May
26

2010 Draft: Rumored Targets

By

Now that we’re less than two weeks away from the draft (the Yanks will be represented by Roy White and Gene Michael), we’ve started to see some scattered reports about players the Yankees are scouting heavily. This far into the game, that indicates strong interest on the team’s part. Sometimes these reports are just a small comment at the bottom of a notebook or a stray tweet somewhere, but the info’s out there, and I try to get as much of it up here as possible.

Here’s a little more information on a few players the Yanks have been linked to recently, plus two more that I included because they have a very real chance of dropping into the Yanks’ lap.

Tyrell Jenkins, RHP, Henderson HS (Texas) (video)

Photo Credit: Hughes Ellis, Henderson Daily News

The Yankees have been in on Jenkins for quite some time according to Keith Law, and he certainly fits the Damon Oppenheimer mold as a supreme athlete with tremendous upside. With a live arm and a fluid delivery, he pumps fastballs in the 91-93 mph range and has touched 95. There’s lots of room to fill out in his 6-foot-4, 180 lb. frame, so he should add velocity. Jenkins has also flashed the ability to spin two kinds of breaking balls as well as maintain arm speed on his changeup, but he’s inexperienced on the mound and it’s all a work in progress.

A four sport star at Henderson (baseball, football, basketball, track), Jenkins is also Baylor’s top quarterback recruit in addition to being a legitimate first round talent. That commitment is going to land him an above-slot bonus, though he’s considered signable. Jenkins is both a very raw and very risky player, but the upside is considerable. There’s no such thing a a high ceiling, high probability player at the back of the first round, those guys go in the top five. He’d be a fantastic selection at #32 overall; the Yankees don’t have anyone like him in the system at all.

Photo Credit: University of Michigan

Ryan LaMarre, CF, Michigan (video)

Another superathlete with tools to spare, the Yanks have shown some interest in LaMarre in recent weeks according to KLaw, however it’s possible that they’re looking at him for their second round pick. The 6-foot-2, 205 pounder has top of the line speed and is a legit long-term asset in centerfield with very good defense, and he’s shown enough bat speed to project decent pop down the road. LaMarre has displayed a patient approach in the past, but it’s completely deteriorated this season – just three walks in 134 PA.

For a college player, LaMarre has some questions to answer with the bat, particularly his poor track record with wood. He also hasn’t faced the best competition playing in the Big Ten, so he’s a risky player. To his credit, LaMarre has  outstanding work ethic and plays with an all-out style, so effort won’t be an issue. There’s just too many question marks to draft him in the first round, in my completely amateur opinion.

Zach Lee, RHP, McKinney HS (Texas) (video)

Photo Credit: USA Youth National Team

There haven’t been any reports of the Yankees scouting and/or having interest in Lee, but he’s considering one of the draft class’ toughest signs. It’s only a matter of time before the two parties find themselves connected at some point, regardless of the team’s actual level of interest. Lee is an elite quarterback prospect with NFL potential that’s committed to a major program in LSU, so someone’s going to have to back up the Brinks’ truck to sign him.

On the mound, the 6-foot-4, 195 pounder sits in the low-90’s right now, but certainly has room to add more. His power slider is a true out pitch, and his changeup is good for a high schooler, but still below average overall. As you can imagine, Lee is an elite athlete, and it allows him to repeat a simple delivery. His stuff plays up because he has great pitching acumen and polish, very rare for a teenager who splits his time between two sports.

Rumors swirl about a bonus demand in excess of $3M, but those are unconfirmed. In terms of talent, Lee would be a great selection at #32, but it’s entirely possible that he falls all the way into the double digit rounds. Whoever drafts him will have to have done their homework on what it’s going to take to sign him. The Yanks can ill afford another Gerrit Cole incident.

Photo Credit: Nati Harnik, AP

Anthony Ranaudo, RHP, LSU (video)

The Yanks have been on Ranaudo for much of the spring according to Frankie Piliere, and it only makes sense since he’s a top talent likely to fall. The 6-foot-7, 230 lb. righthander started the year as the number two talent behind Bryce Harper, but a sore elbow cost him a month of the season and he simply hasn’t been the same since. It’s the second elbow problem of his collegiate career, so there’s a bit of a history here.

At his best, Ranaudo offers a 92-93 mph fastball with a very good changeup-curveball combo and very good command. Since the injury he’s sat around 90 and his offspeed pitches have flattened out as he seemingly lost his delivery. Perhaps he’s just scared of turning it loose following the injury. There’s not enough time for him to rebuild his stock, and when you factor in that he’s a Scott Boras client, well you have a recipe for falling. Even before the injury, Ranaudo’s ultimate ceiling wasn’t a frontline starter, but a high probability rock solid workhorse because of his lack of a true out pitch. At least Andrew Brackman had shown ace stuff prior to being drafted. There’s better ways to use a first round pick, but once you get past that, he’s makes a bit more sense.

Asher Wojciechowski, RHP, The Citadel (video)

Photo Credit: Southern Conference

The Yankees are sending the head honchos to scout the 6-foot-4, 230 lb. Wojciechowski at the Southern Conference Tournament today, so their interest is sincere. His fastball is electric at 93-94 mph, topping out at 96 consistently. His slurvy breaking ball is hard on righties, but he still needs to further develop his changeup to battle lefties. Wojciechowski’s build screams workhorse, and at worst his fastball will allow him to fall back on being a power late-game reliever.

College righthanders who won’t command huge over-slot bonuses come off the board early, so if Wojciechowski falls to the Yanks at #32 overall, it would be a pretty considerable coup. Just for comparison’s sake, Chad Jenkins is a very similar prospect (a little less fastball), and he went 20th overall to the Blue Jays last year. He’d really have to lay an egg in his next two starts to get to the Yanks.

In case you’re wondering, The Citadel has no post-graduation military obligation, so Wojciechowski is in the clear there.

Categories : Draft
  • Cecala

    When do we start stockpiling SS for Jeter’s heir? Are there any real SS prospects in the system right now?

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

      That’s not how drafting works in baseball. Yankees take BPA and it’s the correct thing to do.

  • Jamie

    I asked this question the other day, but can’t seem to find if it was answered or not. Whats the word on Slade Heathcoat. I am pretty sure the Yanks sent him to Extended ST, but I haven’t heard anything about him in some time and was just looking for an update. Thanks!

    • pat

      Slade was in EST. Slade pulled a hammy and they’re letting him take his time coming back from it.

    • A.D.

      People have answered this question many, many times in DotF. He apparently hurt his hamstring in the spring (nothing serious), and thus set him back a few weeks which is why he hasn’t joined A team yet.

  • Tom Zig

    wow look at that leg kick on Jenkins

    • Alex S

      D-Trainian

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Luckily, all the Catcher-Of-The-Future(s) have cannons for arms.

  • pat

    If you didn’t know anything about baseball you’d be wondering wtf is going on in that picture of Jenkins. It looks like a disjointed leg is just kinda floating there. IMO maintaining arm speed is one of the toughest aspects of learning how to throw a changeup. If he has the basics of that mastered already it could turn into a very good pitch down the line.

  • A.D.

    I like me some Jenkins, presumably much easier to buy-out Baylor than LSU.

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

    Question on Ranaudo? Why if he doesn’t have frontline ceiling was he #2 behind only Harper? Just that weak of a draft after #1?

    • Mister Delaware

      Tons of value in a high probability #2.

    • A.D.

      Good old high floor.

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        Thank you both.

  • Centuar of Attention

    Based on some of the mock drafts completed this week, it appears to me that the yankees are targeting a high-ceiling power arm for the first round. Tyrell Jenkins would be a sick pick in the first round. I’m still holding out hope that Kaleb Cowart falls to the yanks at #32 but it seems like his stock has risen considerably.

  • yoo-boo

    Machado is only a legit SS in this draft but who knows. Too many big frame SS that will move to 3b or corner OF. Some others have weak arm that is ideal for 2B or CF with speed. SS is always hard to analyze for better future as a SS. I guess Yanks will rely on IFA again.

    Yanks keep mum on Slade Healthcott and I believe that Heathcott wont be on the radar until he reaches at least 2 full season in pro. Good or Bad news? it is up to your judgment.

    Out of RAB’s list, I want Jenkins more than any else. I dont mind LaMarre because I get feeling that Heathcott will become a stud RF. However, his tools are too weak for first round. He wont wow you anything.

    • pat

      Ever seen Slade play? He’s already one of the better fielding CFs in our system. Something will have gone terribly wrong if he ends up as a RF.

      • yoo-boo

        Yanks have too many CFers. If there is no room for Heathcott when he is ready then he can play RF because of his arm strength.

        By the way, moving to LF is something wrong with CFer, not RF.

        • pat

          At Yankee Stadium, a LF with good range is much much more important than a good arm in RF. More outs are made and rallies squashed by tracking down balls in death valley than assists or threats of an assist from RF.

          • yoo-boo

            Nah. I am not going to send a OF with noodle arm to RF.

            • Mister Delaware

              I’m not going to send a guy who weighs 300 lbs to LF.

            • pat

              When did I advocate putting a guy with a noodle arm to RF?

              Oh wait, I didn’t. I said putting him in LF is a better use of his skills because LF in YS requires a better fielder than your average LF.

              • Mister Delaware

                Well, its pretty obvious that the only possible 3rd OF to pair with “existing CF” and Heathcott is the guy with the noodle arm. And there you were, putting Heathcott in LF and thus slotting noodle arm in RF. Way to ruin the Yankees.

                • pat

                  Goddamn Noodle Arm McGee, always ruining my hypothetical roster construction.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    Maybe we wait till he makes his MINOR LEAGUE debut before projecting his major league position?

        • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

          Uh what? Moving to LF as a CF means that you don’t have the arm for RF, which is true of a lot of CF.

          • http://twitter.com/marcos_aguirre Marcos

            True. However, because of how YSIII plays, it is more important to have a LFer with good range than an RFer with a cannon arm. Because of the short porch there is less ground to cover while throwing, so an average RF arm will do. Look at Swish…

            • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

              Yes but that’s not what was said.

              It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about YSIII or anywhere else, arm strength is an important consideration when moving off CF. A CF prospect moving to LF isn’t an automatic failure just because he moved to CF instead of RF.

            • Ted Nelson

              Swisher pitched a major league inning, but I guess his arm is average…

        • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

          Too may CFs?

          • Andy in Sunny Daytona

            The Yankees have so many CF’s that they are coverting half of them to Catchers.

    • pat

      The following guys are considered the “everday CF” for their respective teams.

      Scranton: Golson?
      Trenton: Austin Krum
      Tampa: was Abe Almonte, now Melky Mesa.
      Charleston: Zolio Almonte

      Other: Kelvin Duran, Eduardo Sosa, Slade Heathcott.

      How many of those guys are legit prospects? By my count, three. The three guys who are currently in EST, the rest are all replacement filler types with the exclusion of Almonte, who is a legit prospect but just had labrum surgery. By absolutely no means would that be considered “too many CFs”

      • A.D.

        My assumption was he meant Granderson & Gardner…at least that’s what I hope he was going for.

  • A.D.

    Obviously Lee & Jenkins are out of HS, and thus have plenty of leverage, what about the other 3? DES, Juniors, Seniors?

    • yoo-boo

      I would happily be in shock if Yanks sign Lee. I mean Lee is too talent to be all pro QB in 8 years and Jenkins will be ATH player in nfl. Understandably, MLB makes more money but.

      • A.D.

        Well if there might be as big a crap shoot as MLB talent, it’s HS QBs, and LSU isn’t known for producing the best pro QBs.

        • yoo-boo

          True. Under Miles, I believe there is no qb that plays more than 2 full seasons as a starter. Lee is different from those qbs under Miles.

      • Ted Nelson

        If someone offers you $3 mill today, you probably take that over the probability that you make it as a college QB at LSU–where there will be competition for the starting spot–and then get drafted high in the NFL draft so that you can be paid to have your head bashed in… The Yankees money would be in his pocket, the NFL money would be at least three years away if it ever came at all and would exact more of a physical toll on his body.

        That said… I wouldn’t take Lee in the first round. Seems like there will be better prospects on the board at #32. Much better value if he’s there later in the draft, which is where the Yankees can leverage their massive budget. Granted, there is a pretty long list of future MLB players the Yankees drafted out of HS and never signed, whether in the 1st round or a lot later.

    • yoo-boo

      There is one older DES I forget who. His bat looks legit. be right back..

      • Mister Delaware

        Cox.

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK’s Mystique and Aura

          Yeah, and there’s not a shot in hell he falls to 32.

          • yoo-boo

            definitely not Cox. I think it was robert brantly. During I looked for Jacoby Jones, another LSU commitment, I accidentally found one. Now I lost it. Forget it.

            • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

              what……..?

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    Is it me, or does Tyler Jenkins have a giant sized finger?

  • JohnC

    Now that the word is out that the Yanks are targetting Jenkins, watch the Red Sox or some team ahead of us take him.

  • http://msn.explorer dan

    jenkins would be awful pick. mechanics are terrible. So is Asher’s! He’s got a fuuny motion with his shoulder.
    Bobby Wahl is someone who’s worth 1st round pick for yankees if he’s
    available or Robbie Rowland. Bobby’s mechanics are so compact which is what it should be. Robbie Rowland is another one with pretty good mechanics. Robbie does use his whole body like Wahl. Not as compact but still up there. I would say Kyle Richter but USC guys are hard to sign away from college.

    • JohnC

      Wahl is projected to go in rounds 3-5. Not a first roung talent. Rowland has improved his stock, but is more of a 2nd or 3rd round pick. Jenkins is raw, but there is time for him to develop. If he’s there at 32, I’d grab him. His ceiling is too high to pass up.

    • pat

      Jenkins has terrible mechanics? How so?

      • yoo-boo

        Jenkins mechanic changes too much but he is HS kid. I think his weak leg has something with inconsistent mechanic. Once his legs become stronger he should control the balance better.

        • http://twitter.com/Stephen_R Stephen R – formerly tafka (sic)

          Well, it’s “mechanics”, and I’m not sure how you would know this unless you had watched multiple starts in person or have copious amounts of high-quality video. I certainly hope you’re not basing this off of the youtube video that Mike linked, because that would be foolish.

  • Centuar of Attention

    Hey Mike, with all things being equal and he had a choice between Ranuado, Jenkins and Zach Lee, who would you select? Also, Frank Pilierre mentioned that the yankees are also looking at a prep arm named Sanchez. Do you know anything about him? Thanks in advance.

    • Centuar of Attention

      opps grammar fail, “and he had a choice between”. I meant and you had a choice between.

      • pat

        Great handle.

        • Centuar of Attention

          Why thank you.

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

      Probably Lee.

      Aaron Sanchez? Good athlete, great delivery, meh stuff. He’s at 90-92 with a curve now. More of second-third rounder.

      • Centuar of Attention

        He probably meant Aaron Sanchez. Thanks for the reply bro.

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    Zach Lee sounds likes another Casey Kelly. Of course, with 10% of Kelly’s potential.

    • JohnC

      Lee is considered a very tough sign, and after the Gerrit Cole fiasco, Yanks can’t afford to blow this one. Red Sox have 4 of the first 57 picks, making this pick even more important for Yanks.

      • Johnny O

        comment fail. the yankees draft has NOTHING to do with the red sox draft. how does your theory change their strategy? do they go more high risk/high upside or take a safer pick because of how many picks boston has?

        agree i’d prefer not to see another gerrit cole. gotta trust damon will do his homework and check it twice. but can’t be afraid of high leverage/boras guys. what are we, the mets?

        • Ted Nelson

          The thing is that both Lee and Jenkins are considered late 1st round prospects at best in the first place, and will be hard to sign. It’s one thing if you’re taking a guy with top 10 talent who slips to #32 and have to pay him like a top 5 pick to get him signed. It’s another thing entirely if you’re taking a guy who is the #30 talent in the draft and have to pay him like he’s a top 5 pick. It’s a matter of degree and who the Yankees like, but I’d look at value too.

  • yoo-boo

    What do you think of this Rice junior SS Rick Hague?

    http://pnrscouting.com/scoutin.....gueri.html

    • zs190

      Here’s what Callis (BA) said about him in last week’s chat

      Jim Callis: I can’t see it. Nice bounceback for Hague, but he doesn’t profile well anywhere. He can’t play SS as a pro, he lacks the quickness for 2B and doesn’t have the power for 3B at the next level. I think he goes in the third round.

      Just one opinion, but a well respected one. I think I’ve read somewhere else that he cannot handle SS. He seems like a 3B without the bat for it, might be interesting in later rounds.

  • zs190

    Tyrell Jenkins seems to be the high risk, high reward type that Yankees likes. I would love to draft Jenkins at 32nd.

    KLaw is not high on Ryan Lamarre, supposedly not even a top 100 prospect for him and I’m kind of scared of guys that has a poor command of strike zone.

    I don’t think Zach Lee is really signable and is likely a really late pick as a backup plan for somebody in case they can’t sign their main guy or something.

    Asher makes a lot of sense too but for all the reasons listed above, I think he gets taken in the 20’s.

    I’m scared of Ranaudo and I don’t think there is any reason to take him in first round. His stuff fell apart after injury and he’s been on a free fall ever since, too much risk and not enough reward to take him in first.

  • nycsportzfan

    i love Asher’s build and workhorse mentality… That would be great if he were to fall to 32, all though doubtful.. Definetly the Guy i covet most… He reminds me of a yound Jaret Wright, who if stayed healthy, would of been a Really good player, and as was, had some very good yrs, all though, not with us obviously… Man, i hope he falls..