Tanner Scheppers was expected to a first round pick in the 2008 draft, but fell to the Pirates in the second round due to a shoulder injury and failed to sign with Pittsburgh. Due to outsized contract demands, he seems poised to fall in the draft again. In fact, Keith Law has him dropping out of the first round altogether, even though Scheppers is Law’s third rated prospect in the entire draft. Here is more on Scheppers from BA:
If Tanner Scheppers was going to give scouts a reason to draft him high in the first round, he made a pretty convincing closing argument.
In his final start for the St. Paul Saints (independent American Association), Scheppers worked five innings, allowing three hits, one run and three walks while striking out five . Extra fresh after a nine-day layoff, Scheppers was sititng at 96-97 mph for much of the game and he touched 101 mph on the Saints’ radar gun. Scouts told manager George Tsamis after the game that they had him touching 98 and 99 mph.”He was outstanding yesterday. He was great,” Tsamis said. “He was throwing hard with good command of his four pitches. You don’t see too many guys even at the major league level who throw 96-99 mph. Just to see a kid like that is amazing.
“It was great the way he went out. He got in a little trouble in the fourth inning so he reached back and was blowing the ball past everybody to strike out the side.”
Four pitches, high 90′s, some injury issues? He sounds a lot like Joba Chamberlain to me, and seems like a perfect fit for the Yankees. So why does everyone have the Yankees passing on him with their first round pick? Jim Callis explains with his blurb on the Yankees in his latest mock draft:
Because this pick isn’t protected and New York actually has a draft budget, the Yankees aren’t just going to take an unsignable guy here and hand him a blank check. They’re not going to meekly adhere to slot either, and are one of the strongest teams on Heathcott.
The Yankees cannot risk picking another player who will refuse to sign, leaving them with little negotiating leverage when it comes to players with large contract demands. However, if Scheppers (or Aaron Crow) happens to fall to them, the correct strategy would be for the Yankees to select him. Because Scheppers and Crow both failed to sign last season, they have about as little leverage as the Yankees do in this draft. Pitchers get hurt all the time, and it would imprudent for those players to go another season without signing with a major league club. With both sides having a strong impetus to reach an agreement, the lack of pick protection should not come into play. Hopefully, the Yankees remain cognizant of this point and take the best available player.
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