I’ve been struggling with finding the best way to write this post for a few hours. The Yankee draft was initially disappointing to many Yankee fans. They didn’t spend much of the first 15 rounds signing high-ceiling, tough-sign guys to throw money at. I speculated, along with many other fans, that while the Yankees might make a small push in some of the later rounds, they were probably not going to have a big budget draft for a number of reasons. Boy, were we all wrong. The Yankees came out with authority on Day 3 like no other team ever has, completely ignoring any desire to find organizational players and instead taking flyers on every tough sign they could find. You can access the complete list here.
Information is trickling in on a lot of these players from a lot of sources, but it would be unfair to fail to credit Kevin Levine-Flandrup of Scout.com, who has been breaking the news on his twitter page regarding the Yankee draftees. I didn’t know a thing about any of these guys that the Yankees drafted, and he provided an starting point to start researching them. I highly recommend that everyone follow him.
The Yankees drafted a ton of notable guys. I throw around the word ‘aggressive’ a lot, and here I think it needs to be defined. An aggressive draft is one where the team takes risks, aims to spend money and aims for high ceiling players. After a relatively safe start to the draft (although they made some daring choices), the Yankees had one of the most aggressive rounds 10-50 in draft history. The full extent to which this proves successful, or even the full extent to which we understand how aggressive they were, will not be apparent until after the signing deadline. The Yankees put themselves in a position to send a huge number of guys to summer ball, in many cases at a different position than they are accustomed to playing, and see how they perform. I have no idea how many players they intend to sign, or how much money they are willing to spend, but they put themselves in an excellent position to choose from a long list of aggressive, expensive, risks to take.
Here are a few notables that neither I nor Sean and Eric mentioned much about on draft day:
- Rookie Davis – He’s a big strong guy who throws 92-93 mph, with some projection. He’s athletic, raw, and hasn’t been pitching full time for awhile, as he’s also a legitimate prospect as a slugging 1st baseman.
- Justin Jones -He’s another super athlete without much polish. He’s an outfielder with tons of speed and some power projection. That’s notable because he’s a big boy – 6’5″ 230 lbs. Fast guys like him have tons of projectability.
- Jake Cave – He’s a high bonus guy who the Yankees have been connected to for a long time. He’s both a 5-tool slugging outfielder and a low-90s LHP. They have him as an OF for now. He has a LSU commitment.
- Spencer O’Neil – He’s a big strong 1b/OF slugger-type who reportedly is asking for a million dollars. The Yankees will try and bring him down to much more reasonable levels. He’s super-thin right now, 6’4″ 170 lbs.
- Hayden Sharp – He wasn’t on anyone’s radar before this year, but all of the sudden started throwing 96 mph. Think about Brett Marshall before his draft year.
- Daniel Camerena – A tough-sign LHP with high parks for pitchability, and a 91 mph fastball. He’s also a prospect as an OF.
- Adam Smith – He both created a theory of capitalism and played 3 years of shortstop for Texas A&M. The Yankees picked him as a RHP. He throws in the 92-93 mph range from the mound.
These are just a few names that I’ve been able to find good information about. More will come later… from other TYA writers. I will be leaving tomorrow for my annual summer hiatus into the woods. I will be back for a few days, possibly with my top-30 prospect update written, but will for the most part be out of action until August 18th. By then, we’ll know which of these players will be Yankee prospects and which will choose to stay in school. It’ll be an exciting summer.
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