2009 Draft: Bittle out with arm injury

Stadium Metro-North stop to open tomorrow
Chien-Ming Wang to be activated tonight

Via Inside The Grove, Ole Miss RHP Scott Bittle will not pitch in the SEC tournament due to an arm injury, and was scheduled to see Dr. James Andrews yesterday. Bittle was the Yanks’ second round pick last year, but never signed because the team found some red flags in his shoulder. Arguably the best closer in the nation coming into the year, Bittle moved into the Rebels’ rotation midway through the season because starters are more valuable than relievers the team was dealing with injuries, and finished the regular season with a 2.17 ERA and a 68-22 K/BB ratio in just 45.2 IP.

Keith Law rated Bittle the 79th best prospect for the draft, and he was expected to be a second or third round pick this year thanks to his top-of-the line cutter. Obviously, his stock could take a huge hit depending on the severity of the injury. The Yanks will receive the 76th overall pick this year as compensation for failing to sign Bittle last year. (h/t KLaw)

Stadium Metro-North stop to open tomorrow
Chien-Ming Wang to be activated tonight
  • A.D.

    Hmmm any chance on a later round flyer on Bittle again, the Yankees should know the most in terms of the shoulder health.

    • whozat

      As I understand it, he’d have had to have signed a consent card last year to allow the Yanks to draft him again, and no one can find anything that says he did.

  • jsbrendog

    so since hindsight is OBV he way to judge everything that means that not signing him wasn’t the worst thing that could’ve ever happened.

    • A.D.

      See what happens with that pick, i’d rather have Bittle under the knife than no player.

      • jsbrendog

        but they def get a player because they pick again this year. its nt a question of that. people, on RAB here no less, were bemoaning the draft as “a disaster” and calling for cashman to be fired because he sucked at drafting etc etc. but not only do we get to pick again but we dont have another reclamation project on our hands.

        • UWS

          To be fair, I think most people were on Cashman for failing to sign Cole, not Bittle. I could be wrong, though.

          • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Yeah… People didn’t love that draft because of the lack of either a 1st or 2nd round pick in the system, not Bittle alone. When you look at that draft and consider the non-signing of both top picks, that’s a little rough.

          • Zack

            Maybe I’m wrong but didnt Cole change his mind and wanted to go to college no matter what the Yankees offered?

            • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              Motivations for not signing are irrelevant to people who are unhappy with the lack of either a 1st or 2nd round pick in the system. At the end of the day, no matter the player’s or the Yankees’ motivation for not signing the player, the Yankees walked away from the 2008 draft without 2 of their top 3 picks in the system (I forgot the supplemental 1st round pick, Bleich).

              I’m not saying I’m in that boat, but it’s not an entirely unreasonable position.

              • Zack

                I see your point. I’m not sure how last year’s class ranks compared to this year’s class but if we get better value for the same pick/price then it’s not too bad, just a thought

        • whozat

          They MIGHT get a player. If whoever they draft at 76 doesn’t sign, they don’t get another compensation pick in 2010.

          • A.D.

            That’s exactly what I was referring to.

            • jsbrendog


      • CountryClub

        Not if it’s a shoulder injury. The Yanks have clearly shown that they’ll draft someone that has elbow issues. But shoulder injuries, more often than not, are like death when it comes to a pitchers career.

        • Bo

          I’m pretty sure you get 1 yr to repick. If you fail to sign a guy again you don’t get that pick the next year. So the yankees wouldn’t get a pick next yr if they fail to sign someone in the Cole slot. Same with Washington at #10.

  • Russell NY

    Let it be known that if you turn down the Yankees you will have arm injuries in the near future.

    • whozat

      They know “A Guy”

      • Tony

        You’d think Mark Prior was enough of a warning, but I guess not.

      • jsbrendog


    • Arod, all the time

      Also let it be known that if you don’t turn down the Yankees you’ll be rushed through the mL and called up while unprepared to do so.

      signed, in secrecy

      • Rick in Boston

        Not sure how you can say Ohlendorf or Clippard or Veras or Hughes or Kennedy were rushed. Just because someone doesn’t perform when they reached the majors means they were rushed.

  • Dom

    Hopefully the yanks can get either Luke Bailey or Jiovanni Mier with their First Round Pick, and then probably David Renfroe with their Second Round Pick, that would be a pretty good draft right there. Although if a guy like Tyler Matzek or Matt Purke is still around, I would pick one of them instead. Another guy the Yanks should look at is Chad James, and Keyvius Sampson, they’re both out of high school, and seems like they could be very good in the future. What do you guys think they should do?

  • boychick

    since purke is supposedly asking for $3M to sign. do you pick mier or someone else, and gamble that purke will still be there with pick #76?

  • Dom

    I personally would pick Mier just because we don’t really have a future shortstop in the making in the minors right now, and Mier seems to be a stud, he is rated as the 16th best draft prospect by Keith Law, and we are in need of a yound shortstop pretty soon. It’s possible that Purke could slide all the way to 76, but it’s very unlikely with Boston picking one ahead of us in the First Round. If I had to guess what the Yankees draft would look like it would probably be Pick 1: Luke Bailey (Mier will probably be off the board, and Bailey is a steal since he is injured) 2: David Renfroe( pretty good shortstop who can hit for both average and power)

    I know that You’re supposed to take the best player available, but the Yankees right now have three catchers in the minors who could all pan out and become good major leaguers in Montero, Romine, and Higashioka. If I were the Yanks, I would try and pick a high upside shortstop, or high upside outfielder.

    • jsbrendog

      or pick the catchr and then be in the texas rangers position of being able to deal gerald laird and still having saltalamacchi and teagarden and being able to trade one of them for a talent like bucholz or another young pitcher with great aaa #s.

    • Januz

      The MLB Draft is the most difficult to forecast of the four major sports. If for no other reason, none of the guys drafted by the Yankees will be ready for the Bronx for several years at best, so taking players based on position is extremely silly (Besides they have Garrison Lassiter who is a shortstop prospect, so the need is not extreme). This draft is like a poker game, you have to keep your cards to the vest, take chances, and hope you play it right. The Cole situation was NOT as much a Yankee mistake or even Boras being Boras (Even Cashman acknowledged that he “Holds Scott blameless”). But a guy and his family not wanting to play here. Sometimes things backfire. I think of the Royals who drafted Tim Melville who was considered “Unsignable” in the 4th Round, and was able to get him under contract because they offered the opportunity to stay in his home state of Missouri.

  • Bp

    Always take the money especially if you have arm problems.

    What would have been better for him? Take slot 2nd rd money and get the best surgeons and rehab money can buy or head back to Ole Miss?

  • yankeesrbest

    I guess all those bitc….ng and moaning about the Yankees not signing him are a little less boisterous now. Hey, I guess the Yankees do know what they’re doing:)