Yankees sign ninth rounder Taylor Morton

After the rain, Yanks drop a close one to KC
Yankees sign tenth rounder Ben Gamel

Via Jim Callis, the Yankees have signed ninth round pick Taylor Morton for $450,000, exactly three times over slot. Coming out of a Tennessee high school, the 6-foot-3, 200 lb. righthander was inconsistent with his velocity this spring, though he did top out around 94-95 mph. Morton also throws a really good changeup and a curve, and is arguably the best pitching prospect the Yanks drafted this year based on the total package – present stuff, future projection, and command. Here’s video.

It doesn’t look like the Yanks will hand out a seven-figure bonus this year, but they’ve still gone over slot more than a half-dozen times. That’s good news though, because I’ve been pretty amazed that the Yanks managed to sign a player at the price they did on several occasions, including Morton. They’re getting some serious bargains this year.

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After the rain, Yanks drop a close one to KC
Yankees sign tenth rounder Ben Gamel
  • http://janeheller.mlblogs.com/yank_c.jpg T-Dubs

    D-Opp is taking bitches to school this summer.

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

    It doesn’t look like the Yanks will hand out a seven-figure bonus this year, but they’ve still gone over slot more than a half-dozen times.

    It’s like buying 5 $5 lottery tickets instead of 1 $25 ticket. Less chance at a big payday but more chance of winning. Also a quicker way to continue to rebuild the farm system’s depth.

  • Bobby Analog

    Mike, why are you convinced that the Yankees won’t hand out a 7-figure bonus this year?

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

      The only guys left looking for seven figures (that we know of) are Williams and Rutckyj, and frankly their bonus demands are a little ridiculous. Williams wants top ten money, Rutckyj first round money. Neither player is more than a third round talent at best. The Yanks are probably going to pass on both.

      • http://twitter.com/biebrichbeats ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

        Kevin Jordan just went Gerrit Cole on them, simply saying he’s going to college, anyway?

        • Reggie C.

          Jordan should go to college. He didn’t impress many scouts his senior year. I think i read a report that stated that Jordan had a bad case of something (mono?) and it sapped his strength and weight.

          Three years from now, he should be projected to go much higher.

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            But going higher 3 years from now doesn’t necessarily mean more money (adjusted for time) nor better development as a player. Also, there may be hard slotting by the time he comes out and he could end up losing a decent chunk of money, even if he is drafted higher. If it’s a money issue he’d be better off coming out now, but money likely isn’t a huge factor for him considering his family.

            • Reggie C.

              One million dollars now or three years from now, I don’t think it’ll be an issue. If its true that his family wants him to get a college campus education, then the decision is easy for Jordan.

              I dont know where Jordan’s committed to play, but its probably got a good college pgm in place. Development of his tools will occur.

              • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

                I’m sure his family wants him to go to college. If he was financially motivated he’d sign now, but because money is not a big issue, he can afford to go to college.

              • mikebk

                Wake.

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

                He’s committed to going to Wake Forest.

          • mikebk

            im sure he could have gotten more than Culver so probably top 20 money and while potential top 10 money would be more it is 3 years later and also delays really getting paid if you can get to the bigs.

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

        I’d actually much rather the Yankees went after Rutckyj, Viramontes and Kevin Jacob (because frankly, unless it’s an absolutely absurd amount of money, Jordan is not signing). Mason Williams could succeed, but for top-10 money? Pass.

        Yes, the guys I have listed are all unrefined, which is troublesome when two are college guys. But the upside is pretty good. The two relievers have the stuff to be set-up men, and Rutckyj has big-time talent.

        Again, they’re all with huge flaws – Rutckyj is very, very raw but has big upside, is a fresh arm and a lefty; Jacob has a very unorthodox delivery, one that worries guys due to injury, and he also doesn’t hide the ball (he comes over he top); Viramontes is a nice arm with two average secondary pitches, but is he worth near seven figures? Doubtful. All these guys are worth a shot, but I’d actually go much harder after Rutckyj.

      • Andrew

        Yanks will sign Williams. You heard it here from me.

  • http://janeheller.mlblogs.com/yank_c.jpg T-Dubs

    Am I completely off-base in hoping that they took a relatively safe route this year so that they can just go nuts next year?

  • http://twitter.com/biebrichbeats ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

    Mike, do you think the Yankees will sign Mason Williams and Travis Dean? There should be enough money left to haul them in, right?

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

      No, maybe. There’s plenty of money, just a matter of whether or not they think the players are worth the investment.

      • http://twitter.com/biebrichbeats ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

        I saw what you wrote about Williams in the comment above. I agree, if those guys demand more then they are worth, it’s better to keep the money.

        Looks like a nice haul anyway.

      • mikebk

        i know they always say the budgets are divided but if they only spend say 5 mil on the draft does that free up more money to go after Heredia in IFA?

        • Gonzo

          Heredia’s family drama may delay his signing for a while.

          A lot of teams are in on him too, so it’s a tough wait.

  • jeety

    Where and when will these recent signings report?

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

      Most of the college players will head to Staten Island, the high schoolers will all go to the GCL. They’ll get there in a week or so, there’s no rush.

  • Reggie C.

    Did the Yanks go so beyond their draft budget last season that it caused a pull-back in the signing of talent?

    I think 4 signed picks last year broke 500K, whereas this year nobody but Culver and Gumbs has passed that mark.

    • mikebk

      it was more like 6 i believe. Heathcott 2.2, Murphy 1.25, Mitchell 800K, Stoneburner/Cotham 675K each, Deluca 500K. did i miss any?

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

        Nope, it’s covered. Gotta catch’em all!

      • Reggie C.

        I forgotten about Stoneburner and Deluca. Stoneburner’s already in High-A, and it made me think he was a ’08 pick.

        Yeah, I think you named all the members of the +500K club. This year’s signed draft class (to date) pales in comparison dollar-wise. Talent wise too? (except on the relievers end)

        • mikebk

          gamel is said to be a done deal, so if they add 3 or 4 of williams, dezse, rutckyj, viramontes then talent wise it isnt that different, but it seems different to an extent since most of this years bigger salary guys havent played while we have seen last years for a year now. this group seems more raw than last year’s though which is why i hate the slot waiting game cause you lose development time.

    • Tom Swift

      Or are they saving money for next year’s draft?

  • mikebk

    cant believe they got Morton and Encinas for a combined 750K

  • dan

    what are the odds they sign josh dezse think he would be a great steal if you can get him? Does anybody have any video on this guy?

  • dan

    what are the odds pirates sign stetson allie, indians sign bobby wahl
    rockies sign kyle richter? Does anybody think that these guys could be available in next year’s draft?