Via Kendall Rogers, the Yankees have signed College of Charleston outfielder Daniel Aldrich as an undrafted free agent for at least $150k. Regardless of the final amount, anything given to him in excess of $100k counts against this year’s draft pool. The Yankees had more than $400k in pool money left over after first rounder Ty Hensley signed a below-slot deal.
Aldrich, 21, was a redshirt sophomore this spring, so he’s not the typical college senior that usually signs as an undrafted free agent. The left-handed hitter was one of the best power hitters in the country over the last two years, participating in the College Homerun Derby twice and winning in 2011. Aldrich absolutely mashed with wood bats in the Cape Cod League this summer, hitting ten homers in just 30 games. He was a .315/.389/.651 hitter during his college career. Here’s some video.
Most undrafted free agents are minor league filler, but Aldrich actually offers some upside due to his power. No word on his defense, but he pitched in high school and probably has a decent arm. The downside is that he’s a hacker, striking out 116 times in 121 college games with a 48/6 K/BB on the Cape this summer. The Yankees had draft pool money to spare and have had a bit of success with CofC kids (most notably Brett Gardner) though, and Aldrich is about as good a prospect as you’ll find in the undrafted free agent ranks.