Oct
22

2010 Draft: Could Bryce Harper fall out of the first round?

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It seems like we hear this about the top draft prospects every year, but in yesterday’s chat at ESPN, Baseball America’s Jim Callis said that it’s not far-fetched to think Bryce Harper could fall out of the first round entirely next June. He notes that it’s “going to be almost impossible to live up to the hype, and if he falls short and is looking for big money–is Strasburg’s contract a starting point–he may scare off clubs, who know he can re-enter the 2011 and 2012 drafts and still have lots of leverage.”

The Yankees – currently picking 32nd overall – did operate on a budget last year, but scouting director Damon Oppenheimer hinted that things could have changed under special circumstances. That probably means the team would have jumped all over Stephen Strasburg if he’d fallen into their laps. I don’t think the Yankees would go out of their way to make sure they retained their first round pick (by not signing a Type-A free agent this offseason) for the off-chance that Harper drops, you’d almost always rather have the big leaguer (unless we’re talking about someone like John Grabow or Kevin Gregg).

Categories : Asides, Draft
  • Mike HC

    Just another reason not to sign Holliday. I have basically no idea how the pick/free agent system works.

    Would re signing Damon and/or Matsui cost us a first rounder?

    Do the Yanks get a first rounder for Damon and Matsui if they leave?

    So, if we sign Holliday and let Damon and Matsui go, do the Yanks get an extra first round pick?

    Baseball should not be this complicated.

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

      1) Re-signing your own players doesn’t cost a draft pick.

      2) The players would have to qualify as Type-A free agents and the Yanks would have to offer them arbitration. I think only Damon will qualify as an A, but the official rankings aren’t out yet.

      3) Theoretically, yes. Both Damon and Matsui would have to be Type-A’s, offered arbitration, and sign elsewhere.

      I don’t think the Yanks will offer either arbitration, they made way too much money this year.

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        I don’t think the Yanks will offer either arbitration, they made way too much money this year.

        Yessir. Neither should be offered arbitration unless it’s 1000001% certain that he is leaving.

      • Mike bk

        i thought matsui was a B?

    • Usty

      Quick and dirty explanation. If your team has a 1st round pick out of the top 15 and you sign another teams Type-A free agent (that has been offered arbitration) you give up your 1st round pick to that team and they get a sandwich pick (between rounds 1 and 2)

      Re-signing your own players does not affect your draft picks.

      The Yankees would have to offer Matsui and Damon arbitration (which they almost assuredly will not do) and then they’d have to reject it and sign with another team. However, most likely those 2 would accept and the Yankees would be stuck paying them 12-14 mil again.

    • Colombo

      We don’t lose anything if we resign our own Type-A free agents.

      If we sign Holliday, the Cardinals get our first rounder and a sandwich pick, but only if they have offered Holliday arbitration.

      If Matsui and Damon are type A free agents, decline arbitration, and then sign with another team, we get that team’s first round selection (only if it is not one of the top 15 picks) and a sandwich pick.

    • Mike HC

      thanks to all. Much appreciated

    • chris

      it’s not complicated, but you’re a yankee fan so we all get you don’t understand a lot of things.

  • Accent Shallow

    Is there really any chance someone like Harper would get past any team willing to go over slot?

    • Doug

      sounds like it may be waaaay over slot, though

      • Bo

        No one knows how teams view this kid. Just because SI puts him on the cover doesnt mean teams think hes that good.

        • JMK aka The Overshare

          I can’t believe I’m saying this, but you’re 100% right.

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

            He’s not 100% right. Only half right.

            Yes, the fact that SI put him on the cover doesn’t mean teams think he’s good. But, teams DO think he’s good. We DO know how teams view Harper. Teams like Harper, a lot.

  • http://generationnot.blogspot.com/ Steve S

    Would the presence of Montero, Romine, Sanchez and Murphy make Harper less attractive? I know we have discussed the catching depth in the minors but at some point do they start looking at needs over pure talent, especially when the kid is 17-18?

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

      It shouldn’t. Take the best available player, regardless of position. Remember that prospects serve two purposes: to fill a spot on the big league team, or two be used in trades. If they draft and sign Harper, then trade him for Zack Greinke in three years, it’s worth it.

      • All praise be to Mo

        I agree, no such thing as too much of a good thing. Depth is good and we’ve all seen how quickly it can disappear. Who knows how this kid will be in 3-4 years when he might be ready to get to the show? We thought we had great pitching depth this year and ended up with Chad Gaudin as our 4th starter in the playoffs.

      • http://generationnot.blogspot.com/ Steve S

        So who do you want the Yankees to end with more Harper, Kikuchi or Chapman? All seem to have a certain level of hype and all three would take a heavy financial commitment for relatively unknown talents.

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

          If I could get one but only one, I’d take Harper, because elite bat prospects have a lower bust-rate than elite pitching prospects.

          That being said, that’s also the primary reason that Harper is by far the least likely to end up here in pinstripes. Other teams also know that Harper with an insanely large bonus demand still presents less risk than Chapman or Kikuchi with their own large bonus demands. So no, I don’t think Harper will fall out of the first round. He won’t even fall out of the top 10 picks. Even if he asks for 30M up front, someone will take him and negotiate, even at the risk of not signing him (keep in mind, they’d get that pick back in the following draft) because of his upside.

          Chapman and Kikuchi are bigger wildcards/longshots.

          I’d say our odds of getting them are:
          Chapman: 50%
          Kikuchi: 25%
          Harper: 1%

          • http://www.stonerh1@aol.com Bob Stone

            I believe your assessment is spot on 100% correct. I agree completely.

            • Andy in Sunny Daytona

              I don’t. I have the odds at:
              Chapman: 52%
              Kikuchi: 28%
              Harper: 1.7%

              Pretty closee though.

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

                You’ll rue the day you crossed me, Trebek.

                • http://generationnot.blogspot.com/ Steve S

                  I’ll take Swords for $1,000

                • Jake S

                  I shall take Balloons for 6000, Alex

                • All praise be to Mo

                  Ruff…just like your mother likes it Trebek.

          • Reggie C.

            Don’t forget to add – if Harper grows alittle more , he might need to get off Catcher position. Harper however could profile to be a corner OF.

            IF Harper is available at 32 , its a no-brainer. Select him and try to get him signed to something like Ackley signed.

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

              Harper is like Montero: If they stick at catcher, they have a chance to be otherworldly good, but even if they can’t stick there, those bats will play anywhere on the field.

              • Reggie C.

                Yeah. Except Montero hasn’t physically played OF in a minor league game. Not once. And he’s gonna be in AAA at some point in 2010. That boat has sailed. Once he comes up to the bigs , his bat should keep him there.

                You can’t simply break him into corner OF at the major league level. Right?

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

                  We’re not at all talking about the same things here. You were speaking in abstractions, I replied in similar abstractions, then you went super-specific.

                  Whatevs.

                • Reggie C.

                  My bad.

                  Not the time or place/thread. I misunderstood “play anywhere in the field.”

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

                  No problemo. You thought I was saying more than I was saying; probably partially my fault and partially yours.

                  (internet handshake)

          • YankeeGrunt

            Edited by RAB. Sorry, guy, not your fault. But I deleted the comment that you responded to (pointless troll), and I didn’t want you to think that we’re deleting your posts.

        • Tommy

          I’d much rather see Harper in their system – We know much more about American prospects than Cuban ones or Japanese ones. And as for Chapman, I’m really not very high on him. He has terrible control, and essentially what he’s good at doing is throwing hard. This is not, by any means, a recipe for success.

          So I’d rather see Harper, then Kikuchi, then Chapman. Harper, being a draft pick, would take an absurd bonus, and Chapman I would expect to get something stupid like what Contreras got, whereas I think they could spend the least on Kikuchi. I don’t know how he compares to Tazawa, but it’s a similar principle.

  • All praise be to Mo

    I hate to say I can never see this happening. Another big market team picking in front of us (a la Detroit with Porcello a couple years ago) will scoop him up before he falls to us. Perhaps even another AL East team, if only to keep him from us even if they can’t sign him and then pick up the same pick the next year.

    • Kyle

      Man, I was so pumped that year watching it live. I thought we were going to get Porcello, and then the Detroit fucking Tigers scoop him up and my joy collapsed. Then we take Andrew Brackman, and the rest is history…

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

        Then we take Andrew Brackman, and the rest is history…

        WHY THE FUCK IS MY BURRITO TAKING THIS LONG TO COOK IN THIS MICROWAVE?!?!?!??!?!??!

        • whozat

          ah, the classics.

          • jsbrendog

            i’m jack perkins, and this has been…..BIOGraphy

        • Tony

          Brackman is quickly proving to be a Pop Tart, and yes, he is taking too long to cook.

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

            (doublechecks historical record to make sure that Brackman has only pitched one full season in the minors and not 4 or 5)

            Yeah, no. You’re still dead fucking wrong. Way to early to tell yet. Relax

            • Andy in Sunny Daytona

              INSTANT GRATIFICATION……..NOW!!!!

              • jsbrendog

                IMMEDIACY!

    • http://twitter.com/JamalG_BB Jamal G.

      Perhaps even another AL East team, if only to keep him from us even if they can’t sign him and then pick up the same pick the next year.

      If you were the General Manager or Amateur Scouting Director of a baseball organization, would you do such a thing?

      • All praise be to Mo

        If I’m the Red Sox or another team down towards the end of the 1st round and your top choices aren’t there, there isn’t anyone you really like, you have the money to sign him but you know even if you end up not signing this guy you’ll get the same exact pick the next year AND keep him away from the Yankees? Yea, I would.

        My retort question, lets say someone who is other-worldly good (strasberg last year), comes out and says he wants to play for the red sox and only the red sox, makes extraordinary demands to keep other teams from drafting him and we have the pick before the Red Sox in the draft. Wouldn’t you want Cashman to take him because of his talent, we have the money to sign him, and also to stick it to the Red Sox? Best case, we sign him, worst case we get the same exact pick next year AND keep him from the Sox for a year. Who knows what can happen in a year? He goes to indy ball and blows out a shoulder…he softens his stance and signs with us…

      • All praise be to Mo

        If I’m the Red Sox or another team down towards the end of the 1st round and your top choices aren’t there, there isn’t anyone you really like, you have the money to sign him but you know even if you end up not signing this guy you’ll get the same exact pick the next year AND keep him away from the Yankees? Yea, I would.

        My retort question, lets say someone who is other-worldly good (strasberg last year), comes out and says he wants to play for the red sox and only the red sox, makes extraordinary demands to keep other teams from drafting him and we have the pick before the Red Sox in the draft. Wouldn’t you want Cashman to take him because of his talent, we have the money to sign him, and also to stick it to the Red Sox? Best case, we sign him, worst case we get the same exact pick next year AND keep him from the Sox for a year. Who knows what can happen in a year? He goes to indy ball and blows out a shoulder…he softens his stance and signs with us…

  • A.D.

    The only hope on getting someone like Harper is:

    big contract demands
    + him getting a nice ride at a big baseball school
    + him limiting the teams he wants to play for to a handful

    Otherwise he may fall, but to the very end of the last round would be unlikely.

    • Kyle

      Well, he did say earlier this year that his dream was to play for the Yankees. But then again, the Yankees were Gerrit Cole’s favorite team growing up as well, and look how that turned out.

      • A.D.

        Yeah, that’s why you don’t want to bank on that alone, but by opting out of his senior year of HS & his comments it seems like he wants to go pro pretty bad. More so than Cole.

      • Sam

        Party foul!

  • JohnC

    I hope they don’t chase Holliday. Scott Boras is his agent and he will be looking in the 15-20 mill range even though he was a bust in Oakland before being traded back to the NL.

    • Jon

      his OPS+ was 125 not exactly a bust

      • andrew

        /reality’d

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

        Yes, but an OPS+ of 125 is Swisher production. It should get you Swisher money.

        It’s not Tex production, but Holliday and Boras will price themselves at Tex money.

        Bust? No. Worthwhile expenditure of money? Probably not, no.

        • Jon

          swisher was worth 16.5m this year

          thats about what Holliday is going to get a year

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

            I doubt it.

        • Rebel Scum

          Yeah, that’s a foul here TMJC. Swisher was signed to a well below-market deal in order to buy out years of his free agency. You can’t compare the two.

          Besides, 125 OPS+ is Swisher’s upside. Matt Holliday’s upside is much higher.

  • steve s

    It seems to me if Harper is available at 32 he will be available whenever the Yanks make their first pick since the only way that happens is if his $$$ demands are made known beforehand and are outrageous. With next year’s free agent crop looking pretty slim I think Yanks will make a concerted effort to get the payroll under $200MM (basically by not replacing Damon or Matsui’s salary), promote Ajax to work his way into an outfeld rotation of Gardner/Melky/Swisher, re-sign Matusi (but not Damon) and promote from within to close up any other holes.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      promote Ajax to work his way into an outfeld rotation of Gardner/Melky/Swisher, re-sign Matusi (but not Damon) and promote from within to close up any other holes.

      Any OF that includes two of Gardner/Cabrera is unacceptable, unless the DH can guarantee incredible levels of offense. Inserting Jackson into that rotation makes it even weaker offensively. Also, I’m of the mind set that Jackson should spend at least another half-year in AAA.

      • pat

        Yup Ajax needs more time in Scranton. He had a redic lucky year in 09 with a BABIP close to .400. He’s either gotta cut down on the K’s or SLG better than .405. Either way more time in the minors is necessary. If Adam Jones can spend 2 yrs in AAA Ajax can too.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          He had a redic lucky year in 09 with a BABIP close to .400.

          Well, he was lucky, but he did have an LD% of at least 20% in every month except July, so he was at least hitting the ball hard (but his OPS did fall a good deal each month).

          He’s either gotta cut down on the K’s or SLG better than .405.

          Definitely. I’d also like to see him bump that walk rate back up towards 9-10%.

          • Goldmember

            Can’t look it up at work, but LD% are very difficult to replicate year from year. Something like the top 10 LD% in the past 10 years are fluke years by 9 players.

            • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

              Just glancing at his splits from years past, you appear to be correct.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      I’ll also add that counting on Austin Jackson to contribute anything more than some September at bats is unwise.

      In the vein of contribution: over/under: 1.0 combined WAR from Nady and Wang.

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        Also re: Nady: does he get offered arbitration?

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

          I’d say no. There’s a chance we decline to offer him arb and offer him instead a reduced rate rehab deal, in the vein of Sergio Mitre/Octavio Dotel/Jon Leiber, but the murky future concerning his second TJS makes it unwise to risk paying Nady 6-8M in arbitration when he may not even be able to play at all, let alone play RF/LF.

          Too risky.

        • http://www.stonerh1@aol.com Bob Stone

          No way he gets offered aebitration. We could try to work a rehab deal but I seriously doubt that happens.

        • Reggie C.

          No.

          Nady’s had 2 elbow surgeries. he’s as big an injury risk as Sheets or Harden imo. He’s never put together a strong offensive season against AL pitching , and his time here showed he simply wasn’t a better hitter than Swisher.

          I’d rather see him walk, save the money, spend it on Holliday … ergh … Damon.

  • pat

    Thanks for getting our hopes up Mike. Only 8 more months until draft time!!!!!!!!!!

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    I think it’s batshit insane to think that Harper is going to fall out of the 1st round. If, and it’s a big IF, he makes it down to the Red Sox, they will almost certainly take him, and if they, for some reason, don’t take him, the Yankees almost certainly will.

    • jsbrendog

      the time’s are a changin’

      previously this is where someone wold make a varitek joke but now it seems as if he is on his last legs in boston. about time.

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        At this point, Carl Yastrzemski means more to the Red Sox offense than Jason Varitek does.

        • pat

          At this point, the frozen head of Ted Williams is collecting more hits than Jason Varitek.

          • pat

            Thats kinda of fucked up, I feel bad now.

          • http://www.stonerh1@aol.com Bob Stone

            ietcvm

    • Reggie C.

      This.

  • http://kyivpost.img.com.ua/img/forall/a/355/5.jpg Rose

    You read that Towers is more likely to sign with the Red Sox than the Yankees?

  • Ivan

    If the yankees get Harper, it would be like christmas in June.

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

      And if Harper’s not there, we could draft this guy instead:

      http://insider.espn.go.com/nba.....tyear=2009

      • Reggie C.

        Only if he’s as good as Duhon. Duhon needs a sparring partner to up his mediocre game.

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        or this Bond girl:

        http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0000278/

        “I thought Christmas only comes once a year.” Oh, James, how obvious.

        • Reggie C.

          January Jones >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Christmas Jones

  • pollo

    Fuck the draft. Free market that ish. I WANT HARPER DAMNIT. NATIONALS GFY

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

      Hmmm… no.

      • Bo

        God forbid workers make as much money as they can on the free market and choose where they want to live and play. But lets let international kids get whatever they want and all the money they can command. but lets hamstring American kids. Makes sense.

        • mustang

          I understand your point and agree with it to a point, but these aren’t your average workers. No matter what team they end up with they are going to make more money then most people have ever seen.
          At some point people have to think of what becomes of the game when only a few teams have all the talent.

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

          Sports are not the free market. There’s an inherent need for communistic leveling in sports to ensure that all teams maintain competitiveness.

          In a capitalist society, good businesses succeed and bad businesses fold. Sports leagues can’t afford for their bad businesses to fold. They have to prop them up, even at the expense of better teams.

          • YankeeGrunt

            I wouldn’t say “communistic leveling” so much as “progressive taxation.” You still want the big markets to succeed or else you end up with Tampa Bay and Philadelphia in the WS, the wonderful match-up of Cinderellas that nobody watches. It’s not football, where you have 19-20 games in a season. In baseball it’s 173-181 to win it all, and pennant races with dialed-in big markets guarantee ratings. You want Boston and New York in the ALCS, you want Los Angeles to succeed. That’s what gets baseball revenue, that’s what gets gigantic television contracts and a line of advertisers outside Bud Selig’s door. It’s not in anyone’s interest to have two dozen serial losers like Pittsburgh, but a league in which the major metropolitan areas can’t field winning teams isn’t going to be successful either.

            • Januz

              I agree 100% with you. Teams like the Red Sox and Yankees drive baseball like the Penguins and Red Wings do in Hockey and the Celtics and Lakers do in the NBA. Pirates/ A’s would be MLB’s nightmare World Series.

  • mustang

    From what I read about Harper it would seem that the Yankees have no chance to land him. They should just get Chapman and Kikuchi and take advantage of the international loophole. After the next CBA that loophole probably wouldn’t be there anymore.

  • http://bryceharperinsider.com Bryce Harper Insider

    It looks to me that Bryce Harper will go number one to Washington. He would look great in pin stripes.

  • arodmitton

    he said in that SI interview last summer that he wants to be in pinstripes…let’s make his wish come true!