very aggressive hitter with a simple approach and power potential, Higashioka is a dangerous, projectile hitter. Defensively, he has quick feet and a quick release. He plays hard and with passion. At times, his swing can get long.

Although he hasn’t decided where he will start his post-prep career, Higashioka was in the Yankee Stadium clubhouse Wednesday (6/19) as the Bombers made their sales pitch. He was given a temporary lock between Jorge Posada and Andy Pettitte.

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