2011 Draft: Yankees sign second rounder Sam Stafford

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Via Kirk Bohls, the Yankees have signed second round pick Sam Stafford for $400,000, which is just a touch over-slot. Stafford, a left-hander from Texas, has run his fastball up as high as 96 while showing a power curveball this spring and last summer. He struck out 91 but walked 42 in 81.1 IP with the Longhorns this year. Stafford’s raw stuff is undeniable but he struggles to harness it, so he’s going to have to work on his changeup and overall command to stick as a starter. Here’s some video.

Mailbag: Cameron, Prince, Montero, Banuelos
We'll be chatting at 2 this afternoon
  • YankeesJunkie

    I am excited the yanks signed Stafford and hopefully he can refine his stuff could fit well in the middle of the rotation.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      I’m excited because with a 96 mph fastball, we can refer to him as “Sudden Sam”.


  • Skip

    The video, while it was a while ago, makes him look pretty skinny. If he adds some bulk, he can probably add a couple MPH to his FB as well. I’m excited about this sign.

  • John Kruk’s belly

    Well if he doesn’t stick as a starter we can always use a lefty in the pen. It’s getting frustrating signing expensive, oft-injured, left-handed bullpen arms.

  • CC’s third leg

    hopefully his last name does not bring him injuries yearly

  • zs190

    Even though he gets up to 96 on occasion, supposedly he’s only been able to maintain command of it when he throws it more around 90-91. There’s some promise there for sure, glad to have him on board. I imagine he’s going to go to Staten Island as a college guy.

  • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

    I like the two pitch combo. It’s something good to build on for a starter, but also something solid to fall back on as a reliever. From my very amateur POV, his ceiling might not be huge, but he seems to be a pretty safe bet to return at least some value.

  • Reggie C.

    Already a better prospect than Jeremy Bleich ever was.

  • Matt Montero

    Is his upside AJ Burnett? And if he puts it all together then he would be what AJ could have been

    • zs190

      AJ Burnett had legitimate #1 starter/ace stuff, so what AJ could have been would be that and Stafford is not that kind of guy.

      I think it’s reasonable to expect Stafford to throw in the low 90’s to maintain command and if he develops a decent changeup, you are maybe looking at a #3 starter. There is a decent chance that he’s a good reliever instead.

      • Ted Nelson

        Pretty hard to limit a lefty with a 96 MPH’s ceiling to #3 starter. It’s his probability that’s a concern, but his ceiling is through the roof if he puts it all together.

        I think you’re overrating AJ’s stuff anyway. He had the upside, but it never materialized at the MLB level. Primarily a two pitch pitcher on his career.

  • diony

    Bleich was rated way higher back in the day. Scouts liked him aside of the injury concerns.

  • JohnC

    Does he project more as a starter or reliever?

  • Ted Nelson

    That seems like a good bargain for a guy who hits 96 and could have benefited from a strong Sr season where he put it all together.

    I have to hope that getting two cheap but promising prospects early was a strategy to sign more of the Justin James, Cote, Bird, Jake Cave, Rookie Davis, Hayden Sharp, Dan Camarena, Chris McCue, Jeremy Rathjen, Taylor Guilbeau… etc.’s than they would have otherwise been able to. I don’t really have a problem with a quantity over quality approach to a deep draft like this was supposed to be.

  • Bob Michaels

    How about some more signings.