2012 Draft: Closing Thoughts & Links

2012 Draft: Reviewing Day Three
Injury Updates: Gardner, Robertson, Tex, Joba

“It’s a bigger joke this year than it’s ever been,” said an unnamed agent to Jerry Crasnick at some point during the last three days, referring to the new draft system put in place by the Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Yankees and a number of other clubs finagled the system by selecting college seniors in the top ten rounds so they could reallocate the funds to higher-upside kids late. The same agent said teams have reached pre-draft agreements with those seniors and most deals will come in around $5,000. Scott Boras went so far as to call the new rules a “mockery.”

The new system is what it is though, there won’t be any changes in the next five years unless the two sides decide to open up the CBA and renegotiate mid-term. I wouldn’t count on it, the owners and players both seem happy and that’s all that matters. I think we’ll see clubs adjust their strategies going forward but this was the year of the college seniors. Clubs loaded up on them early to reduce the risk associated with not signing a player — losing the draft pool money, specifically — and took shots in the dark late. The Yankees drafted seniors with one of their two second rounders as well as with their seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth rounders. It’s backwards; after the first and second round all the best players went in double digit rounds.

Anyway, here are some miscellaneous draft and Yankees-related links and notes from around the web…

  • Final Breakdown: The Yankees drafted 41 players in the 40 rounds thanks to the extra second rounder for failing to sign LHP Sam Stafford last year, including 21 pitchers (14 righties and seven lefties), 11 outfielders, six infielders, and three catchers. Twenty-four of the 41 were college players, 15 were high schoolers, and two came from the junior college ranks.
  • We already know that first rounder RHP Ty Hensley expects to sign soon, but Chad Jennings has the full transcript from the right-hander’s conference call the other day. “I think the quicker that I can get started and get on to A-ball next year, I think the better,” said Hensley. Amen.
  • Keith Law said (subs. req’d) he’d rank Hensley “likely sixth” on his Yankees prospect list, “behind half of the (Low-A) Charleston roster.” I haven’t thought too much about that yet but the 5-10 range seems likely. You can make a case that he should rank above Jose Campos because of the elbow injury, but I won’t do it. Here’s my Pre-Draft Top 30 for reference.
  • In his AL draft evaluations (subs. req’d), Law says Alabama OF Taylor Dugas (8) “squares up all kinds of pitching and I would be very surprised if he didn’t hit his way to some kind of major-league role, maybe even as the heavy side of a platoon.” That surprised me.
  • Speaking of Dugas, he told Don Kausler Jr. that he grew up a Yankees fan and that Ron Guidry is a close family friend. He hails from Lafayette, Louisiana like Gator. Dugas said he hopes to sign quickly.
  • “I’m gonna come back to LSU and make another run at it next year,” said Raph Rhymes (30) to Jim Kleinpeter. The LSU outfielder and SEC Player of the Year and led the nation in hitting with a .469 average this year, but he doesn’t offer much power and is without a home defensively. Don’t count on him turning pro.
  • Prep RHP Brady Lail (18) told Tony Jones that he’ll forgo his commitment to Arizona and turn pro if the Yankees make a sweet enough offer — $400k according to James Edward. He sounded pretty gung-ho about college a few days ago on Twitter but has since changed his tune a bit.
  • “I went to a couple workouts with (the Yankees) and I really liked their organization and how they run things … It’s just a nice fit and how it happened,” said prep catcher Chris Breen (12) to Despina Barton. No word on whether or not he’ll sign, though.
  • High school RHP Dayton Dawe (15) has been training with former Yankee and fellow Canadian Paul Quantrill according to Dale Carruthers. “He taught me a lot (about) using my arm as a whip, standing on my back leg and driving my front side toward the plate … Paul Quantrill really taught me how to save my arm in the way of not letting it get sore,” said Dawe. I know Quantrill isn’t remembered fondly around these parts, but he spent 14 years in the big leagues as workhorse setup man. I’d listen to him too.
2012 Draft: Reviewing Day Three
Injury Updates: Gardner, Robertson, Tex, Joba
  • crawdaddy

    Quantrill was a fine pitcher, Torre just used up what innings he had left in his arm. Also, he was abused before Torre got to him.

    • RetroRob

      That was my reaction. I don’t have any negative feelings toward Quantrill at all. I remember him as one of Torre’s arms that he rode too hard.

  • crawdaddy

    I think Lail gets done.

    • A.D.

      Given that his # appears to be pretty public figure the Yanks had to know what it was when taking him

  • Chip

    Man, short season leagues this season are going to be AWESOME

  • DERP

    This article about Lail was posted in the last thread:


    He says he wants at least 400K to forgo college.

  • JohnC

    Keith Law is not easily impressed, so his comments on Dugas are certainly not to be taken lightly. The top five guys are certainly worth getting excited about. Breen looks like he could be very good pick, and Frankie Piliere had a ringing endorsement on 5th rounder Rob RefSnyder, calling him “a sleeper I’ve been screaming about since last summer.” He added, “Think hit tool all the way. He can really hit.”

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Keith Law has been like this for the Yankees’ draft forever. Next year it’s the same words but different people.

      Of course he gushed the Red Sox’s picks. He called Marrero a top 5 pick. I’m taking a lot of what he says lightly.

      • RetroRob

        So you’re upset by Klaw’s positive words toward Dugas?

        He has questioned what he views as overdrafts on their #1 pick the prior two years, but generally has been postive toward the Yankees overall drafts, and also is a fan of Oppenheimer.

  • Buddy

    With some of the early signings heading to Short Season ball on Staten Island, I’m wondering… What kind of competition is it comparing to the full season leagues?

    Is it sorta like High-A (Tampa)?

  • MBN

    Staten Island is closest to Charleston, talent-wise. But SI is still a short-season league. Most, if not all, of these kids are not ready for full season leagues yet.

    • YankeeGrunt

      You could see a college reliever, Goody comes to mind, at Low A by the end of the year. O’Brien would be a real longshot depending on promotions, but it is rare you see a highly touted senior so he could be an outlier.

  • Bernard

    Mike. Do you think Austin Aune should rank anywhere in your top ten? I like that fact that he is 6-2, 185, bats lefthanded with power, runs like the wind and can play centerfield, has a cannon for an arm and can leap over tall buildings in a single bound. Hey! Look up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane…it’s MICKEY MANTLE?????

    • Bernard

      Mickey Mantle was my favorite Yankee player ever. I saw him and Maris play at the stadium in 1961. With that in mind, I’m going to pencil Austin Aune in at number 7 among the Yankees top ten prospects. And that’s only because he hasn’t played any games yet.

    • Jimmy McNulty

      Mickey hitting right handed, allegedly, was a better hitter than Ted Williams. I’m unsure I believe that but it’s certainly possible. So don’t compare anyone to Mickey Mantle. Other than Bonds, I don’t think there’s been a better player than him since he retired. Joe Morgan and Rickey Henderson are close, but he still comfortably clears them.

  • Nemesis

    “I know Quantrill isn’t remembered fondly around these parts, but he spent 14 years in the big leagues as workhorse setup man. I’d listen to him too.”

    Crazy that this had to be said because of the high probability of someone saying something stupid.

    There are guys who never made it out of the minors who are worth listening to.

  • Rich in NJ

    The other thing about Quantrill was the knee injury in Japan, which probably had a lingering, negative effect on him.

  • A.D.

    Should be interesting how the negotiations go for the new CBA, hopefully get these kids playing sooner

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    Apparently Raph Rhymes really wants little leverage and a smaller bonus next year.

    • Reggie C.

      LSU girls.

      ‘Nuff said.

      • Rick in Philly

        It works for football recruits.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      He’s very afraid of what John Sterling would do with his name.

    • Mister D

      Could actually work out for him if teams jump on board the no-leverage seniors train in rounds 3-10 next year. If he wasn’t going to get anything from us, may as well get a little bit more next year as a cap saver pickup.

      • A.D.

        Eh, if most deals with seniors are coming in at 5K, then he doesn’t have much leverage next year when now he has a 100K slot number.

        Has to be about fun at LSU & run at hitting .500 next year

        • Ted Nelson

          Not all seniors get $5k and not all guys after 10 are getting $100K. Best case he rises like O’Brien, worst case he gets another year of education.

    • Havok9120

      Thing is….if he can be one of those seniors who gets taken 6-10, its actually a darn good strategy.

      • pat

        And get paid like 5k instead of 50 or 60? Doesn’t seem like that great of a strategy.

        • Ted Nelson

          If he’s got a full ride he might make up that difference in a year while also improving his draft stock.

    • Ted Nelson

      Dude was a 30th round pick… Not sure he’s leaving much money on the table. Room and board on top of tuition at LSU has to come to $40k or so as well. And a college degree significantly raises his earning potential over his lifetime.

      If he hits the gym hard and adds some power next season, could be the right decision baseall wise too.

    • Voice of Reason

      He doesn’t stand to lose much and he gave up his scholarship at LSU anyway, so he clearly doesn’t care about money.

  • Manimal

    Please… NO arm whipping. That has TJS all over it.

  • Wayne

    I like the Timothy Flight pick in 18th round he could be a steal. Nice fluid delivery left handed pitcher wide shoulders. Don’t underestimate cause he’s division 2 pitcher. Does anyone think he’s will most likely sign with Yankees. Want him signed more than lail kid from high school.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      He’s a senior, so more than likely he signs.

      • Rick in Philly

        Correction – he’s got a year of eligibility left (red-shirted before transferring to SNHU). He’s already graduated, though, but I find it highly doubtful that he doesn’t sign.

  • yoo-boo

    Writing Error Alarm:

    21 pitchers (21 righties and 14 lefties)

    Anyways, I read somewhere in the internet that Frare has 2-8 curve. Since he is a southpaw, is it a screwball or it has been meaning 10-4 curve?

  • Paul VuvuZuvella

    So Yankees and other deep pocket teams found a loophole. I want to say I love it because it’s the Yankees but I must admit I find it a bit disappointing. Ok, no I don’t. Anyway, with loophole in-place, fully exploited, are Yankees and other big money market teams who draft later better or worse off then pre-CBA ??

    • Fernando

      I wouldn’t call it a loophole, but a strategy. I wish they could find a loophole to spend more money on those later round guys to entice them to sign.

    • Ted Nelson

      I don’t know what the loophole has to do with market size. It’s going to increase their bonus pool by a few hundred thousand depending how many guys they sign after round 10. Small market teams like the Pirates and Royals were spending a lot more than the Yankees in the draft before the restrictions.

    • RetroRob

      Some other teams, large and small, used the same strategy, some didn’t. It’s not a loophole. As someone else noted, it’s a strategy. Perhaps it’s a great strategy, perhaps not. It’s going to take time to see how the new CBA impacts teams, and how each team refines its strategy based on what they learned from the past draft.

      Whatever strategy the Yankees employed here could have been done by any team if they either thought of it, or decided to implement it.

  • John

    Jim Callis at BA had nice things to say about Hensley and Aude

  • Fernando

    400K for Lail, is he really that good? I’d rather use that money for Vincent Jackson, Ty Moore or DJ Stewart.

    • JohnC

      I agree Fernando

    • Reggie C.

      I havent read a recent scouting report on Lail and the last thing I could find came from the PerfectGameUSA site from a summer ’11 stretch appearance. Lail’s certainly got the projectable size (then 6’3, 170), but he topped out in the high 80s.

      I’d like to find a recent scouting report on Lail.

      • Reggie C.

        Nevermind. I found it. DUH.


        Topped out at 94 during his HS season but can sit 89-91. The kid is an athlete so theres a decent possibility he can tap into greater velocity. Seems like he’s all FB and is already in favor of scrapping the CB for a slider, though the Yankee instructors have usually favored the inverse approach.

        • yoo-boo

          Different says he sits in high 80’s and rarely touches 91. It does not matter because he will need to bulk up about 30-40 to improve his mph. Hell, I don’t think he will sign with Yanks as he will go to UA. A lot of time to develop him. Signing him for 400k is a mistake.

    • Voice of Reason

      400K is 3rd round money and he wayyyyy off the radar, so that seems like a pretty outrageous demand. Who knows, maybe the Yankees love him, but if he does sign I doubt it’ll be for that much…unless the other signability picks can’t be persuaded, in which case sure, why not? Leaving draft money on the table would be unforgivable.

  • yoo-boo

    Hensley’s mechanic will not work well on change up. If Yanks fix his mechanic with the same release point then splitter or forkball will be fittable. I don’t like that. With tweaking mechanic, he will need to move his release point a notch away from his head and then focus on finding a similar spiking action in curve before playing with changeup, 2 seam or slider(in pro only). That means his consistent mph fastball should be somewhere 91-94 in long term with good career, barring injury.

    Aune already makes me say goodbye to Slade Healthcott. Austin Aune vs. Mason Williams for CF job and the loser will take over LF. I can’t wait to witness this competition.

    O’Brien needs to get some reps at 3B, 1B and corner OF in the minor now so that way he can be ready to play MLB some time next season. I know it is crazy to want him in pinstripes next season but Andruw Jones or/and Nick Swisher may or may not return next season. Also, Brandon Laird offers nothing. I hope his wrist is already healed.

    Mikolas is a cool name. If he is a legit RF prospect then Tyler Austin will need to play 3B and should play both OF and 3B until he reaches either AA or AAA. I prefer trying him another position to trading him away and it is not up for debates.

    Refsnyder should play anywhere except P and C in the minor. Yanks need to move him up throughout the level as long as he can hit. I am not sure if he is a starting caliber but I think he can be our Ben Zorboist. Yanks have aging farts on the field so he is perfect for Yanks.

    Varnadore needs to work on secondary pitch to be our long reliever, the role David Phelps has been misfitted. Difference between Varnadore and Phelps is preparation for right job. Phelps prepares better as a starter and Varnadore prepares better as a reliever. Phelps is a jack of all trades? Girardi is that cretinous.

    I like to overcrowd the bullpen with small righty heaters but 2012 class wont see some action in MLB until at least 2014 or lucky enough that they are traded.

    • GotJesus

      Too much, way too much.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    The new CBA made the draft a thousand times less interesting. The Pirates hate it, the Yankees hate it, the Diamond Backs hate it, and the Red Sox hate it. The only teams that seem to like it are the mid ranged teams that can afford to do things in free agency, but don’t want to cut off the lower tiered teams and the higher tiered teams in the draft. I fucking hate it.

    • Ted Nelson

      Do the Yankees hate it? It fits in with their draft strategy pretty perfectly.

      What don’t you like about it?

      • YankeeGrunt

        I’d wager a guess they liked it the old way. If they had five guys they thought were worth $500K and they offered, if all five accepted they could find the money. Now if they think five guys are worth that kind of money they dangle the money (if they have it) and the first one who takes it is who they get.

        • Ted Nelson

          They should still be able to sign 5 guys for $500,000. Their first three picks have slot values above $500,000. Then high 3s and high 2s the next two. Transfer the senior savings, add the free $100,000 for after 10th round guys… shouldn’t be a problem. Even a lot of signability guys go for less than that (last year Camarena, Sharp, Bubba Jones).

          Bonuses should also come down a bit with this new system. Short-term some more of these guys might go to college, but when they come back into the same system 3 years from now… it should work itself out. So a dollar in the old system might not be worth the same as a dollar in the new system. If the system works the way MLB probably intended, they might spend less money for the same talent.

          We’ll have to see who they sign, but 2012 looks like a really typical draft class for the Yankees. Big HS arm #1 (Hughes, Cole…), athletic 2 sport CF early (Slade, Mason…), polished college hitter high (Segadin, Shelley Duncan, Gardner…), lots of college relievers, some accomplished college hitters without the highest upsides, one huge upside signability guy (Betances, Mason, Angelini, Mitchell, Bird), and some other late signability guys (Camarena, Austin, Cave, Davis, James, Sharp…). The order in which they were picked moved, but the actual take looks typical.

          • YankeeGrunt

            I was talking specifically about overslot guys. We (presumably) went overslot to Cote (high six), Bird (seven figures), Cave, Justim James, Rookie Davis, Hayden Sharp, Camarena and Maher. Not all $500K, but all overslot. Yeah if we drafted a Culver type and a bunch of seniors we might be able to pull it off, but to draft a guy like Hensley or even someone expected to be drafted at or around our pick he’s going to take most of that slot and we’re not going to be able to draft enough seniors to make up for it.

    • Voice of Reason

      All teams that approached the draft aggressively (or to put it another way: correctly) probably hate it, but considering the Yankees’ style in recent years, I’d say the format works pretty well for them. We’ll see how the actual picks turn out, but I thought the Yankees’ strategy appeared perfectly sound and exactly what teams should do, and indeed, most of the better run organizations had a similar one.

      And FWIW, the new CBA makes the draft drastically more interesting.

      • Ted Nelson

        Not sure if being overly aggressive with a late spot in the round is necessarily correct. You end up getting poor value a lot of the time paying second rate talent first rate money. I like the Yankees’ strategy of spreading it around a little more than say the Pirates throwing huge sums at 2nd rounders.

        Might end up working out for aggressive teams in that they have more leverage. Can take aggressive picks and legitimately tell them their spending limits.