2008 Draft ReviewBy
After months and months of anticipation, the draft has finally come and gone, and all I have to say is: Thank God. It’s fun trying to find hidden gems and discussing who your team should take, but the actual event can be like watching linoleum curl. Televising the draft was a great idea, and it’s amazing how far draft coverage has come in the last 10-15 years, but it’s time to go back to the old rapid fire conference call. Four hours for 46 picks is just too long, sorry.
The Yanks employed their tried and true philosophy of taking the best talent available on their board regardless of bonus demands. While they didn’t land any of the sexy names in the later rounds like we’re accustomed too, Damon Oppenheimer & Co. still selected a bevy of high ceiling players late to supplement the talent they took at the top of the draft.
Obviously, the big prize is first rounder Gerrit Cole, a UCLA recruit who was ranked as one of top three high school pitchers in the country all year long, but other prep pitchers like Brett Marshall, Mikey O’Brien and Matt Richardson all bring a similar package of stuff, projectability and youth. To diversify the portfolio, so to speak, the Yanks also took safer college arms like Jeremy Bleich, Scott Bittle and Luke Greinke. Bleich and prepsters Blake Monar & Chris Dwyer give the club a solid group of southpaws for the farm system, which is all but devoid of quality lefties.
On the position player side, the Yanks went for youth and hitting ability up the middle with high schoolers Corban Joseph, Chris Smith, Garrison Lassiter and Sam Mende, and balanced them out with proven college bats like David Adams, Dan Brewer, Jack Rye and Luke Anders. Kyle Higashioka and Ben McMahan add to an already impressively deep crop of young catching, and Addison Maruszak is a prime conversion candidate.
Overall, I’m pleased with the haul. They landed high upside talent on the mound at up-the-middle positions, which are the critical areas of any baseball team. You can see all of the Yanks picks here. Selecting the players was only half the battle. Now they have to get them signed.