John Sickel’s Mock Draft

Just wanted to make a quick little announcement and say that Joe and I (and maybe Ben if he’s interested) will be acting as co-scouting directors for the Yankees in this year’s Mock Draft over at John Sickel’s Minor League Ball.

If you don’t know what the Mock Draft is, go here to find out. We’ll periodically update you on our progress, and I’m sure we’ll do something cool for draft day.

We’re looking for some help with scouting guys/doing research, so if you’re interested in lending a hand, here’s the diary thread. Remember, this is NOT about who we think the Yanks should pick, it’s about who we’d pick if we were in charge. But most of all, this is about having fun, so come join in and help pick the next wave of great Yankee prospects!

Callis on the draft

BA’s Jim Callis took a swarm of draft related questions today at his weekly ESPN chat:

Eric (Sierra Vista, AZ): Hey, Jim, sorry to pester you, but with Max Scherzer heading to Fort Worth, do you see him cashing in with the Nats like you saw last week? Was the departure of Mike Rizzo a big reason why the negotiations have deterorated?
SportsNation Jim Callis: (2:05 PM ET ) I think the biggest problem is just that the Diamondbacks and Boras valued him differently. Arizona saw him as a guy who wasn’t going to go higher than No. 11 (and might have slid through the first round otherwise), and Boras saw him as one of the top two pitchers in the draft. I don’t think he was that good, but if he pitches well at Fort Worth and shows he’s fully healthy, you could argue that he’s the No. 2 prospect in a 2007 draft bereft of college righthanded pitching.

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Looking Ahead to the Draft, High School Edition

Once upon a time I believed high school players were where it’s at, that a team should spend all 50+ of its picks on prepsters and completely forego college players. However I’ve been coming around on college guys of late, and now believe that they too have their place in the amateur draft world (conversely, Billy Beane has been warming up to high schoolers, taking 4 in his top 7 picks last year). In fact, I’ve concluded that a team should draft only college guys at 2 key positions: catcher and end-game reliever. Experience in these roles is crucial, and you can argue that they are the scarcest commodities out there.

But enough of that, lets get down to business. If you’re a Yankee fan, there’s only one guy to focus on for the first round: Jack McGeary. The 6’-3” southpaw will be graduating from Roxbury Latin High in suburban Boston this summer and has a – putting it mildly – strong commitment to attend Mike Mussina’s alma mater, Stanford (and it’s not just baseball that’s getting him there either, he scored a 2030 on his SATs). Over the last decade, the rule of the land has been “if you commit to Stanford, you go to Stanford,” as nary a player has passed up the Cardinal for pro ball since before Moose played at Sunken Diamond. That track record combined with some scary bonus demands (more on that later) is what will get McGeary to the Yanks at #30.

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Looking Ahead to the Draft, College Edition

Hard to believe it’s already time to start talking draft again, ain’t it? It seems like just yesterday Blogger acted like the piece of shit it is, making draft day so frustrating that I abandoned IGWT. But that’s neither here nor there.

For the first time in the history of man, the MLB draft will be televised this year. I’m not sure if all the details have been hammered out yet, but word on the street is ESPN will televise the first 5 rounds on Thursday, June 7th, with the remaining 45 rounds to take place off-air the following day. Casual fans may not be interested in watching their team select a player that won’t contribute to the big league squad for 3-4 years, but for the die-hards, this is about as good as it gets.

For the first time in what seems like an eternity, the Yanks did not forfeit a first round pick as compensation for signing a free agent this offseason. Since they tied with the Mets for baseball’s best record, but had a better aggregate record over the last 3 years, the Yanks’ first pick will come at number 30 overall, the last pick of the first round. Thanks to the new CBA, there’s 34 supplemental first round picks this year, with one more possibly on the way if the D-Backs don’t sign ’06 first rounder Max Scherzer. The Yanks don’t have any of those picks, and lost out on any chance to pick one up when they inexplicably resigned Ron Villone. As it stands right now, the Yanks are picking at #30, then at either #94 or 95 overall (depending on how the Scherzer situation plays out), and every 30 picks thereafter.

The ’07 draft class is one of the better classes in recent memory, highlighted by an outstanding high school crop (surprisingly, much of the prep talent comes from cold weather states), and supplemented by some high ceiling college arms and a surprising amount of depth behind the plate. The latter is exceptional news for Yankee fans, who’ve been looking for the answer to the “Who’s after Jorge?” question for 2-3 seasons now.

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