2009 Draft: Thoughts from Day Two


Adam WarrenFrom the looks of it, the Yankees went into Day Two of the 2009 Draft with the very clear intention of adding power to the system. Power, regardless if it was at the plate or on the mound, it didn’t matter. Sixth rounder Rob Lyerly’s (3B, UNC-Charlotte) .725 slugging percentage led the Atlantic 10 Conference by nearly 50 points, and over the last two years he’s racked up a .333 IsoP with more extra base hits (73) than strikeouts (68). Outfielder and 11th round pick Neil Medchill has put up a .281 IsoP in two seasons with Oklahoma State, while 13th rounder DeAngelo Mack brings a .249 IsoP from South Carolina’s outfield. All three players project to hit for average or better pop with wood bats, and it’s no accident all three players do their work from the left side of the plate (coughNewYankeeStadiumcough).

While the three power bats are a nice addition to a system devoid of any thump outside of top prospect Jesus Montero, the Yankees also added several big arms to their cache of pitching. Their 7th, 8th, and 9th round picks were all spent on guys who have shown the ability to dial up to the mid-90’s in the past. Righty Sean Black (7th round, Seton Hall) and southpaw Gavin Brooks (9th round, UCLA) were both top prospects out of high school in the 2006 Draft who ended up in college, while righties Caleb Cotham (4th round, Vanderbilt) and Graham Stoneburner (14th round, Clemson) were draft eligible sophomores likely to go in the early rounds next year.

In addition to the power arms and power bats, Damon Oppenheimer & Co. added plenty of depth to the organization. Fourth rounder Adam Warren is a grizzled ACC and College World Series veteran that pounds the zone and should have no trouble carving up hitters in the low minors. He could develop in a high leverage groundball reliever down the road. Nineteenth rounder Luke Murton (Matt’s younger brother) hit behind Matt Wieters and spent four years anchoring the Georgia Tech lineup. Southpaw and 10th round pick Tyler Lyons has been a Friday night starter in the Big 12 for the past two years with Oklahoma State and should climb the ladder quickly.

But that’s not all. The Yanks also took some high upside high school players who fell for various reasons. Righty Brett Gerritse (12th round)  brings three quality offers to the table, while fellow righthander Chad Thompson (17th round) has a big projectable frame and a low-90’s fastball but is out after having Tommy John surgery. Local kid and shortstop Stephen Bruno (26th round) doesn’t bring flashy tools to the table, but he’s a top notch makeup guy with the grinder game people seem to love. Kyle McKenzie (30th round) is a small righty with good stuff and strong command. There’s no guarantee the Yanks will sign any of these four, but if they do they’ll receive tremendous value from a low draft selection.

Today’s conclusion of the draft won’t be very exciting. Mostly players to fill out low level rosters and maybe one or two fliers on guys who have fallen for whatever reason. The more important thing to watch for is how many of these players the Yankees end up actually signing, because selecting guys is only half the battle.

Photo Credit: Nati Harnik, AP

Categories : Draft
  • Doug

    So, all in all, Mike, you approve or disapprove? grade?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Approve. No idea on a grade yet, too early.

  • Jamal G.

    Funny, I thought the Yankees’ Day Two Draft was a complete and utter failure because Madison Younginer, William Volz, Brandon Jacobs and Cody Stubbs all went to the Red Sox and not the Yanks. #NYYFans

    • ChrisS

      True Yankee fans would never do that sort of thing.

    • Jake K.

      Obviously you’re being sarcastic. But it does seem fair to note that many of the high upside signability guys ended up getting drafted by the Sox, while the one the Yanks took, Chad Thompson, sounds like a long shot to sign. The Yanks obviously took the guys they liked, but I do think that they left themselves open to questions about whether they got the most value they could.

      • Reggie C.

        Its almost as if the RS do this in order to keep these guys AWAY from the Yanks. Theo might sign a couple from the day 2 signability guys, but the rest of ‘em Theo keeps away from the Yanks.

        Theo is a professional.

      • Jamal G.

        No, a few of the signability guys with high upsides that people knew the names of were signed by the Red Sox. For some reason people like to think they know as much or more about amateur and Minor League baseball than the scouts and Front Office personnel that do this for a damn living.

        How many people hated the Joba Chamberlain pick; the Ian Kennedy pick? Were uninterested in the Austin Romine pick? Hell, even some people didn’t like the Phil Hughes pick.

        Just because a guy is a big name and doesn’t go to the Bombers, or worst, goes to Boston, it’s an automatic win for the Red Sox and epic failure for the Yankees. It’s horseshit.

        • Jake K.

          First of all, I hardly said the Yanks’ draft was “an epic failure.” Chill. Second, I think it’s a cop out to say the Yanks front office knows more than we do, therefore we must assume they did a great job. By that reasoning, the Bucs did a great job getting Tony Sanchez at #4. If you’re not interested in assessing/discussing the team’s performance (whether on the field on in the draft room), then why come to a blog like this?

          I make no claims to be an expert, but I am perfectly capable of reading sources like KLaw who are. And they don’t seem to be touting the Yanks’ draft. Again, I’m not saying their draft was a failure, only wondering if they did as well as they could.

          • crawdaddy

            If KLaw was such a good expert, he would be holding a front office job in baseball instead of pretending like he’s some kind of great scout for ESPN.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              “If KLaw was such a good expert, he would be holding a front office job in baseball instead of pretending like he’s some kind of great scout for ESPN.”

              That doesn’t make sense.


            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

              You know not of which you speak. Klaw worked in the Jays’ front office. Hated the atmosphere, left for Scouts, Inc.

          • Jamal G.

            That final line wasn’t directed at you, but the general perception; so, apologies.

            My main argument with you specifically was the fact that you noted Chad Thompson as “the only one” the Yankees drafted of the high-upside, signability players in the draft pool on Day 2. Just because you or I are aware of only a select few of these kind of players does not corrolate to the fact that those players we are aware of are the only ones of their kind.

            You said the selections yesterday relative to those of the Red Sox left the Yankees “open to questions”, but you made a definitive statement with the Chad Thompson line.

            • Jake K.

              Fair enough, you’re right. That’s why I was asking the question. I just dislike the notion that, because we’re not paid experts, that we can’t try to evaluate how the Yanks did. My gut (based on what I’ve read on this and NoMass and non-Yankee blogs), is that the Yanks’ had a solid, but not spectacular draft (and that the same could be said for the two years previous).

              Obviously, that’s better than some teams, but as a Yankee fan I’m conditioned to want the Yanks to be the few teams (Sox among them) so seem to be among the draft “winners” every year.

              • Jamal G.

                Yeah, I have no issue with your viewpoint. To be honest, I think you might have misunderstood when I said, “NYYFans”. That is a forum, not be generally stating all New York Yankees fans. The posters there were literally slamming the Yankees for letting Renfroe and Younginer going to Boston, and calling the draft crappy mainly because of that. I took an extreme issue with that viewpoint.

      • A.D.

        Some of the guys with big names because of the hype that BA, Law, and others placed on them went to the Sox, and while that shouldn’t go unnoticed, there probably is also a reason those guys dropped to where the Sox could take them, and why the Yanks decided to go with their own crop of signability guys.

        • Bo

          Fans have never seen 99% of these guys. Bloggers havent seen 99% of these guys. They all take whatever BA or KLaw says as pretty much gospel. I think the Yankees scouts have a little better handle on it.

          • A.D.

            If nothing else the scouts jobs are staked to it, BA, KLaw & Company, not so much.

          • eVizions

            Considering that the Yankees (and every team for that matter) employ dozens of scouts whose sole occupation is scouting individual talent and reporting back on it, I’m going to guess that the collective operation of a single team is a little more knowledgeable than KLaw or even BA. So, yeah, I think you hit the nail on the head.

            • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

              Then why do some teams have horrible drafts year after year?

      • Jamal G.

        … while the one the Yanks took, Chad Thompson, sounds like a long shot to sign.

        Also, this is a huge part of the problem: why do you think Chad Thompson is the only signablity guy with a high upside the Yanks drafted yesterday? Just because he’s the only one of that ilk you heard of that the Yanks drafted on Day 2 does not mean anything. Say hello Caleb Cotham, Brett Gerritse, Shane Greene and Graham Stoneburner.

        • pat

          I want a Stoneburner jersey like right now.

        • Jake K.

          Again, if discussing this stuff is so offensive to you then why come here? Seems to me that trying to figure out how our team did, and weigh it against other teams, is part of the fun. Just because we’re not experts doesn’t mean we can’t do that. Both Barack Obama and John McCain know more than I do about foreign policy and crop subsidies, but I still get to vote.

          • Jamal G.

            Wait, so by me providing factual evidence that your point of saying Chad Thompson was the lone high-upside, signability player the Yanks drafted yesterday I am some how taking offense.

            Oh, and as to your out-of-left-field political analogy, I’m sure you can agree that the more educated a person is, the more qualified they are to vote, yes? That’s all I’m saying here – you were unaware of the high-upside, signability guys the Yanks drafted yesterday and thus your perception of their draft relative to the red Sox was/is skewed.

            • Jamal G.

              Wait, so by me providing factual evidence that your point of saying Chad Thompson was the lone high-upside, signability player the Yanks drafted yesterday was inaccurate I am some how taking offense?

              • Jake K.

                Sure, but the problem is that I’m making my mind up based on the opinions of people like KLaw who know far more than you or I do. Again, nowhere have I claimed to any expertise.

      • http://anewfrontier.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

        while the one the Yanks took, Chad Thompson, sounds like a long shot to sign

        http://www.nomaas.org/draft/?p=201 : 3rd paragraph

        • Jake K.

          That’s awesome. I hope they are able to lock him up.

          • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

            hird, and most importantly, Damon was as animated as I’ve ever heard him about the selection of JR Murphy in the second round yesterday, telling me, “let me just say that you and your readers are going to love this kid. He can flat. Out. Hit. He’s got present power, too. I was at four games of his and in those four games he hit four homeruns that would have been out of any park.

            how many more would have been out of the bandbox?

  • ChrisS

    Speaking of guys that fell for whatever reason and the Yankees drafted and surprisingly signed, where’s Nik Turley this year?

    • pat

      Currently in Extended Spring training, he will most likely be on the Staten Island staff along with matt richardson

      • pat

        Both of whom, I beleive, will delight.

  • A.D.

    Seems the Yanks did quite well for themselves, with pretty much every day 2 pick have some piece of their game having some type of major upside (mainly power), instead of some of the picks last year that were guys with more polish and less potential tool (i.e. David Adams).

    Combine that with the raving review on JR Murphy per Oppenheimer via Nomaas (and I believe Pat posted it in DotF), and this looks like a real solid draft, especially given that the Yanks knowingly gutted their draft picks with the Tex, CC, and Burnett deals.

  • Chip

    I think we can all tell by now that the draft is a complete crap shoot after the 3rd round or so. Yeah you can do the research with these guys and try to predict what they’ll become but they’re all so far away that it’s nearly impossible.

    Knowing that, the Yankees did exactly what they should. Drafted guys with power bats and power arms, two things that lead to success in the major leagues. Hopefully we have the next Andy Pettite or Albert Pujols in there somewhere

    • jsbrendog

      I think we can all tell by now that the draft is a complete crap shoot in its entirety.

      ben mcdonald is at home sticking pins in his strausburg voodoo doll

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        ben mcdonald is at home sticking pins in his strausburg voodoo doll

        Fuck, back in the day I was so sure these things were gonna be worth buttloads of money someday:


  • pat

    Power arms galore, you can teach an offspeed pitch but you can’t teach the stinky cheese.

    • A.D.

      Just as Edwar Ramirez.

      • A.D.


        • pat

          Exactly. A couple more mph and he’d be dirty dirt. Well that and not throwing meatballs.

          • pat

            Ken Tremendous thinks I’m using too many food metaphors here, haha.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      The Parmesan Pellet!

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      “you can’t teach the stinky cheese.”


  • BBDC

    Hey Mike,

    Are there any signability guys still out there, I know at this point its scraping the bottom of the barrel but the Yankees shocked everyone by drafting Nik Turley in the 48th round and then successfully signing him last year.

    Are there any guys left that the Yankees can surprise us with this time around?

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheManchine Bruno

    Stephen Bruno!!!

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      First you, then Stephen, next the new Sasha Baron Cohen movie coming out July 10… it’s the Summer of Brüno!

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    DeAngelo Mack hit the longest home run in South Carolina Gamecock history, apparently.


    5’10” 185 lefty corner outfielder with a compact power stroke and decent speed… I can’t shake the poor man’s Ray Lankford comp that’s brewing in my mind.

    He’s the most intriguing position player we took (outside of the big two of Heathcott and Murphy, of course.)

  • Sweet Lou


    At what point do college players become eligible for the draft again? After their freshman year? Sophomore? Junior?

    Anyone? Bueller?

    • pat

      Gotta be 21 or turn 21 45 days before the draft.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        If you enroll in a 4 year college, you’re not eligible until you’re a Junior or age 21.

        If you go to a JuCo, you’re eligible every year, IIRC.

      • pat

        That came out wrong, you have to be 21 years old or be turning 21 45 days after the draft.

        • Sweet Lou

          Thanks guys!

  • ChrisS

    very clear intention of adding power to the system.

    Local upstater 3B Kevin Mahoney, from Canisus, in the 23rd round posted a .746 SLG with a 39:44 BB:K ratio. Oh, he was also the MAAC preseason and end of season player of the year. I don’t know his defense looks like, but he’s a good-sized (6′ 200lb) hitter with serious pop.

  • Januz

    I have a gut feeling that the Yankees will sign about 20-25 players from this draft. What I am looking to see how many of these guys sign: Gerritse, Lyons, Gotham, Thompson & Stoneburner.