2011 Draft: Yankees sign 20th rounder Dan Camarena

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Update (Aug. 15th): Via Jim Callis and Kendall Rogers, the Yankees have signed Camarena for $335k. Very nice deal, reasonable price. As I say below, I’m a fan.

Original Post (Aug. 4th): Via K. Levine-Flandrup, 20th round pick Dan Camarena threw for the Yankees’ head honchos today, presumably in Tampa. I’m only posting this because I’m a big Camarena fan and apparently I’m not the only one; Baseball America ranked him as the 138th best prospect in the country before the draft. In their subscriber only report, they note that 6-foot-1, 205 lb. high school left-hander from San Diego throws 87-91 with “excellent feel for his changeup, which some scouts rate as an average pitch.” They also say he “already flashes a big league breaking ball” in his curveball.

Workouts for the bigwigs is always a good sign because if nothing else, it shows that both sides are at least considering pursuing a contract. The Yankees inked third rounder Jordan Cote recently, and I think Camarena is the second best pitching prospect they selected this year. I’d like to see a deal get done because this is the kind of kid you could see coming out of college as a first or second rounder in three years.

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  • Jake H

    would love to see this kid sign also. Wonder how much he wants and how much the Yankees value him.

  • JohnnyC

    He’s left-handed.

  • Reggie C.

    Money slated for the Stafford signing should be re-allocated to get Camarena in pinstripes. I’m not sure this class has any other lefty starters.

    • A.D.

      Wasn’t it reported that Stafford did sign, then what happened?

  • Pants Lendelton

    I suppose he would be the second best arm after Hayden Sharp I suppose?

    • YankeeGrunt

      If top-out velo is your standard Sharp might be on top but other arms have low to mid 90’s velo with consistency and more mature secondary stuff, Smith and maybe Herbert come to mind.

  • ultimate913

    Mike. With all the players that they’ve gotten to agree with a bonus/contract on, would you consider this draft a success for the Yanks already?

    Or would you wait until Stafford and/or Camarena sign?

  • felixpanther

    the one i really love Yankees to sign is Jeremy Rathjen, that will be a steal

  • nick

    Id be shocked if Stafford signed, recoup the pick for next year.

  • Zach

    I think there is a chance more picks sign this year because of the economy. I’d take the money and let the ‘folks pay off the house.

    • Ted Nelson

      I think that’s probably pretty marginal. And why would it suddenly change this year several years into the recession?

  • Longshot Larry

    Baseball Beginnings pegs the Camarena kid as probably more of a hitter than a pitcher. I love the signing & I’m quite willing to wait & see what he becomes as he grows into his body, BUT I’ll betcha he’d make a more productive outfielder than he will a starting lefty pitcher.

    As for Stafford, if he’s going to need surgery & be unavailable for the next two years, agree I’d take a pass & keep the draft pick. If it’s not that bad, I’d love to keep him; other than Banuelos, I don’t believe the system has a lefty who throws as hard as Stafford does.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, I want Rathjen, too, & along w/him, I really want lefthanded bat Spencer O’Neil, & pitchers Matthew Troupe, Chris McCue, Skylar Janisse, Scott Hoffman, Josean Lozaro (he’s gained 10 mph on his heater in just the past year), Taylor Guilbeau (tall, skinny, lefthander from a prep school – gotta sign this kid), and I’m intrigued by this kid from Texas Corey Maines who’s also been a very good hitter throughout his high school career & struggled somewhat pitching but put himself on the map this year as a pitcher. Get me Rathjen & O’Neil, & the above named pitchers along w/3rd round pick Jordan Cote & this becomes a B+ draft w/a slightly less than A+ haul, & that only because they failed to ink Ravanelle.

    • Longshot Larry

      Longshot Larry has to go back on his meds; it appears we’ve ALREADY signed Corey Maines.

      Good signing; my bad.

      Oh, & I just found out Taylor Guilbeau has already stated he’s going to college.

      Well, uh, let’s get two!

  • Ted Nelson

    This would be huge. Cave and him and I’d be thrilled

  • YankeesJunkie

    Anytime you can have a left handed pitcher out of HS with a feel for both a change up and curveball you pay big and sign him.

  • Bavarian Yankee

    I wonder if he could change his name to Macarena :D

  • jsbrendog

    i love seeinf these pop up throughout the day. the more guys like this they sign the stronger the farm is (and directly proportional, less org filler type guys in the system)

  • http://Bloodfarm.tumblr.com mattdamonwayans

    Love the signing, especially for the money. Him and Cote will definitely be welcome additions to future DOTF updates.

  • Addison

    So, he’s the “138th” ranked prospect before the draft and falls to the 20th round?

    That doesn’t concern anyone?

    Apparently not the Yankees either, as they did what they normally do…overpaid the crap out of him, by like $300k.

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

      He fell in the draft because no one thought they could sign him. It’s happened before and it’ll happen again.

      And every draft prospect is an overpay, maybe 1/10 or 1/8 of these kids make it. Doesn’t mean you stop trying.

    • CountryClub

      players drop all the time because teams are worried they won’t sign because of their college commitment or that they will ask for a ridiculous bonus. I’m not sure of his exact story, but it’s not out of the ordinary.

    • YankeeFan

      Ever heard of signability issues?

    • pat

      Lol, wtf?

    • CS Yankee

      The late pick tells me that most/all of the other clubs felt he was going to college.

      We lost Cole as a first rounder to UCLA and it wasn’t because of the coin; he wanted to go to college. i would guess that this kid wasn’t all that interested in college, and this “shot in the dark” paid off big time.

      This is exactly the types of pick(s) the Yankees need to make in the late rounds…high ceilings, doubtful signings because they had the allure that most clubs can’t replicate.

  • joe

    Hey Mike, is Camarena’s scouting report similar to Pettitte when he was drafted?

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

      I have no idea what the scouting report on Pettitte was when he was drafted, but I’ll take the under for Camarena.

  • Bob Michaels

    Whats the deal with the 2rd pick did he sign or not? He was in the black at BA database but then removerd

    • CountryClub

      At this point it appears he has not signed. Rumors are that the Yanks didn’t like his medicals.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/AngeloInNY Angelo

    Nice steal by the Yankees.

  • Danny

    A little early for a comp, but he profiles as what ? Possibly a #4/5 starter I assume. Could move quick since he throws 3 average pitches already and doesn’t have much more projection in him. Not sure how you can do better in the 20th round, no matter how deep the draft. Love the pick

    • CountryClub

      Why doesn’t he have projection left? They could clean up his mechanics (if needed) or he could gain 10 – 20 pounds at his height (and he could grow an inch or two also).

      Very possible he adds a couple of ticks on the FB.

      • Danny

        Very possible, and if that happens, He becomes more of a #2/#3 guy. Just sounds like from everything I’ve read on him, he doesn’t have much projection left. Thats why its always better to take a wait and see approach with HS guys.

        • pat

          He might not have any physical projection left, but if he already has a good curve and the feel for a good change up he can sit 88-91 and be a good pitcher.

  • Addison

    Don’t get me wrong, I like Camarena too, but as a hitter.

    Really not that impressed as a pitcher, which also could be a factor in why he fell.

    But he’s not Gerrit Cole, either.

    No one cares about the signability of a fourth rounder, especially a high schooler.

    You want to go to college, fine, go.

    You want to play baseball, fine, we’ll include tuition as part of your bonus.

    He’s got decent size for a lefty pitcher, especially for a high schooler, but when your fastball is your third best pitch the odds are against you.

    I think the Yanks give him every opportunity to develop and find his niche as a pitcher, but he has a MUCH higher ceiling as a position player.

    • pat

      I think the Yanks give him every opportunity to develop and find his niche as a pitcher, but he has a MUCH higher ceiling as a position player.

      How do you figure?

      • Addison

        Because he’s a better position player/hitter?

        • Danny

          I’m interested in hearing what you feel his ceiling is as a hitter. I havent read much on him as a hitter, everything I read on him is mainly pitching.

  • Addison

    Sorry, Pat…got cut-off.

    Most high schoolers are two way players, when not pitching, Camarena played first base and the OF, mostly RF.

    He’s more advanced as a hitter than as a pitcher right now. He needs to work on his first base defense and find one OF position so he can get those fundamentals down.

    The depth of pitching in the Yanks’ system is embarrassingly thin, so I understand their desire for him to pitch, but his best tool is clearly his bat.

    As a pitcher.


    As a hitter;



    • Ummmm…..

      If you draft a HS 1b, he better have an elite bat. Like super freaking ridiculous bat. Because is he stumbles anywhere along the line, he’s done as a prospect.

    • Ted Nelson

      Embarrassingly thin pitching depth??? Get a clue.

  • Reggie C.

    Draft class would look better had Stafford’s medicals cleared. We’ll have to add a power lefty to the farm next year.

  • dennis

    Keep drafting lefties with upside maybe one turns into Matt Moore.

  • Jamey

    Mike of the unsigned players left who among them would be the biggest shame to miss out on?

    • Danny

      Rathjen and Stafford are the main two I can think of. Tons of other HS pitchers like McCue,Hebert, Lazaro etc would be nice but nothing big.

  • Januz

    Ravenelle is the biggest miss then Rathjen. They have a shot at Maher and Hebert.

  • al

    Anyone hear anything about Rathjen and Stafford? Also, I know this is unrelated, but have the Yankees signed any major international free agents? Haven’t heard anything about them.

    • Danny

      Both are going back to school. Concern with Stafford’s medicals and based on what K.Levine-Flandrup has said, the Yankees didnt make much contact with Rathjen. Very quiet on the IFA front, not surprising as their are very few guys who cover IFA so not much news gets out at this point.

      • Januz

        I think it is curious that Cave & Cote are not official, and stuff has been quiet coming out about the Yankees (Twitter has Mach going back to school (Surprise, surprise)). You wonder if they are not taking a late run at someone NOT named Maher or Hebert? Janissee maybe?

        • Danny

          Main thing with Cote, Cave, Bird and even Davis are the above-slot bonuses. I assume thats why they arent official yet. Quite possible they are going after Janissee, or any other HS signablity case. Hebert & Maher are the names you see them most attached to but with all the HS guys drafted, I wouldnt be surprised to see them grab one or two others.

  • Ummmm…..

    Bummer, Kieth Law already poo-pooed this guy.

    “Fringy fastball, not very projectable. Thought he’d be a college guy.”