2011 Draft: Yanks “heavily in” on Dillon Howard & Brandon Martin

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Via Frankie Piliere, the Yankees are “heavily in” on high schoolers Dillon Howard and Brandon Martin with the 51st overall pick, their first selection. Howard, a right-handed pitcher, is supposedly asking for big bucks according to Piliere. Keith Law and Baseball America ranked him the 18th and 30th best prospect in the draft in their latest rankings, respectively. Howard has a big arm, routinely running his fastball up to 94 with crazy sink this spring, and he also throws a changeup and a curveball.

Martin, meanwhile, is more of true sandwich round talent. He’ll flash all five tools, but he’s not likely to have anything more than average pop at his peak. A compact line-drive stroke geared for hard contact is Martin’s offensive calling card, and he’s also a very good athlete with good range and arm strength at the shortstop position. His footwork and positioning need work, but that’s what the minor leagues are for. He didn’t crack BA’s latest rankings, but KLaw had him 54th overall.

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  • MikeD

    And guessing Martin is an infielder based on the reference to “foot work,” but any more info on what is his likely position?

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      That’s my bad, he’s a shortstop. Forgot to mention it in the post.

    • zs190

      listed as a 6 feet, 170 pounds SS/OF. 60 yard dash speed of 6.8, 86 mph throwing velocity.


      baseball beginnings on him, “Athletic and rangy, plus arm, solid runner, bat must continue developing”

      so sum it up, shortstop with range and arm str, average runner, very little pop, good contact.

  • RRRRRRandy

    I’m 100% okay with dishing out the bank on Howard. 18 year old with dirty stuff translates well in my book.

  • CS Yankee

    I’m sure the Yankees are “heavily in” on the other 48 kids projected ahead of their sorry-ass 51st pick (damn you Levine).

    I guess a high-cost, high-upside prospect that is either injury prone or high maintenance is what we can expect to get.

    Which I guess is still better than a reasonable-cost, some-upside player without a history of injuries or baggage.

  • http://oldranger7.blogspot.com Ken(O.R.)

    Chances of landing Howard or Martin…slim to none?
    The draft always has baffled me! I should think both of them have the choice of college or the draft! If so (i am sure it is), they could drop all the way to the Yankees but, why would a pitcher sign with a team that has a ton of good ones already?
    This is why; if Howard falls to the Yanks and they sign him, he must be one heck of a pitcher! Only a pitcher that knows how good he really is would do that…if the talent matches the ego/confidence, that’s a guy I want on the mound anytime we really need one!
    What say you guys?

    • zs190

      Could definitely see Martin drop to there. He sounds less impressive than Culvers and Culvers wasn’t a guy that was considered sandwich around talent last year and this year’s draft is much deeper.

    • Ted Nelson

      “Martin…slim to none?”

      If he’s 54 in one ranking and unranked in another, that doesn’t seem like the consensus opinion.

      “why would a pitcher sign with a team that has a ton of good ones already?”

      A prospect can be traded. If Howard signs with the Yankees, develops into a MLB ready starting prospect, and their rotation is full of 5 aces… he’ll eventually get his chance with another team or even the Yankees.

      Are the Yankees a team with tons of good pitchers, though? I would say the opposite. They have a lot of good relievers, but outside of CC I don’t count a single starter I would be worried about if I were Howard. By the time he’s ready for the majors, Colon, Garcia, and Burnett are all retired anyway. Hughes and Nova could be in the rotation, but neither is a lock. No prospect is a lock to become a successful MLB starter, and only Manny and Dellin are really strong front-of-the-rotation prospects at this point anyway. I would look at the Yankees’ rotation as just as wide open as any in MLB if I’m Howard and that’s even a thought that enters my mind (which it wouldn’t be).

      Why would Howard sign, though? Money. After three years of college (assuming he won’t be a DES, I don’t know his birthday) he’s right back in the same position. If he can get enough money now, why would he wait around to go to school and hope he can make that money later? If he signed a multi-million bonus he can set some money aside and pay his way through school if baseball fails or after baseball.

      • CMP

        …and we all know that money talks.

      • Tom Swift

        Yeah. How many high school seniors can achieve financial security for life by NOT going to college? Unless his familiy is rich, like Cole’s, his best bet is signing this year for a boat load of money. If baseball doesn’t work out, the team will pay for college, so if he really wants to be a high school coach or middle manager, he can always do that.

      • Ted Nelson

        Basically… Your chances of making MLB for any prolonged period as a non-elite prospect are just not that good. What MLB player they have at your position shouldn’t be the first thing to cross a HS kid’s mind when looking at whether to sign. There are reasons to consider getting a free education, the “college experience,” and working your way into elite prospect status after a few years of school. But there are also reasons to just take the money up front when it’s on the table. Blow out your arm before you’re draft eligible again or struggle in NCAA, and forget about that million+ $ bonus.

  • Reggie C.

    Smokescreens …

    Oppenheimer’s misinformation campaign has begun. There will be a few more Dillon Howard-types to fall on draft day. The days leading up to the draft in recent years seem full of agents/consultants spreading seven figure signing bonus demands. Dillon Howard might not be available, but some HS power arm with prospect status should be there.

    • Tom Swift

      I have to think that you are right. If D Opp wanted a guy, why would he tell the world? That just increases the possibility that someone will get him first. He’s laying in the weeds until the draft.

  • Mike HC

    Being that the draft is going to be changed soon, probably with some kind of slotting system, plus we don’t have our first round pick, it might be a good idea to open the wallet and pay for these “signability” guys this year.

  • http://riveraveblues.com/2010/02/2010-preseason-top-30-prospects-21281/#comment-779224 LET SBGL BACK ON BRACKMAN’S DEBUT

    Would love love love a guy like Martin, has the potential to develop into a serious pitcher. He is the guy I love to see the Yankees take, a signability guy with off-the-charts potential.

    However, I don’t like Martin as the pick. Seems like a lesser version of Cito Culver, and at some point you have to take what he has now as opposed to what he MAY have in the future.

  • Fairweather Freddy

    Would love to see Brian Goodwin fall to Yanks, but won’t be there at 51. Would have had a shot if we still had pick # 31