2013 Draft: Yankees sign second rounder Gosuke Katoh

Mailbag: The ones that got away
TiqIQ: Donnie Baseball Double Dip in the Bronx

12:38pm: The Yankees have officially announced the signing, so it’s a done deal.

11:08am: Via K. Levine-Flandrup: The Yankees have officially signed second round pick Gosuke Katoh to an $845,700 signing bonus, full slot value for the 66th overall pick. He has already passed his physical.

Katoh, 18, is a high school second baseman out of San Diego. The rail thin speedy slap hitter was considered more of a fourth or fifth round talent heading into the draft, but the Yankees have a tendency to go against the consensus and reach for players they really like in the early rounds. I thought Katoh would sign for something below slot, but apparently not.

Keep tabs on the team’s draft pool with our 2013 Draft Pool page.

Mailbag: The ones that got away
TiqIQ: Donnie Baseball Double Dip in the Bronx
  • Robinson Tilapia

    We need a Judge to make sure all the signings go well.

  • Different Josh

    Wow. That actually really upsets me. Could have used those couple of hundred thousand dollars for a Drew Bridges or Cortes. I guess they weren’t lying when they said he would be a tough sign.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Over slot may have been more upsetting. Dude took what he was entitled to where he was drafted.

      I guess be more upset at the overreach to get him where they did, but I still don’t get upset at stuff like this, last few drafts notwithstanding. You never know where your star player is going to come from.

      • Caballo Sin Nombre

        I’m not sure anyone is ENTITLED to anything, solely on the basis of where they were selected.

        That said, here’s a positive way to look at it:

        – assume the Yankees really love this guy
        – but the guy was rated as a fourth round talent at best
        – however as a HS player, if they drafted him where he was rated, they were probably going to have to go way over slot, causing problems with other signees, even potentially Clarkin
        -therefore, overdrafting him allowed them to pay him what it was going to take, without them having to really even consider going over slot.

        It sounds like complicated thinking; but given the uncertainty and interaction between signing draft picks due to the cap, it actually simplifies the Yankees overall draft management process for each player they can pretty much ensure will sign for slot or less.

        • wsa

          “- but the guy was rated as a fourth round talent at best”

          By who? There is no universal prospect ranking. Opinions vary widely and variability in outcomes is huge.

          I think it’s much more likely the Yankees rated him as a 2nd rounder. They took him there. It’s a much more complicated, and therefore probably less likely, explanation that they liked him in the 4th but couldn’t find a single guy they liked in the 2nd who would take slot so got less talent in their draft to get a guy they liked in the 4th.

          “- however as a HS player, if they drafted him where he was rated, they were probably going to have to go way over slot, causing problems with other signees, even potentially Clarkin”

          Oppenheimer has said that they picked the pocket of another team. That means he does not believe Katoh was going to be available with the Yankees’ next pick. He may be wrong. I trust him to know these things way more than fans, though.

      • wsa

        Can we stop with the last few drafts stuff? Last season they took a consensus pick in the 1st and 2nd along with a great athlete who was raw. It’s like the whole fan base slept through 2012.

        (In the 50s I also don’t feel like Bichette was much of a “reach.” He was something like 102 on BA’s board. 50 spot variations on boards are fairly commonplace. Was too bad Stafford was hurt but probably better they found out before signing him and got the 2012 comp pick. 2010 Culver hasn’t worked out but that might still be a great draft class for the Yankees.)

        Teams are accused on reaching all the time. I haven’t seen anyone show that those players are less likely to work out. (I haven’t seen anyone show how accurate any particular media draft board is actually.) One obvious example that comes to mind is Prince Fielder. He was #24 on BA’s board and people slammed the Brewers for taking him #7 in a similar way to how the Yankees were slammed for taking Bichette. Not that it means Katoh will work out by any means but Prince was a guy who could play but was underrated for body type. I view it like a QB who people are saying would be considered at 1-1 were he X inches taller. I have no idea how those guys work out compared to average. You do steal your Russell Wilson’s and Drew Brees’ outside the first round that way, though. People can get too tied down in conventions and miss talent. There’s a chance that’s Katoh: “you don’t take a HS 2B early,” “he’s too skinny,” etc. To me those kind of over-generalizations tend to scream “underrated.”

    • DERP

      If the three remaining top ten picks each sign for slot, then the team will have about 600K left over to play with if they will go 5% over. They still can sign some other guys.

  • Pseudoyanks

    Guess I shouldn’t have been counting the draft $ pool upside for him yesterday.

  • Danny

    His predraft asking price was a million, so nice to see we didnt go overslot. At the same time, probably is worth about half of what he got so disappointing we didnt get him for underslot. Yankees must have really liked him.

  • Gonzo

    What do his parents look like?


    • trr

      Or a big brother?
      Great question Gonzo, ’cause if he doesn’t develop physically, he will never play MLB

      • JohnnyC

        His sister is a sumo champ in Okinawa.

        • trr


  • MannyGeee

    Don’t hate it

  • JohnnyC

    If George were still alive no way this kid gets full slot. No way in hell.

    • Pseudoyanks

      George Costanza?

      • JohnnyC

        Don’t know him. Before my time probably.

        • Different Josh

          Sarcasm, right?

      • CountryClub

        Body Suit Man!!

    • wsa

      Because he gets $5 mill and the Yankees blow through the cap? Or because he neglects the draft?

  • http://sh@g.com DeJuwan

    mike, i don’t think any of your draft predictions have been right

    • DeJuwan

      ignore the link

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

      They usually aren’t.

  • Jacob the OG

    I would not be mad if they did not reach for him WTF THERE WAS SO MUCH TALENT ON THE BOARD (I.E. DENNEY) !

    • Adam

      I tend to agree with this sentiment. If they picked him in order to help save draft pool money then I’d understand. But for full slot? Like Jacob mentioned, Denney was still on the board and although he was considered a tough sign, he only signed for about $30,000 more than Katoh. Just plain dumb, IMO.

  • pat

    I’ll take it. I too thought he’ get done for a little less than slot, but I’m not pissed about that. Kid is fast as all hell and I think has a little more power than people are letting on. From a 2012 PG article.


    Katoh also enjoyed good competition and was able to get in front of some West Coast scouts at the PG Sunshine West about a week-and-a-half earlier. He is known as a standout defensive middle-infielder, but his skills are in no way limited.

    At the conclusion of the Sunshine West, Perfect Game’s Steve James wrote in a report that Katoh is an “impact player in all phases of the game. Plus actions at 2B, very quick transfers. … Has good bat speed and swing at the plate. Has juice; 2 homers, a double and triple in games; disruptive on the base paths, great make up.”

    That reads almost word-for-word like a scouting report Katoh might write about himself. He ran an impressive 6.42 seconds in the 60-yard dash- tied for sixth overall – at the PG National.

    It’s also worth noting that this isn’t some 5’9″ 140 lb shrimp we’re talking about. He’s 6’2″ 180 has a senior in HS. That’s pretty good frame to add muscle to.

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona


      I’ve read almost 5 articles, some all the way through, about who the best players were, and I never saw his name. The Yankees will pay for this mistake, just like when they failed to pick (fill in the blank)!!!

      END OF RANT #handwank

    • wsa

      Totally agree. And would even go one step further. The Red Sox did take a 5’7″ 140 lb. 2B in the 2nd round in 2004. Has worked out pretty incredibly well for them. The two SS taken ahead of him in the round had more prototypical size but have combined for negative career bWAR. No player taken in the next 100 picks has more than 1/3 the career bWAR. (Only a half dozen have more than 5.) The next guy who approaches his career production is another 2B taken 184.

      None of that is to say that Katoh will work out. As a general rule guys with more prototypical size are more likely to work out and guys at SS have more value (assuming the Yankees don’t use Katoh there). There are enough exceptions, though, not to be upset about a pick with an abnormal body type if the kid can play. And there is precedent of 2B drafted early working out (most are college guys, but the draft is all about anticipating development).

  • David Brown

    This obviously finishes any chance of Floyd or Quantrill (as small as they were). Keep in mind, they are currently $225,900 under budget (Baseball America). In addition, we have not seen the Kendrick or Rumbelow numbers yet. If they are able to squeeze $150,000 out of those two, and they do not go overslot on Judge), they can probably get two or three of Bueno, Fowler, Bridges, McCarley & Cortes signed

  • wsa

    If you want to save money you don’t take a good athlete up the middle who is a good student with a strong commitment to a top program. A lot of leverage there with the chance to be a 1st or 2nd rounder again in 3 years after adding some strength and gaining three years of education at a discount or free. I didn’t know he’d get slot but I didn’t expect much less.

    “Reaching” is a completely subjective thing. One person’s “reach” is another’s “steal.” If you haven’t figured that out just by comparing the draft boards of various media types, I don’t know what to tell you. They can easily vary 50 spots on a guy, which is about a late 2nd to 4th round gap. So, yes the Yankees use their board and not a media board. So does every team. And according to Oppenheimer at least one well respected front office had Katoh in a similar stage of the draft. I would be willing to bet that every MLB team makes picks that the media consensus saw as “reaches.” Like any other pick, some work out and most do not.

    Heck, you were all over Kyle Serrano. The consensus was not as high on him.

  • Preston

    Hopefully the two relievers give us some savings. But I think Judge may be a tougher sign than anticipated. I think after he gets signed there won’t be to much left for later round guys. But honestly who cares, the three guys that matter are Clarkin, Jagielo and Judge.

  • EndlessJose

    “but the Yankees have a tendency to go against the consensus and reach for players they really like in the early rounds.”

    Yeah because that has worked well for the Yankees in the last 5 years.I hope the Yankees believe he can play short because if not then that was a dumb pick.

  • Thrower202

    I have seen Katoh play about 40 times over the last four years. The “rail thin” slap hitter stuff pretty well described him as a freshman and sophomore, but he grew physically and completely evolved as a player the last two years. Playing in one of the best programs in the country (five players from Rancho Bernardo High were drafted this year), he was a dominant player with home run power (ten HRs in the BBCor era). Opponents played him deep to all fields, and he showed home run power to the right side and fence power to the left side.

    He was seen as a mid round draftee early in the year, but the word out here was that he had “helium” underneath him due to his outstanding body of work on defense and consistent hard contact at the plate. Believe me, you are going to like this guy.

    • pat

      Awesome. Thanks for the input. Insane 5 kids form the same frickin HS were drafted.