2013 Draft: Reviewing Day One


The Yankees were the only team in baseball with three first round picks this year thanks to the free agent defections of Nick Swisher and Rafael Soriano, and those three picks made this the team’s most important draft in several years. They needed to add some serious talent to the system — their first round track record has been pretty awful for nearly two decades now — and they did that on Day One last night.

(Notre Dame)

(Notre Dame)

Strong & Polished
For the first time since taking Andrew Brackman with the 30th overall pick in 2007, the Yankees selected a college player with their top pick on Thursday. Notre Dame 3B Eric Jagielo got the call with the 26th overall pick, giving the Yankees one of the most polished hitters in the draft class. It wasn’t until this spring that he addressed his two biggest weaknesses, specifically plate discipline and defense. He made major strides in both areas.

“Jagielo loads his hands very high and deep, creating a longer path to the ball, compensating with strong hands and forearms that allow him to make solid contact even when he has to fully extend his arms to cover the pitch low and away,” wrote Keith Law (subs. req’d). “He’s quick enough to keep his hands inside the ball and doesn’t project to have trouble with better velocity … he’s an adequate defender at third with arm strength, agile enough to stay at the position even though he’s going to be among the bigger third basemen in pro ball.”

The Yankees didn’t shoot for the moon with pure upside with their top pick, instead opting to snag a well-rounded player at a hard-to-fill position with Jagielo. He was among the very best college hitters available — arguably the best college left-handed hitter — and his offensive polish means there isn’t much tinkering to be done. They can just turn him loose in the minors and watch him climb the ladder. Nice and easy.



Judge, Jury & Executioner
The Yankees hadn’t drafted a legitimate first round college bat in a long time, probably not since John-Ford Griffin in 2001, but they landed two last night. They selected Fresno State OF Aaron Judge with the 32nd overall pick and he’s a physical freak, offering both power and speed despite packing 255 lbs. on his 6-foot-7 frame. Players that big aren’t supposed to run well and be able to play center field in addition to driving he ball out of the park.

“Like a lot of taller hitters who set up high, he prefers the ball up in the zone, and the huge raw power he shows in BP doesn’t always appear in games because he doesn’t get under the ball enough to drive it out,” wrote Law (subs. req’d) “Judge won’t play center in pro ball but is an average runner who should have above-average range in either corner, with a plus arm to handle right, along the lines of Jason Heyward’s defensive profile … He has 30-homer potential for a team willing to overlook what might be 150 strikeouts a year.”

Judge is much more risky than the more polished Jagielo, but he offers more upside and wow potential. A 6-foot-7 outfielder crushing bombs and running down everything in the outfield just isn’t something you see everyday, so we’re talking about a very unique profile here. Outside of Brackman, I’m not sure scouting director Damon Oppenheimer has drafted a more fascinating player in all his years at the helm.

Clarkin is 6-foot-2. He's the short one. (Photo via @MLB_PR)

Clarkin is 6-foot-2. He’s the short one. (Photo via @MLB_PR)

From The Left
Considering that their history is littered with high-end left-handed starters, the Yankees have had an alarmingly short supply of even decent southpaw prospects in recent years. Manny Banuelos, Nik Turley, and … that’s pretty much it since Sean Henn. The last time they took a lefty in the first round was 1996, when they landed Eric Milton.

With their third first round pick (33rd overall), New York addressed that organizational hole by grabbing California HS LHP Ian Clarkin. Hilariously enough, Clarkin declared his hatred for the Yankees — “I cannot stand the Yankees, I was so happy [when they lost the 2001 World Series] — in a pre-recorded video MLB Network aired after the selection was made. Don’t worry, money has a way of changing allegiances.

Anyway, more important than handedness is talent. Law (subs. req’d) said Clarkin is a “a good-sized lefty who throws hard and can spin a breaking ball” while noting the “raw material is very strong.” There is still plenty of work to be done on his delivery, command, and changeup, but that’s typical for a high school arm. This draft was very, very light on prep pitchers, and there’s a strong case to be made Clarkin was the third best available behind Kohl Stewart (#4 to Twins) and Trey Ball (#7 to Red Sox).

* * *

The Yankees went off the board a bit with their second round selection, taking California HS 2B Gosuke Katoh with the 66th overall pick. He’s a very good defender but a strong arm short of being a shortstop, and offensively he’s a speedy slap-hitter who needs to fill out his wiry frame to avoid having the bat knocked out of hands by good fastballs. The two sides may have cut a pre-draft deal to save some draft pool money, but who knows. The team does have a reputation for oddball picks, of course.

“We think we had a great first day,“ said Oppenheimer in a statement following the first day of picks, stating the obvious. “I’m excited and the staff is excited. We feel really good about what happened for us today.”

They Yankees had three first round picks and they actually chose three first round talents on Thursday, which was a very welcome change of pace from recent years. They used him to add a nice balance of polish and upside to the system, and they need to turn those selections into quality prospects sooner rather than later. I don’t know if Jagielo, Judge, and Clarkin represent the most realistic best-case scenario for those top three picks, but they definitely weren’t far off. No, not at all.

Categories : Draft


  1. The Real Me says:

    I don’t know if Jagielo, Judge, and Clarkin represent the most realistic best-case scenario for those top three picks, but they definitely weren’t far off. No, not at all.

    A welcome change from recent drafts.

    • Paco Dooley says:

      Exactly my thoughts – they went with their own unique take in recent years, landing the unimpressive Culver and Bichette (the latter is not a lost cause, yet, but I think the former is and appears to be a pitcher conversion waiting to happen).

  2. Dave says:

    Odds they sign all 4? Seems like I saw someone on twitter said Clarkin may be a tough sign.

    • zs190 says:

      No signability concern with anyone I think, shouldn’t be any issues. Clarkin might get a couple hundred thousand above slot, the two college guys are probably right around slot. I bet they have a pre-draft deal with Gatoh for something around half of slot, he’s a 3rd-5th round talent.

  3. kenthadley says:

    Jagielo an admission that DBJ ain’t happening?

    • trr says:

      Could be…obviously they need to get more from DBJ. If he does turn it around have 2 top prospects playing the same position will be the least of oor worries.

    • jjyank says:

      It’s not an admission of anything. The Yankees picked Jagielo because they liked him the best. Drafting someone because DBJ hasn’t panned out yet would be stupid. I hope the Yankees are smarter than that.

      • trr says:

        Based on some of their recent drafting, I have no idea what they’re thinking sometimes. I lean more to your thought, jj, that the team probably felt he was the best available option at that point. I certainly endorse that!

        • jjyank says:

          Picking Culver and Bichette doesn’t mean they were drafting based on need, though. And those are really only two picks out of many that came out of nowhere.

          • trr says:

            Agree, unless were thinking that the ML starters at those positions were aging. But that seems too simplistic an explanation…

            Perhaps we’re seeing a change in F/O Philosophy here?

            • jjyank says:

              I think they thought that valuing make up would mean a young player would be more likely to work hard and make the show, even if said player was only an average every day guy instead of a star.

              And yes, it does seem that after those two first rounders, they’ve changed that philosophy somewhat, starting with Hensley last year.

              • wsa says:

                I’m wary of the change in philosophy explanation. It is possible. It seems as likely or more likely that they just played the board each year. Two data points doesn’t really make a pattern.

                There’s a chance that Opp’s philosophy since taking over had really change from high risk high upside (CJ Henry) to safe college with some size/injury risk (Kennedy and Joba) back to high risk high upside (Brackman, Cole and Slade) with an unconventional college guy thrown in (Bleich) to character guys (Culver and Bichette) back to some other philosophy or philosophies that are more in line with the mainstream (Hensley, Jagielo, Judge and Clarkin).

                It would be a lot of A.D.D. in a few years though. I think it is at least as likely that the philosophy stayed roughly the same and the names on the board changed.

                • jjyank says:

                  “Two data points doesn’t really make a pattern.”

                  Then why does everyone scream about the Culver and Bichette picks being representative of the Yankees over valuing make up and not taking the best talent? If the last two years haven’t established a pattern, then neither do the two before it.

                  For the record, I don’t think there’s much of a pattern either way.

                  • wsa says:

                    Because “everyone” is an idiot. My whole point with two data points btw is Bichette/Culver. We have four data points the last two years.

                    • jjyank says:

                      Ah. I thought the two data points you were referring to was this year and last year. So I agree with you then. The first round picks in 2010 and 2011 haven’t worked out so far. It happens.

                • Davor says:

                  Everyone except Culver and Bichette was considered good enough talent to go in the first round. Brackman was raw, Joba and Slade had injury issues, Kennedy had poor last season (at one time he was considered for 1 st overall) , Cole was signability problem, so some teams and analysts thought picks were too risky, but nobody claimed they didn’t draft best available talent. Culver and Bichette were considered mid-single digit round talents.

    • pat says:

      No. You take best talent available no matter what.

      • kenthadley says:

        You mean like they did with the Culver and DBJ picks?

        • pat says:

          Do you know for a fact where they had those guys ranked on their draft boards?

          • kenthadley says:

            Of course not, but they are the pros, not us. And at the time it was clear that those picks weren’t the best talent available, based on all sorts of commentary on this website….the thinking was that they knew something that everyone else didn’t…hasn’t exactly worked out to supporting the “best talent available” mantra, unless you also add that the decision makers at the time weren’t very good at determining the best talent available…when you stretch a pick that high that can’t get out of their own way in low A ball, somebody isn’t very good at talent evaluation.

            • jjyank says:

              As I said above, I think they were putting more emphasis on make up and work ethic. Obviously it hasn’t worked so far, and the organization has seemingly changed it’s philosophy. It’s two picks out of thousands. Yes, first rounders, so it stings a bit more when they don’t work out. It is what it is now.

              You and pat are talking about two different things. He’s saying that they didn’t draft Culver and Bichette based on the needs of the MLB team, but rather based on what they wanted on their draft board. I think he’s right, even if the logic that put them so high on the Yankee draft board may have been flawed.

            • wsa says:

              That is just how the draft works. You’re not looking at many high probability guys outside the top 10-20 picks. You’re trying to make an educated guess at which red flags are going to be a problem and which aren’t. Sometimes you take the guy who is one or two skills away from great hoping they develop. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

              The Pirates did take the top consensus (very expensive) guys the same years you are referring to where the Yankees did not. Allie has revived his career nicely at 1B but overall one guy barely even made it to low A ball and the other is repeating the level.

    • Paco Dooley says:

      No – I think the team is being smart and drafting the players they see as the best available. Better than drafting for need and getting burned. All prospects are unlikely to ever work out, so you cannot draft based on your faith in DJB, regardless of whether you think he will be an allstar at 3B

      • The Real Me says:

        With the time it takes for a drafted player to develop and the high likelyhood of failure, you can’t draft based on need in baseball. What you need today, you may not need tomorrow. It makes no sense to draft a 3B that you think can make it up in 3 years because that’s when A-Rod won’t be able to play the position anymore. Who knows what happens between now and then?

    • MannyGeee says:

      Might be an admission that they see DBJ as an outfielder or 1B instead of the hot corner… or that Jagielo was too good a talent to walk away from at that pick…

      Also, there is a MUCH stronger likelihood that neither play in Pinstripes than that DBJ is not the answer or that one would block the other. Trades, flameouts, Ryan Zimmerman’s impending free agency in 2016 all could play a part.

      • wsa says:

        I doubt it. Bichette’s bat has been the problem. His defense seems like it was underrated at the time he was drafted. Probably because people insisted on comparing him to his dad.

        Your second point seems more accurate. You can’t not take a player because you have some other prospect at that position. Even if the other prospect is great. If both have the bats to play in MLB you are almost definitely going to be able to find a spot for both. And if not you can trade one.

  4. David Brown says:

    I have little doubt that Katoh was a pre-draft agreement. They will need extra cap room to get all three first round picks (plus any “signability cases” they draft the next two days)signed. I think the biggest winners (so far) 1: Pittsburgh. 2: Tampa Bay. 3: Yankees. Losers (so far): 1: San Francisco. 2: Kansas City. 3: Texas.

    • All Praise Be To Mo says:

      I agree, KC could have had Austin Wilson and Manaea, but chose to go cheap at #8. Get the top talent early and then go cheap later.

    • Stephen Milo says:

      I’d put Saint Louis just ahead of the Yankees too personally, and I’m also not ready to write off Kansas City completely, but otherwise completely agree

    • Patrick says:

      It help your draft when you have multiple 1st rounders as Pitt, TB and NYY all had.

      By most accounts–Pittsburgh already had the top farm system as far as high-end prospects–mainly pitchers. Meadows and McGuire add to their riches. Great picks.

      I agree that Tampa did well. They had ZERO catching talent in their Organization. Molina stinks, yet are forced to play him. They really needed a catcher and the kid from S Carolina should help down the road. Ryne Stanek was a good value pick and TB has a good history of developing the pitchers they draft.

      The Yankees did very well. Hard not to when you have 3 picks in rd 1. Not all 3 will make it..at least 1 will be a bust, but it is a numbers game and I feel confident in saying and least 1 or 2 of the 3 will end up making it. That is all you can ask for.

  5. All Praise Be To Mo says:

    What about Denney now in round 3 if he falls? Any reason why he’s dropping? A lot of mocks had him to the Yankees in the 1st round. Take him and then some seniors later on to cover the over slot?

  6. JLC 776 says:

    So… what would Sterling’s HR call be for Eric Jagielo? Because, you know, that’s the most important question at this moment.

    • jjyank says:

      Heh, I always think about this too. But I’m not sure how his name is pronounced, so I gotta get that nailed down first.

      • DERP says:

        I believe it is juh-guy-low.

      • Patrick says:

        Polish pronunciation: yuh-GEE-lo

        The “g” is pronounced as in “gregarious Gregorian gorgons gulped gorgonzola.”

        • JLC 776 says:

          That was amazing!

        • Electric Nunez ll says:

          Talkative, Monastic mythological creatures are NOT scarfing my gorgonzola cheeze, no how…

          Mon Dieu, that paw of Judge’s is as big as the other kids head… If he pans out, someone will have to be thanked for steering this guy away from being a football DE…

          I think if Katoh becomes like a Kaz Matsui type (not the Mets’ version) him & the Yankees will likely have done well for themselves.

    • WFAN Caller says:

      hopefully Sterling’s call for Jagielo is only heard by whoever else is sitting in his living room.

      • Spaceman Spiff says:

        Hopefully Suzyn is with him on the couch

        • The Real Me says:

          And hopefully, wherewever they are, they make that call frequently.

          • WFAN Caller says:

            The idea of those two old whack jobs making nonsense conversation – sporadically interrupted by Sterling leaping from the couch and yelling, “MMMMMIT IS HIGH, MMMMMMMIT IS FAR…IT IS…caught” as they watch the game on Sterling’s 2003 Sony Aquos makes me smile. A LOT.

      • MannyGeee says:

        whilst sputtering on some tapioca pudding and wearing pajamas

  7. nycsportzfan says:

    I thought I read somewhere that Katoh projected to hit for some power as well?

    Either way, I coulden’t be more excited about this grouping. I mean, to add a 3rd basemen with Jaigelo’s pop , and then a monster upsided beast in Aaron Judge, and then one of teh best curveballs in the draft in Ian Clarkin is something. Clarkin is a fucking stud! 90-92mph heat, with devesating curveball that he can bury or throw for a strike, and a change, and tops out at 94 on the heat! BEAST MODE!

  8. WFAN Caller says:

    Of course Opp and Co would take a slap-hitting infielder named 2B Gosuke Katoh with their 2nd round pick. Makes sense. He’ll never make it beyond AA. FACT. NOT JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS HERE, BUT THIS GUY STINKS!

  9. jjyank says:

    I’m thrilled with the haul so far. Granted, I know nothing about these guys outside what I’ve read on here, but it really seems like the Yanks got some potential impact talents with all three picks. Specifically, I can’t wait to see what Judge can do. Really intriguing with his size.

  10. Cool Lester Smooth says:

    Katoh doesn’t seem like a bad pick, to be honest. It sounds like he’ll be somewhere between Ryan Theriot and Luis Castillo at the major league level, with maybe a touch more power.

    That’s a high floor and a decent ceiling.

    • PFOJ says:

      There’s no way an 18 year old 2nd round pick’s floor is Ryan Theriot. His floor is certainly Generic Farmhand Who Never Hits above A Ball.

      • Cool Lester Smooth says:

        You got me there, haha.

        I’m just going by what people have been saying across the interwebs. He’s supposed to have a very high floor because of his defense and contact.

  11. jjyank says:

    Mike, I know you’re gonna do a post-draft prospect ranking after the signing deadline, but color me impatient. Gun to your head right now, if the Yankees sign all four picks, where do you see them stacking up with regards to the current prospects?

  12. John C says:

    The Katoh pick could be a direct result of the Clarkin pick. Yanks know they’ll need to go above slot to get Clarkin so to compensate, they took a guy who figure to sign easily and maybe below slot to balance everything out.

  13. Mark says:

    Since the signing deadline is only a month now would the two college guys more likely go to the GCL or NY-Penn League this summer?

  14. Andrew Brotherton says:

    Baseball America has said that all three should slot right in the middle of the top 5, so right behind Mason, Slade, Tyler, and Gary. Judge BA said has just become the top power prospect in the Yankees system.

  15. Darren says:

    I don’t know if these picks will pan out, but for a change, it’s nice that the post-draft reaction isn’t “WTF!! We couldn’t find anyone better than that??” These guys all seem like decent candidates. Good luck !

  16. JLC 776 says:

    I love seeing new youths to root for. Good luck to the class of ’13!

  17. LarryM Fl says:

    These three players seemed to be excellent candidates as future Yankees especially the two college kids. They look mature and ready to climb the ladder. Clarkin showed his youthfulness with his comments but being candid can be a good thing. He gets a pass. At 6’2″ I’m hoping for a shorter version of Andy Pettitte. I wish them well especially in the health department.

    I had the good fortune to play with an LAD first rounder back in the sixties. First rounders are truly amazing ball players but there is so much more to getting from draft night to the South Bronx.

  18. Hassey says:

    All is well and good until they get into their first drunken bar brawl, though Judge can probably handle himself

  19. Bryan says:

    Definitely a fan of the picks. It is nice to see the Yanks go with college polish over high risk high reward. Hopefully the three first rounders will all sign.

  20. nycsportzfan says:

    We do got some decent arms coming through the system now. Jordan Cote, Jose Ramirez, Ty Hensley, Ian Clarkin(assuming he signs), Nik Turley, Mark Montgomery, Rafeal DePaula, Jose Campos..etc

    It’d be great if we can keep up the impact pitching of guys like Nuno,Phelps, and Preston Claiborne, to keep the big club going with young arms while some of these other guys come along.

  21. Thomas says:

    Aaron Judge DREDD!!!

  22. mrnixon says:

    The didn’t sign jonathan gray 2010!!!!!! Now he looks like the next clemens. The prospect profiles on our guys sucks

  23. Kosmo says:

    “I`m just a Jagielo everywhere I go…“

  24. Sam says:

    I think I read somewhere that Katoh could possibly play shortstop. I’m pretty sure it was one of the Yankees head guys saying it. Might have been Damon Oppenheimer. I think he also said something about having some pop in the bat also.

    Katoh did hit 11 homers last year, albeit with an aluminum bat.

    • leftylarry says:

      Everyone say’s Katoh has a weak arm, everyone except Damon who made the nutsy comment (and I parphrase) that we have seen him play SS yet so how do we know he can’t play the positon and doesn’t have the arm strength.

      • leftylarry says:

        Sorry, Should have read “we haven’t seen him play SS”

      • Buhner's barber says:

        I’ve been thinking about that, isn’t arm strength something that you would expect to improve over the next few years for an 18 year old?

    • wsa says:

      Has the athleticism and hands for SS. The arm is the question. If he adds some strength is could be possible. Yankees have a pretty strong track record identifying 2B talent though.
      Does have some pop and is a strong athlete. Fans are just overreacting to his media rankings. One draft philosophy is to look for the guy who is being underrated because everyone is too stuck on what he can’t do to notice what he can do. It often has to do with body type. Teams in every sport often overlook a superior player because his body doesn’t fit the prototype and overvalue inferior players with protoypical bodies. There’s a chance Katoh fits that mold.
      None of this means he’ll work out. Any #66 pick is very unlikely to work out.

  25. jason says:

    We came so close to drafting the guy who would have been Francessa’s favorite – Jason Hursh.

  26. Guns says:

    Jagielo = Bradley Suttle… who was also one of the best all-around college hitters in the draft

    Judge = Shelley Duncan… except might be an average defender

    Clarkin = who the hell knows but he’ll be a bust just like the rest.

    All busts. No sense getting excited over a draft when you’re team has produced half a notch above not a damn thing over the last decade.

    • Cool Lester Smooth says:

      Yup. Not gonna engage.

    • pat says:

      What about the 2b?

    • CS Yankee says:

      Do you mean?

      Not a damn thing…Hughes, Joba, IPK, Drob, Jesus, Grit, Cerv, Nova.

      Half-notch above…Cano, Melky.

      Plus, you really can’t count the last three years as their bread is still baking, which easily has 5 other future regular MLB talents.

      Name five better teams that have outdone them while making the postseason each of the last four years? Hmm, you’re gonna be awhile.

      • Guns says:

        Holy shit you guys are lost. Joba? Jesus Montero?!?! Cervelli and Nova??? What exactly are you bragging about? Relievers and below average major league players? Melky Cabrera… seriously? He was a AAAA player before taking steroids. IPK has had one above average season in the majors and is struggling to produce replacement level numbers this season.

        We’re not talking about making the playoffs. We’re talking about a farm system and player development… where the Yankees have continually failed. Fucking prove me wrong instead of spouting off names that you can’t honestly believe prove any kind of point.

        • 'Stripes says:

          You said “half-a-notch”. Those players are above half-a-notch. You’re lashing out like a goddamned jerk . Don’t get mad at him because you showed your ass in public and got called on it. I also like the fact that you ignored the one player who blows your entire argument to pieces, instead deciding to shriek like a demented banshee.

          Get a grip.

          • Guns says:

            Who, Phil Hughes? The fourth starter who as amassed 7.9 WAR spread over six seasons as a starting pitcher. Is that supposed to be impressive for a first-round pick? Cano wasn’t drafted but feel free to include him anyway. I think it’s funny how fans hang their hat on that one guy (ONE, 1) when talking about the farm system. And yes, I understand Robertson is a great reliever and Gardner is a fine outfielder. I guess I differ from all of you because I’m not about to blow the Yankees front office because they’ve hit on two or three players over the last ten years.

            • Cool Lester Smooth says:

              Phil Hughes is a huge success as the 23rd overall pick.

              You really just don’t seem to understand how much less valuable a late 1st rounder is than a mid-level one. The average 23rd overall pick is worth less than 2 WAR over his first 6 years.

          • CS Yankee says:

            Thanks for having my back while work got in the way.

            Fuuny how he cannot even name one team (let alone 5) that has done well in the last 10 years of the draft and has made the postseason over the last four.

            I don’t pretend that things are all rosy, but overall they are the best run business in all of sports. Maybe they are a D grade in the early rounds, but an A in the later rounds. It doesn’t matter how you slice it, they clearly have an upper third farm despite trading prospects and picking towards the end of each round (if at all) every year.

            Dude needs to pry his eyes open.

        • wsa says:

          You might want to actually do some research to determine what your expectations should be. Joba, for example, was a great pick. There are three guys in the entire 2nd round that year who have out-WARed him to date.


          Do some digging around on there and you’ll gain some perspective.

          • Guns says:

            I’m aware Joba has outproduced other picks that were drafted in that area, but that seems more circumstantial than anything. The Yankees drafts, as a whole, have continually underperformed. 2008 may be a notable exception.

        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          “We’re not talking about making the playoffs. We’re talking about a farm system and player development”

          This is exactly why no one is taking you seriously, because having a top 10 team in baseball every year for the past 20 years is pretty damn mutually exclusive with consistently acquiring top talent in the draft.

    • jjyank says:

      You must be so much fun in person.

      Just for shits and giggles: Cano, Wang, Hughes, Joba, Phelps, Nuno, D-Rob, Warren, Adams, Gardner, trade pieces to land Granderson and Swisher, and an above average farm system add up to a “half a notch above not a damn thing”. Good god man. Some expectations you must have.

      As far as your “comps” go, such an exercise is so futile, pointless, and stupid that I’m not going to go into it further.

      • Jim Is Bored says:

        He’s entered dalelama territory for me.

      • Guns says:

        Cano and Wang were not drafted. No shits and no giggles. Vidal Nuno (not drafted)??? Adam Warren?? David Adams? HOLY FUCK!! Seriously… what contending team doesn’t have those kinds of replacement level players? Seriously, these are the guys you’re going to brag about?

        Having an “above average” farm system must be nice to look at when organizational rankings come around, but as far as actual production that farm – and especially the first round picks – haven’t produced fuck all.

        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Granderson and Swisher don’t do it for ya?

          and it’s funny that you just ignored Hughes, Phelps, D-Rob and Gardner.

          • wsa says:

            And acting like we can even judge the majority of Opp’s drafts yet.

          • Guns says:

            Didn’t mean to ignore them. I’m aware the Yankees have produced a few players. They’re not totally inept. Just more so than most teams in baseball.

        • jjyank says:

          Why does it matter if they were drafted or an IFA signee as long as the farm system produced them?

          Also, do you realize that your language, use of caps, and double punctuation make you appear like a raving lunatic? Just a heads up.

          • Guns says:

            I’m glad it’s my use of caps and double punctuation!!! that make me seem like a lunatic. It’s usually my criminal record and lovely stockade of automatic weapons that make me seem that way.

    • Steve L. says:

      The Yankees should have picked Appel or Grey. Then they would have had the best chances of not seeing their drafts flounder…

      Seriously dude, of the guys available to them by the time they got to choose, the picks all seem reasonable. Sure they may not work out, but that’s the case for every prospect. Who would you have preferred them to grab?

      • Guns says:

        My point is the Yankees drafting and player development system is embarrassing.

        But only when compared to other teams in baseball not named the Pirates, Astros and Padres.

    • 'Stripes says:

      Jesus, you’re a load. And you’re not even a correct one.

    • Guns says:

      Compare the WAR of the Yankees first round draft picks – or hell, all their draft picks for that matter – to other teams worth a damn. I seriously want you all to do that. I’ll wait.

      • Cool Lester Smooth says:

        We’re only comparing them to teams that have not had a winning percentage below .540 in the past 20 years, right?

      • wsa says:

        You don’t have to wait. You can search on baseball-reference or you can read the recent piece on fangraphs about the success of top 100 picks. From an objective (factual) point of view you are incorrect.

        The draft also has more than one round.

        • Guns says:

          So the Yankees haven’t accumulated less WAR from players in the draft than the majority of other teams? That’s news to me.

  27. CS Yankee says:

    Concerned with the first pick (wanted Kam) with those hands and load (thus making that loopy swing), but think they did quite well overall. They went power and didn’t concentrate on the “up the middle” guys they typically target.

    Other than Pittsburgh, St Louis and Tampa gotta think they had the best first day.

    • wsa says:

      Three of their four picks play up the middle.

      • CS Yankee says:

        Thought “up the middle” meant position players that play C, SS, 2B, & CF? If i’m wrong, i misunderstood, however…

        1A…Jag is 3B that may project a COF
        1B…Judge is a CF who nobody feels will stay there with his average speed and gun, so RF’er.
        1C…Clarkin pitches
        2…yes, up the middle guy.

        So, my point still stands though. The 2 round pick puzzled most and is believed to be made to save money for the first three guys as he was projected to be a 3-5 round player.

        • wsa says:

          Judge was announced as a CF. He may move to RF. He runs pretty well though and has a very strong arm. The Yankees have a recent history of leaving mediocre fielders at premium positions if their bats carry them (Posada, Bernie later on, Jeter, Cano, almost Montero). I would not be surprised to see him in CF or RF. Part of it also depends on who else he’s playing with. If at some point on his trip through the org he’s in the same OF as a Mason, Slade or Gardner maybe he’s in RF. If he’s in the same OF as an Austin or Giancarlo Stanton may he’s in CF.

          Pitchers aren’t usually lumped into up the middle but they do play up the middle. LHP especially is as premium a position as the up the middle offensive players. It’s sort of apples and oranges but not something where you say they strayed from going up the middle by taking a P. Taking a P in the first round is in no way against the Yankees recent tradition. They did it literally last season. Opp has taken 6 Ps with 10 1sts (including Cole).

          So again 3 of 4 guys play up the middle.

          I don’t think they took an athletic HS kid at a premium position with a commitment to a top program to save much money. Might save marginally. I think that’s pure fan speculation though. Lets wait to see what he signs for. Last season people were saying that they took a SR in O’Brien for that reason and he signed for slot.
          What round talent a player deserves to go in is also a purely subjective thing. One teams’ 3-5 rounder is another teams 1st rounder. Katoh is a strong athlete many are calling a Gold Glove caliber 2B. I also think people are overlooking his bat speed and pop a little because of his frame.

  28. wsa says:

    I don’t think that the Yankees’ first round record has actually been terrible. I think that it’s a matter of expectations. Fangraphs just had a piece about MLB success of top 100 picks (extends beyond the 1st but the Yankees also seldom pick top 20 and often lose their 1st due to signings so it probably evens out). We’re talking low teens % becoming impact players. Assuming 20 1st rounders in 20 years (probably not accurate but probably close enough) you should probably expect ~3 impact players (defined as 10+ WAR). The Yankees have had that: Milton, Kennedy, and Hughes.

    Also have to basically throw out the last 5 years. Slade and Hensley could still be total studs. Not looking good for Bichette and especially Culver but either could still put it together enough to at least make the bigs for a couple of years. Even Bleich could maybe become a LOOGY. Not expecting those things but point is you can’t really evaluate the drafts yet.

    And going much beyond 5 years you’re talking about a different decision maker. No use confounding Opp with others.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

      In all honesty, it is WAAAAAAY too early to write off either DBJ or Culver

      • CS Yankee says:

        Depends on what you mean when you say “write off”?

        In finacial way, I would as they likely won’t collect on that revenue (in this case, get the payback of a high round selection). So if we write-off that as a current asset, we avoid recongizing it as income (a MLB player) but still try to collect (develop) that asset. If it does come in (develop), you recongize (promote or trade) it at that time but you need to replace that asset with other income (power bat 3B and solid bat/glove SS) that you can project to collect.

        Culver and DBich aren’t old and useless but they are becoming more of a long shot each and every month and proving the masses (BA, Law, etc) correct and NYY FO wrong (Dopp & Cash). They are getting the focus as they were reaches in the early rounds.

        • wsa says:

          Bichette has actually shown more and more as this season has gone on. Not less and less. He had an ice cold start then got white hot after taking a day off to refine his mechanics. He cooled off a little but settled in a respectable clip: .767 OPS the last 10 games. The “masses” have also been dead wrong on his defense. They called him a DH. Probably more because they were confusing him with his dad than anything else. He looks like a long-term 3B defensively.

          A guy not working out doesn’t necessarily prove you wrong. It’s all about probabilities. You might have felt Culver for example had a 50% probability of never learning to hit even a lick but taken the 20% odds he became a solid hitter because you felt there were 100% odds he could stick at SS and the expected pay off still justified the selection. You are going to fail 80-90% by the time you get outside the top 15 or so picks.

          • CS Yankee says:

            While I still hope they will provide value, there isn’t one top two round guys they wouldn’t trade them for if they could, i bet.

            It doesn’t mean that they don’t draft well, fail to develop or anything like that…rather, what I’m saying is after a couple of years in the system they haven’t lived up to their potential, or projections.

  29. Luca10 says:

    Oh, well, nice first day but they could’ve done way better. It’s disgusting they didn’t go all-in with Manaea.

    Absolutely love the Judge pick, Clarkin is good/ok too but Jagielo…meh. Not a fan at all. High level FB will overpower him, not an elite defender at 3rd, limited upside.

    And I don’t like the Katoh pick either. Can do quite all, but nothing jumps out. No power, no arm to play SS, very limited upside.

    • jjyank says:

      Disgusting? Wow.

    • King George says:

      This really shows how much you know about baseball and/or the scouting of Manaea. One, he has a torn hip labrum and is expected to undergo surgery. Two, he has a rising ERA and diminished velocity as the season went on. And three, there were reports circulating that Manaea would “likely” go back to school if he wasn’t drafted in the 1st round in order to repair his stock after the injury. Please don’t post anymore.

      • Luca10 says:

        So what? Top10 (maybe top5) talent, the injury is not to the arm/shoulder. You roll the dice, pick him, pay him and rehab him.

        It’s a talent that you wouldn’t have to chance to select if not for the injury.

  30. your mom says:

    I’m fucking pissed they didn’t draft Mike Trout!!!

  31. your mom says:

    Katoh looks more 160 than 180. Kid needs to put on some weight.

  32. Come on guys. At the end of the day, drafting in any professional sports has a large element of serendipity about it. Wasn’t Mattingly picked something like 449. And how many teams bypassed Guidry before the Yankees picked him. And, yes, there were actually players chosen ahead of Jeter. Somebody actually drafted Ryan Leaf and JaMarcus Russell and gave them a lot of money. Some teams get hot for a while, like the Rays (BTW how many WS have they won in the last ten years?), but eventually they regress to the mean. By the evaluation of most nonYankee observers, we did very well. There is nothing wrong with our minor league coaching. The rest is up to these young kids to see if they can develop into creditable MLB players. If it were so easy, I would have been playing CF when Mantle retired.

  33. Biggie says:

    Can we get another comment from GUNS please? I look forward to his posts.

    • CS Yankee says:


      Half-notch-above farm developed talent excludes Cano, Wang, Hughes, Melky etc. because they were either IFA, not “Aces”, did PEDs, still developing, or aren’t Yankees anymore.

      Amazing, as in the Mets.

  34. Mason Williams Blood Alcohol Content says:

    You know what makes me disgusted? People who get excited about: Hughes, Joba, Melky, Nova, Nuno, Nunez. I don’t care how great Joba and Hughes’ WAR’s are. Montero is AWFUL in case no ones noticed. Cervelli? Really? D ROB and Cano have turned from prospects into great players. Thats it. Everybodys replacement level regardless of what WAR says. They dont pass the eye test. Also, everyone in the world knows Maneae is getting surgery. Didn’t stop the Royals from taking him one pick after us. Same surgery our #1 pick from last year is having. Why not pick him? It’s an upside pick. He would have been a top five pick if not for his hip.

    • Mason Williams Blood Alcohol Content says:

      *Everybody else (not named DROB or Cano). Also, a really tough year for the farm system this year. Almost everyone’s taking a step back.

    • Bo Knows says:

      And the same can be said about a lot of teams especially those with top draft picks year in and year out. If they were actually good at developing the so called “elite talent” teams like the Pirates, Royals, Padres, Mets, Orioles and numerous other teams wouldn’t put up 20 year stints of futility before actually having a decent season or producing more than one decent player every couple of years.

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