Hello Yankee fans and draftniks. The MLB draft begins tonight, and we’ll have plenty of coverage and analysis of the Yankees’ selections, as well as some of the other picks in the draft. Tonight we have the 1st round (where the Yankees pick at #30) and the supplemental 1st round (no Yankee pick), and the new draft rules should make things very interesting to follow. Stay tuned, as there will be plenty of updates throughout the night. Feel free to leave thoughts, comments, questions, etc. in the comment section and we’ll get to them ASAP. Plenty more after the jump:
My first order of business is to make a prediction for who the Yankees will end up taking at #30. There has not been much of a consensus of who the Yankees will take at #30, or even who is most likely to be available, so this will be a difficult task. My gut is telling me that the Yankees will go with a high school player at #30 because they haven’t taken a college player with their first pick since 2007. Since the Yankee drafts have been heavy in position players in the last two years, it will be interesting to see if they continue that strategy or re-emphasize pitching. As a result, I am going to predict a high school pitcher at #30. I’ll go with Hagarty HS righty Zach Eflin, a tall, projectable righty who can touch the mid-90′s with his fastball, features one of the best changeups in the high school class, and a promising breaking ball.
7:17 PM: The draft gets off to a surprising start as the Astros pop Puerto Rican SS Carlos Correa instead of Stanford righty Mark Appel (the expected selection) or toolsy high school outfielder Byron Buxton. I have to imagine Correa will be signable (possibly for a below-slot bonus), and maybe the Astros had concerns that Appel would demand more than the $7.4 million allotted to the 1st pick.
7:24: The Correa selection has already thrown mock drafts into disarray, and the Twins seem poised to take Buxton at #2. It will be interesting to see how far Appel falls. Another storyline to keep an eye on: the fate of Harvard-Westlake RHP Lucas Giolito, a possible candidate for #1 overall before missing his entire senior season with an elbow injury. He has a UCLA scholarship and may require a big bonus to sign, but could fall significantly if teams are uncertain about his health. He has been linked to some teams with 2 1st rounders (such as Toronto), but it remains to be seen where he ends up. Another player with potentially large variability is Duke RHP Marcus Stroman, a 5’9″ guy who probably has the best raw stuff in the draft (mid-90′s fastball and nasty slider), who could drop pretty far depending on how cautious teams are about drafting a short pitcher.
7:37: Mark Appel’s slide continues, as the Orioles take LSU righty Kevin Gausman instead. It will be interesting to see where Appel lands, because as it gets lower in the round teams will have smaller bonus pools to offer.
8:00: And Appel goes off the board to the Pirates at #8. Kudos to Pirates GM (and fellow Lord Jeff) Neal Huntington for another bold selection (after taking and signing HS OF Josh Bell last year). Appel is almost certainly BPA here, but signing him could be difficult.
8:20: Well, there goes HS SS Addison Russell at #11 to the A’s, a bit earlier than expected. He was considered a possible Yankee target, but clearly had too much helium. The Mets popped another high school shortstop in Gavin Cecchini, brother of current Red Sox prospect Garin. The Mets were strongly connected to Cecchini throughout the process, so it was not a major surprise to see him there.
8:43: A somewhat surprising pick at #14 as the Reds take high school righty Nick Travieso, a guy who was ranked #40 on the BA list (though he had some serious helium). There is still a lot of talent left on the board, particularly in the pitching department.
8:49: The Nationals are on the clock now, and have been considered a possible landing place for Giolito. And indeed, there he goes. Ballsy pick, now let’s see if they can sign him. He may cost their entire draft pool (or most of it), but getting a player with his talent at this spot in the draft could justify losing future picks.
9:21: The Braves continued their time-honored tradition of taking a Georgia high schooler in the 1st round by taking righty Lucas Sims. Just 9 selections until the Yankees pick, with some interesting talent left on the board, including Duke RHP Marcus Stroman, high school RHP Lance McCullers, ASU shortstop Deven Marrero, to name a few.
9:28: And there goes Stroman to the Blue Jays at #22. If he can stay as a starter long-term that’s a major steal, but if he doesn’t he can still be a dynamite reliever. We all know how Alex Anthopoulos loves his relief pitchers.
9:37: The Red Sox end up taking Deven Marrero with their 1st pick of the evening (#24). He’s a glove-first shortstop who has had some questions about his bat and effort. He’s very talented, but has the reputation of being somewhat of an underachiever.
9:44: The Rays take Clemson 3b Richie Shaffer at #25 and the D’Backs pop Stryker Trahan (a personal fave) at #26, and the Yankee pick is approaching rapidly. There is still some intriguing talent left. Still available: HS righty Lance McCullers (though he has major signability questions), Stanford 3b Steve Piscotty, HS 3b Joey Gallo, and HS RHP Zach Eflin (my prediction), among others. High school righty Ty Hensley (#23 on the BA list) would be an intriguing option as well, touching mid-90′s with his fastball and a nasty curve.
10:02: Georgia Southern outfielder Victor Roache goes to the Brewers with their second consecutive pick after taking high school catcher Clint Coulter at #27. Rangers are on the clock, and the Yankees are up very soon.
10:07: The Rangers take toolsy high school outfielder Lewis Brinson at #29, leaving the Yankees a ton of options. I’m going to stick with my earlier prediction of Zach Eflin, but honestly have no idea where they are going.
10:12: And here we go! With the #30 selection in the 2012 MLB draft, the New York Yankees select high school righty Ty Hensley from Oklahoma. I just mentioned him as a possible option upthread, a 6’5″ righty with mid-90′s heat and a good curveball. Definitely a player with the type of ceiling you like to see with a 1st-round pick. EJ will have a writeup on Hensley later tonight, so stay tuned.
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