At long last, the 2011 MLB draft is finally here, and with it, an opportunity for the Yankees to further strengthen their farm system and acquire future Bronx Bombers. TV coverage begins at 6 PM Eastern on MLB Network with a preview, with the first round beginning at 7 PM. In addition to the first round, the sandwich round (in which the Yankees have their first pick of the draft at #51) will also be shown. Rounds 2-30 will take place on Tuesday beginning at noon, with a live stream on mlb.com. Rounds 31-50 will take place on Wednesday beginning at noon again, also with a live stream.
Additionally, The Yankee Analysts will have significant coverage of the draft over the next three days to look forward to, in the form of a live chat/liveblog (haven’t decided yet) during draft day, and analysis of the Yankee draft picks. I’d like to start off our coverage with a little wish list for who I think the Yankees should draft at #51, with their only pick on the first day. This list is a ranking of guys who I believe will have a chance of being available at #51, so this rules out slam dunk first-rounders such as Bubba Starling, Trevor Bauer, Anthony Rendon, Dylan Bundy, or Trevor Bauer’s rotation-mate (whose name seems to have slipped my mind) who will definitely be snapped up in the top 10. On my wish list are a few guys who on talent alone should not be available at #51, but due to large bonus demands, strong college commitments, or injury may be available, as well as a few guys who I would feel pretty comfortable projecting to be available at #51 if the possible fallers don’t make it to the Yankees’ pick.
Before I post the big board, I want to make a few disclaimers. I am no expert, and have no access to insider information, so my picks are made based on info from around the blogosphere (including Sean’s excellent posts on this site) as well as rumors from various draft experts on Twitter. Therefore, it is highly likely that my big board will be foolishly optimistic, and my predicted pick (which will come later today) will likely not come to fruition. This is primarily for fun, but feel free to critique, discuss, or even mock my picks in the comment section, as I’m definitely looking for feedback/other viewpoints from folks who very well may have more extensive draft knowledge. The last time I did one of these big boards (in 2009) I predicted Slade Heathcott as the Yankees’ first pick (lucky guess, or believing Keith Law over some of the other prognosticators), though Tanner Scheppers, who was higher on my board, was available when the Yankees picked. So here goes nothing. I’ll have some thoughts/explanations at the bottom.
Eric’s 2011 MLB Draft Big Board (for the #51 pick)
1. Josh Bell (HS OF)
2. Blake Swihart (HS C)
3. Brandon Nimmo (HS OF)
4. Dillon Howard (HS RHP)
5. Tyler Beede (HS RHP)
6. Matt Purke (TCU LHP)
7. Derek Fisher (HS OF)
8. Dillon Maples (HS RHP)
9. Granden Goetzman (HS OF)
10. Williams Jerez (HS OF)
11. Brandon Martin (HS SS)
As you can see, it’s a very high school heavy board, and I think with good reason. I see better value in the high school class at this point, and don’t really see many high ceiling college players being available at #51. I’m primarily focusing on toolsy outfielders on the hitting side (with the exception of Swihart and Martin) and power arms on the pitching side. I see my board breaking down into several tiers: Bell and Swihart make up the first tier, Nimmo and Howard the second, Beede and Purke the 3rd, and Maples, Fisher, Goetzman, Jerez, and Martin representing the 4th tier.
Bell is definitely my top choice who has a chance to fall (some mocks have him falling out of the first round altogether), and I would be ecstatic if he were to be available at #51, as he’s a legitimate top-15 talent, the type of high school power bat that usually doesn’t fall to the Yankees. He would be a tough and costly signing, but in my mind, well worth it, given his talent and his ability to fill an organizational need. As a catcher, Swihart doesn’t really fill an organizational vacancy, but I view him as a better version of JR Murphy: a switch-hitting catcher with the athleticism to play 3rd base or outfield, and this versatility could make him a valuable prospect even in an organization as stocked with catchers as the Yankees. Nimmo is another toolsy outfielder with a big price tag (believed to be $3 million) who like Slade Heathcott has recovered well from a knee injury to impress scouts.
Purke at #6 on my list is probably the first guy who I’m pretty confident will be available at #51, and I would be willing to take him there unless he said flat-out that he was not willing to sign at any price, or his shoulder injury is serious. Given the Yankees’ lack of a first-round pick, if the first 5 guys on my board aren’t available (and no other first-round talents are), I think taking Purke at #51 is defensible, albeit risky. If the Yankees pass on Purke, he could very well wind up dropping several rounds, and it’s possible he could be had later in the draft. However, if the Yankees decide that Purke is worth taking a chance on (and paying a big bonus), I would have no problem with the Yankees getting him at #51.
After Purke, it’s bunch of high schoolers who are on the raw side, but have high upsides (except for Martin, who I view as a Cito Culver type of pick with potentially better offense, but worse defense). Maples intrigues me as a hard-throwing high schooler who can spin a decent curveball, while Fisher, Goetzman, and Jerez have athleticism and power potential that the Yankees could definitely use in their system.
Without a first-rounder, I was really trying to emphasize ceiling with my selections, and an extremely risky draft board is the result. There are definitely some decent college players who will be available at #51, but I wasn’t confident enough in the ceilings of any of them to warrant including them on this board. I’ll have my prediction in the afternoon before the draft is underway. As mentioned previously, thoughts, critiques, and other such commentary are welcome and encouraged.
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- related web site on The Great Subway Race
- get your lover back on Contact Us
- Dorothy Silvan on Pineda’s Torn Labrum, or Does the lemon law apply to baseball?
- tao of badass on Open Thread | Game 3 | Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees | Sunday, April 3, 2011
- tube launch review on Why Has Attendance Fallen Year-To-Year?
- Evon Znidarsic on Teixeira MRI Update, Babe Ruth Pitching In Pinstripes, And Jeter’s Gift Baskets
- Sacramento PC Repair on Yanks finally sign non-Yankee free agent in Russell Martin
- Multitech-Info.Com.pl on Open Thread | Game 3 | Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees | Sunday, April 3, 2011
- adult toys for women glass on Ladies and Gents, we now have a formula for winning in October
- monster beats tour on Midseason Prospect Rankings
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees