2011 Draft: Yankees sign 13th rounder Justin James


Via K. Levine-Flandrup, the Yankees have signed 13th round pick Justin James to an unknown signing bonus (most likely above slot). He took his physical today. James, an outfielder from a Sacramento JuCo, is Dion‘s son and one of the higher upside prospects the Yankees drafted this year. He shows huge power in batting practice and high-end speed, though he’s very raw because he quit baseball in high school to focus on basketball. James is super intriguing, but there’s a lot of work to be done here. If he moves quickly, I’ll be surprised.

Meanwhile, KL-F also notes that second rounder Sam Stafford is in the middle of taking physicals and whatnot, so a deal could be announced shortly.

Categories : Asides, Draft


  1. the tenth inning stretch says:

    I’m excited about Stafford.

  2. Dennis says:

    Hopefully we have another mason williams on our hands.

    • SamVa says:

      … Another guy in the lower minors who has potential but… is in the lower minors?

      wouldn’t you rather him be someone who has made it to the majors? Just saying.

      • He’s limiting his hope to what’s actually obtainable.

        We’d all love for Justin James to be so advanced developmentally that he’s ready to be added to the big league club next year, but if he was, he wouldn’t have been available to us in the 13th round.

        Take what you can get.

        • SamVa says:

          Right, but so what is attainable is someone who performs well in DOTF?

          I guess that’s true, but shouldn’t we set our sights higher than that?

          I don’t think the Yankees draft players in hopes that they will turn into Kei Igawa…

          • You’re reading way too much into this. He’s not saying “I hope he turns into another Mason Williams and then never progresses beyond that and is a bust”, nor is he saying “I hope he turns into another Derek Jeter and is a Hall of Famer 25 years from now”.

            He’s simply saying “We added a quality low-minors toolsy prospect last year who shows promise and potential. Hopefully, we just did it again.”

            That’s all.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              Yeah. It’s a short-term goal. He can be Mason Williams-esque next season. If he’s going to be MLB stud-esque that’s going to take years.

  3. JonS says:

    Whats Stafford’s upside? Middle rotation?

  4. Via K. Levine-Flandrup…

    I call bullshit, that’s not a real name, you made that up.

  5. DerMegalodonster says:

    Awesome! Easily my favorite pick of this years draft. Will be my favorite prospect to track along with Gumbs.
    Six-five and 230 with the frame to grow into a another 30 or 35! Nineteen SB in a mere 43G… good OBP… power numbers that would have been better in another park (416CF & 375 to the alleys at home)… basketball player (plus athleticism) that hasn’t even focused on baseball… oh yeah, and a leftie whose favorite team was the Yankees… sweeeeeet!
    Doesn’t hurt that he’s a Sax player with good academics either.

    Have to believe the quick signing combined with upside which had BA stating he could go as high as the 3rd round, plus being a Yankee fan, means he put some vibes out that he wouldn‘t sign with anyone but the Yankees.

  6. bpdelia says:

    And on top of all that it brings back fond memories for me of sitting in YS2 with my dad and brother, watching Dion James, or Claudell Washington, maybe Deion Sanders and turning to them and saying,
    “Jesus, fuck this I’m gonna go get the ice cream in the little helmet.”

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