2015 Draft: Yankees sign 20th round pick 1B Isiah Gilliam to overslot bonus

Yankees should give Bryan Mitchell an extended chance to fill righty relief void
Tuesday Night Open Thread
(Gwinnett Prep Sports)
(Gwinnett Prep Sports)

The Yankees have signed first baseman and 20th round draft pick Isiah Gilliam, according to his Twitter feed. Jim Callis confirmed the signing and says Gilliam received a way overslot $550,000 bonus. Slot money for all picks after the tenth round is $100,000, and the excess is applied to the draft pool, so Gilliam counts as $450,000 against New York’s bonus pool.

Gilliam, 18, has a bit of an interesting backstory. He changed high schools three times and used up his four years of athletic eligibility by age 17, so he was a late addition to the 2014 draft player pool. Gilliam was strongly committed to JuCo powerhouse Chipola College and declined to sign with the Cubs as their 23rd round pick last summer. He hit .362/.421/.548 with 20 doubles and five homers in 52 games at Chipola this spring.

As the bonus suggests, Gilliam is no ordinary 20th round pick. Baseball America ranked him as the 151st best prospect in the draft class while Kiley McDaniel had him 120th. That puts him in the fourth or fifth round range on talent. (The $550,000 bonus is late-third/early-fourth round money.) Here’s a snippet of Baseball America’s scouting report:

He has above-average bat speed with an easy stroke and plus raw power to all fields. He puts on an impressive display in batting practice and has made solid contact in games. His approach has a ways to come … A below-average runner, he played third base until this season before moving to first, where he likely fits best in the long term. He moves well for the position and runs enough to try the corner outfield and has average arm strength.

Gilliam is a switch-hitter and Eric Longenhagen said he once saw him hit a ball over the Western Metal Supply building at Petco Park, which is a bomb. The Yankees announced Gilliam as a first baseman at the draft and that’s where he’ll likely remain long-term, though he did play some right field this spring. Either way, his bat is his calling card. Gilliam has legitimate pop from both sides of the plate. Here’s some video.

As our 2015 Draft Pool Tracker shows, the Yankees now have only $193,900 in bonus pool savings left over, and there aren’t many places to spend it. They’ve signed 31 of their 41 draft picks and only Idaho HS 1B Michael Hicks (27th round), New Jersey HS LHP Andrew Miller (34th), and Florida HS SS Deacon Liput (39th) remain as potential late-round overslot players, and the extra $193,900 might not be enough to convince those guys to turn pro. The extra money might get funneled to UCLA RHP James Kaprielian (1st) simply because there’s nowhere else to spend it.

Yankees should give Bryan Mitchell an extended chance to fill righty relief void
Tuesday Night Open Thread
  • JacobyWanKenobi
  • JacobyWanKenobi
    • gageagainstthemachine

      I feel like there should be banjos in the stands playing, like some bizarro Deep South soccer match. Other than that, kid’s got some power!

  • RAH in CVA

    Liput is already on campus. He and Schmidt weren’t going to sign. Rogers probably goes to school but it isn’t a definite, for the right money he could sign. Paddy O’Brien and Will Albertson will probably get offers later in the summer if their summer play warrants it, and it may not be overslot in either case. Garzillo is also a D&F, he might get a significant offer if he plays well (he is at .205 right now for Bourne). It really comes down to Garzillo, Hicks, Miller and Rogers as the guys who could get the money, and I’d guess they land one of them.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      My priority would certainly be to land Kaprelian sooner, rather than later, but do we really pass up on an opportunity to add someone named Paddy O’Brien, or a second Andrew Miller, to the system? I THINK NOT.

      So Gilliam profiles as a raw fourth rounder with plenty of room to develop futher? Interesting.

      • RAH in CVA

        Kaprielian is going to sign eventually. And he probably only gets 25-30 IP anyway, he was over 100 for the year at UCLA.
        O’Brien is interesting, a catcher whom they see as a pitcher going forward. Said to touch 97.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I agree he signs no matter. Neither team or player takes that risk.

          • RetroRob

            I know the assumption is Kaprelian is looking for something over slot (and why not), but the possibility exists the Yankees are trying to get him for slightly under slot so they can direct the 5% overage and whatever savings on Kaprelian to one of the other harder signs. It’s probably not likely, but who knows what’s going on now between Boras’ camp and the Yankees.

            • MTU

              I know. Negotiation. :)

            • http://shhhorsie.com Cheval Anonyme

              Very unlikely. Underslot signings need to be nailed down early. Clearly that was not going to happen with Boras. Especially given that Kap was drafted at about the right point given his abilities.

              • RetroRob

                I also wouldn’t expect an under-slot signing with Boras, but from a negotiating standpoint I can see the Yankees pushing for under slot with the hopes of keeping it at slot. So far 16 of the 20 top picks have signed. Half of them — eight — are under slot, six are exactly at slot, with just two over slot, and one of them was only a couple thousand over. The one substantial over-slot signing is Aiken, who probably would have been drafted #1 if not for his medicals, and even at that he only received a little less than 120K over slot.

                The reason I was thinking the Yankees might be trying to sign Kap under slot is because some of the other players Boras is advising have already signed at slot. That includes Randolph, the Phillies #1 pick who went at slot. Also includes both Stewarts (DJ and Christin) who signed with their respective teams at slot. On the flip side, he also advises DJ Cameron (Astros) who went substantially over slot, but that was by design, slipping to the Astros who had a boatload of money. Funkhouser, advised by Boras, has not signed with the Dodgers, but he slipped too, much further than expected, so that’s why they’re still negotiating. He will almost certainly get over slot if he signs. Kap on the other hand, and as you noted, seems to be fairly drafted. Feels like an at-slot signing, so the fact he hasn’t signed might indicate the Yankees are trying to get him under slot. Either that, or Boras is just going to wait until he sees how much money the Yankees have left, figuring they won’t blink at an extra 100K. He’s probably right.

    • RAH in CVA

      BTW that money doesn’t count the 5% fine-only overage, $270K without Kap and just shy of $400K if they do sign him. So we do have some flexibility. Of course we may have paid more than $100K for Amburgey and/or Robertson.

  • craig

    I’m confused…was he drafted out of high school or did he go to JUCO for a year?

    The video says he is a 2015 HSer.

    • RAH in CVA

      He graduated at 17 and went to JUCO for 1 year. He is younger than several of our HS draftees, including Finley and Sands.

      • craig

        Thanks!

        He’s got a nice HR trot…looks like a guy who’s hit a few bombs in his day. I like this signing…seems like another nice lottery ticket. If any of the injured arms come back strong and a couple of the IFA’s progress the system is going to be booming.

    • renzostew

      He was drafted by the CUBS in 2014 in the 23rd round but did not sign.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Paddy O’Brien would be the most Irish name I’ve heard since….

    http://i.ytimg.com/vi/zQpTva4WhIY/hqdefault.jpg

    • gageagainstthemachine

      Made me think of this very Irish Shaunessy. God damn I miss that show! Damn shame they ended it prematurely.
      http://i.imgur.com/8qG2uxM.jpg

      • dave_8

        Yeah, I miss it too. Best dialogue of all those higher end cable dramas.

    • MTU

      His nickname must be SOS.

    • Dalek Jeter

      Damnit Vince, why do you hate last names. Sheamus O’Shaunessy?! is like a 90 name tool wrestler.

  • YankeeFan™

    switch hitter with pop i like it.

  • MTU

    Kid looks like a young Ryan Howard.

  • Dan A.

    They really have $480K extra left assuming they’re willing to pay the penalties (and they definitely should be). That should be enough to sign Kaprielian for slot or over and get 1 more late guy with signability issues.

    • Chip

      Plus, you get a free $100K for those guys. So really, they could give another guy $580K

  • captainmike

    hope he doesn’t get into a bar brawl and ruin his career like a previous great Yankee prospect did

  • Tom

    A poor man’s Moncada.

  • disqus_aca44tENL2

    Mike Garzillo is a potential overslot guy as well. Top 200 overall player by BA which would be like another sixth round pick.

    They had a hair over a million, so subtracting the 450k for Gilliam leaves us with about 550k. So we could give Hicks, Miller or Garzillo 650k to sign, assuming Kap signs for slot.

  • The A-Train

    4th/5th round is about as good as a 1st baseman with approach issues can expect, and money that’s not terribly valuable to the Yanks given the lack of destinations for a potential high quality bat is a pretty good move. I like the Yanks pulling a lotto ticket here.

  • Centaur Hips

    Sweet. Kind of like getting an extra pick in the 4th round. High price though, hopefully they can grab another hard to sign guy along with Kap.

  • RetroRob

    Isiah Gilliam being rated that highly out of HS/JuCo when he’s recognized as being a 1B’man says a lot about the potential of his power and hitting upside. Be interested to see how he does. Perhaps he can pair with Jackson and Judge as future power bats. (BTW Jhalan Jackson hasn’t played the last few nights in SI. Anything up, or maybe I just missed him in DoTF. Don’t think he’s playing today.)

    So as one potential 1B’man enters the system, another 1B’man masquerading as a 3B’man looks like he might be headed for knee surgery. Brutal year for top Yankees prospects on the injury front.

    • Tom

      He’s a long way from the majors unlike Judge. I wonder if Clarkin will get TJS.

      • Preston

        Squirrel

      • RetroRob

        I don’t know. Still waiting to hear on that. Maybe we’ll have Clarkin and Jags both have surgery shortly.

      • renzostew

        Daniel Camarena is on the 60 day D/L.Has he had TJS to?

    • Preston

      Where did you hear that Jagielo might be getting knee surgery?

      • RetroRob

        Nick Peruffo who covers the Trenton Thunder tweeted the first MRI shows “loose bodies” in his knee. Going for a second MRI. Maybe rehab is possible, but a little discouraging at the moment.

        • dave_8

          “loose bodies” sounds like a late 80s spring break movie — but R-rated, and we all know what that means…

  • Dalek Jeter
    • RetroRob

      This is the Internet. MUST have strong feelings.

  • TIME WILL TELL

    OT/ Ellsbury scratch from game in Tampa.

    • Dalek Jeter

      Yikes. That’s not at all comforting. Hopefully it’s just a field/weather issue.

      • TIME WILL TELL

        Apparently he was taken out of game after his 3rd at bat last night .

        • renzostew

          That explains more it happened during the first game back. THANKS

    • renzostew

      Ellsbury needs to get back in the line-up.If he had a setback that is bad for the Yankees.We do not know why he was scratched but if the field was wet he would DH.

      • Fawn Lopez

        Calm down Francis. These guys aren’t robots. He is fatigued.

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      “General fatigue” is what the Yankees are saying.

      • Dalek Jeter

        Still not at all comforting.

        • HoopDreams

          It never is, It’s Ellsbury, the slowest healer on earth.

      • frogbogg

        First there was Captain Clutch. Now… General Fatigue.

        • TheEvilUmpire

          Don’t forget Major Disappointment.

          • http://shhhorsie.com Cheval Anonyme

            I don’t get it. Was that a private joke?

            • TheEvilUmpire

              Just something often said of a hotshot prospect gone bust.

      • RetroRob

        General fatigue after DHing one game? Doesn’t sound like Friday is realistic.

        • http://riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          He’s been running a lot lately.

          • HoopDreams

            I guess Ells wouldn’t last a week in XC.

          • HoopDreams

            I guess Ells wouldn’t last a week in XC.

        • dave_8

          He’s just tired of rehabbing.

      • OldYanksFan

        Has he been spending a lot of time in Florida recently? It’s pretty hot and humid there this time of year. Easy to get dehydrated. I get “General fatigue” when visiting Florida just getting out of bed.

  • Mike Myers

    I heard andrew miller doesnt want to sign cuz some jerk on the team took his jersey.

    • RetroRob

      Foolish him. He might accidentally be sent the other Andrew Miller’s pay checks.

  • pat

    Uppercut swing like a mofo.

    • dave_8

      He swings like Didi — but with a bit less movement — and actual power.

    • I am Brett Godner

      Actually it seems to me that his left handed swing has an upper cut but his right handed swing looks pretty straight through the zone. Hard to tell from a couple of youtube videos though.

      • pat

        Especially when one is about 45 seconds of fielding grounders. COME ON

        • I am Brett Godner

          Yeah, that was a bit painful. Scroll down (or up) in the comments and catch the ones from games. You get to see one RH and LH swing plus a bit of swagger on the homerun trot.

  • PMian

    Interesting side note, MiLB.com has Aaron Judge listed as the CF for tonight’s game. Flores in right and Ali Castillo i left

  • Dos Luises

    So psyched to see this. Have to say this is turned into one really solid haul.