At 100-62, the Yankees finished the 2018 regular season with their best record since going 103-59 en route to the World Series championship in 2009. They also finished with the third best record in MLB behind the Red Sox (108-54) and Astros (103-59), and ahead of the Athletics (97-65).
As a result, the Yankees will hold the 30th overall pick in the 2019 amateur draft next June. They should have the 28th overall pick, but the Braves (9th overall) and Diamondbacks (26th overall) both have compensation picks for their unsigned 2018 first rounders. That pushes everyone back a bit. Sucks, but what can you do?
The Yankees have not picked this low (or high, depending how you view it) with their first selection since 2012, when they took Ty Hensley with the 30th overall pick. Hopefully the 2019 pick goes better than the 2012 one did. For what it’s worth, the 30th overall pick came with a $2,275,800 slot value last year. That’ll go up a bit next year, as always.
The current Collective Bargaining Agreement changed the free agent compensation rules quite a bit. All first round picks are protected now. The Yankees can’t give up that 30th overall pick in next year’s draft no matter what. They’re locked into that pick. The free agent compensation rules are tied to revenue sharing and the luxury tax now. The rules:
- Signing team receives revenue sharing money: Forfeits their third highest draft pick.
- Signing team paid luxury tax during most recent season: Forfeits second and fifth highest draft picks, plus $1M in international bonus money.
- All other teams: Forfeit second highest draft pick plus $500,000 in international bonus money.
Because the Yankees stayed under the $197M luxury tax threshold this year, they fall into the “all other teams” category. They’ll give up their second round pick and $500,000 in international bonus pool money during the 2019-20 signing period. They get to keep their fifth rounder and an extra $500,000 in bonus money by getting under the threshold should they sign a qualified free agent (i.e. Bryce Harper).
It’s still too early to know the quality of the 2019 draft class — for what it’s worth, Keith Law recently said he’s heard the “class is very down” and the “college crop is especially poor” — but, if you’re interested, here are the FanGraphs draft prospect rankings and MLB.com’s super early mock draft. Southern California kids are the best place to start when it comes to potential Yankees targets.