Update: Yankees sign third rounder RHP Austin DeCarr

Friday: DeCarr received a $1M bonus, according to Jim Callis. So technically he got slightly below double slot. Every little bit counts these days. Keep tabs on the draft pool situation with our 2014 Draft Pool Tracker.

Tuesday: Via New England Baseball Journal: Third round pick RHP Austin DeCarr will report to Tampa to sign with the Yankees tomorrow. They offered him double the $585,100 slot value for the 91st overall pick, so he’s getting a cool $1,170,200. Good for him. That’s a big chunk of draft pool change they’ll have to save elsewhere. (h/t @JoshSabo1)

DeCarr, 19, graduated from high school last year but did a post-graduate year at The Salisbury School in Connecticut. He’s a low-to-mid-90s fastball guy who, on his best days, has an out pitch hammer curveball. Like most pitching prospects from the Northeast, DeCarr doesn’t have a ton of innings or experience under his belt. He was committed to Clemson. You can see all of the team’s picks at Baseball America.

Yankees sign fifth round pick RHP Jordan Foley

The Yankees have officially signed fifth round draft pick RHP Jordan Foley, he announced on Twitter. Chris Cotillo says he received a $317,500 bonus, which is full slot value for the 152nd overall pick. You can see all of the team’s picks at Baseball America and keep tabs on the draft pool situation with our 2014 Draft Pool Tracker.

Foley, 21 next month, was ranked as the 128th best prospect in the draft class by Baseball America. “Foley works primarily off an 89-94 mph fastball, touching 96, and at times he shows a plus slider, though he struggles to repeat it. Other scouts see Foley as a reliever because he uses a split-finger fastball as a changeup to combat lefthanded hitters,” they wrote in their subscriber-only scouting report. The Yankees also drafted Foley in the 26th round of the 2011 draft out of high school.

Draft Updates: Montgomery, McFarland, Harvey

In case you missed it yesterday, Mississippi State LHP Jacob Lindgren (second round) is traveling to Tampa to take his physical tomorrow, which is a pretty strong indication the Yankees have a deal worked out with their top pick in last week’s draft. The team has also reportedly agreed to a contract with Connecticut HS RHP Austin DeCarr (third round) for double slot money, or roughly $1.17M. He is also on his way to Tampa for a physical.

The signing deadline is Friday, July 18th. You can see all of New York’s draft picks at Baseball America and keep tabs on the draft pool situation with our 2014 Draft Pool Tracker. It is available at all times under the Resources tab, underneath the street sign in the banner. Here is another batch of signing notes (draft round in parentheses):

  • South Carolina LHP Jordan Montgomery (4) has agreed to sign and is on his way to Tampa to take a physical, according to Patrick Ebert. He’ll then head to Short Season Staten Island. Slot money for the 122nd overall pick is $424,000.
  • Scouting director Damon Oppenheimer confirmed to Josh Norris the team has agreements in place with James Madison 2B Ty McFarland (10), Washington State C Clay Slaybaugh (26), Jacksonville State OF Griffin Gordon (27), and Houston-Victoria RHP Andre Del Bosque (38). Slot for McFarland is $137,600.
  • Pittsburgh RHP Joe Harvey (19) has signed for $60k, reports Chris Cotillo. Any money over $100k given to a player taken after the tenth rounds counts against the pool, but there are no savings for signing a player below that amount.
  • The Yankees have agreed to sign Liberty RHP Matt Marsh as an undrafted free agent, according to Norris. He had a 1.53 ERA with a 34/2 K/BB in 29.1 relief innings over the last two years.

As a reminder, Texas OF Mark Payton (7), UC Irvine 1B Conner Spencer (8), and Vanderbilt SS Vince Conde (9) are all playing in the College World Series and can’t sign just yet. Otherwise the Yankees reportedly have agreements in place with each of their picks in the top ten rounds.

Curry: LHP Jacob Lindgren heading to Tampa later this week

Via Jack Curry: Mississippi State LHP Jacob Lindgren is traveling to Tampa to take his physical on Thursday. That’s a strong indication the two sides have a contract agreement in place. He was the club’s top selection (second round) in last week’s amateur draft. Slot money for the 55th overall pick is $1,018,700.

Lindgren, 21, already said he wants to sign “as soon as possible,” and Brian Cashman recently told Donnie Collins they will send the southpaw to Low-A Charleston when the time comes. Mississippi State’s season ended just last week, so Lindgren probably won’t need much more than a bullpen session or two to get back into game shape. You can see all of the team’s picks and keep tabs on their draft pool situation at Baseball America.

Draft Updates: Foley, Holder, Borens, Thompson

Late last week we heard Mississippi State LHP Jacob Lindgren, the Yankees’ top pick in last week’s draft (second round, 55th overall), wants to turn pro “as soon as possible.” He has not signed yet, but Brian Cashman did tell Donnie Collins they will assign the southpaw to Low-A Charleston once he is under contract, so they’ve already got a plan in place and everything. I’m surprised they’re not sending him to High-A Tampa right away like they did RHP J.B. Cox back in the day.

Anyway, the signing deadline this year is Friday, July 18th, so a month and a week away. All of the team’s picks can be seen at Baseball America (Day One & Two, Day Three reviews). Here are some miscellaneous signing updates. Keep in mind that many mid-to-late rounders agreed to pre-draft deals, which is the reason they were selected where they were in the first place (draft round in parentheses):

  • Central Michigan RHP Jordan Foley (5) is indeed going to sign, according to Dominick Mastrangelo. I don’t see any reason to think any of the team’s picks in the top ten rounds won’t sign this year. Slot money for the 152nd overall pick is $317,500.
  • Mississippi State RHP Jonathan Holder (6) indicated he will sign on Twitter. He even posted a photo of himself and college teammate Lindgren wearing Yankees hats. Slot for the 182nd pick is $237,600.
    Eastern Illinois RHP Matt Borens (11) said he is traveling to Tampa and will be “starting his career” on Twitter, so yeah, he’s signing. I’m guessing he’ll be in the Short Season Staten Island rotation.
  • Citadel 1B Bo Thompson (13) is signing, according to Jeff Hartsell. Thompson said he “can’t wait to get back to Riley Park as quickly as possible,” indicating he will eventually be assigned to Low-A Charleston.
  • West Virginia RHP Sean Carley (14) will sign and head to Short Season Staten Island, reports Baseball America. He’s going to have to cut his hair and lose the whole Kenny Powers look.
  • Concordia RHP Corey Holmes (20) will sign and report to Staten Island, according to Pinstriped Prospects.
  • Pittsburgh RHP Matt Wotherspoon (34) told Steve Bennett he was flying to Tampa this week to take his physical and go through a brief mini-camp. He said the team has not yet told him if he will be a starter or reliever.
  • William & Mary 2B Ryan Lindemuth (37) said he is signing on Twitter. Guessing he will go to Staten Island as well.
  • South Carolina HS SS Madison Stokes (40) said he will be following through on his commitment to South Carolina on Twitter. Stokes was considered a tough sign going into the draft and the Yankees grabbed him late in case he changed his mind about school.
  • Based on his Twitter feed, the Yankees have signed USC C Jake Hernandez as an undrafted free agent. The 22-year-old hit .327/.363/.374 in 50 games this year. He spent most of his career as a backup for the Trojans. Veteran catchers to guide young pitching prospects are important!
  • The Yankees also signed Dayton RHP Travis Hissong as an undrafted free agent, according to Curt Conrad. He is heading to Staten Island.

Also, it’s worth noting Texas OF Mark Payton (7), UC Irvine 1B Conner Spencer (8), and Vanderbilt SS Vince Conde (9) can’t sign just yet because their schools qualified for the College World Series over the weekend. Once they get eliminated or win the National Championship, then they’re free to turn pro.

2014 Draft: Reviewing Day Three

So much for targeting high school catchers, huh? Actually, so much for targeting high schoolers in general. The Yankees wrapped up the 2014 Rule 4 Draft with their final 30 selections yesterday, and only six of those 30 picks come from the high school ranks. Scouting director Damon Oppenheimer wasn’t kidding when he told Chad Jennings they “might lean toward the college guy if everything’s equal” the other day.

The Yankees made 39 total picks in this year’s draft and the final tally is 24 pitchers, nine infielders, four outfielders, and two catchers. I swear it felt like way more than 24 pitchers while following the draft live. Only seven of the 39 were high school players, the other 32 were from either a four-year college or junior college. You can see every pick at Baseball America. Here is the Day One and Two review. Now let’s look over what happened on Day Three.

Toffey. (StudentSports.com)
Toffey. (StudentSports.com)

The Upside Plays
Despite their college heavy approach, the Yankees did land two prep upside plays on Day Three. Florida HS RHP Garrett Cave (17th round) already sits in the low-90s and will touch 95 with his fastball even though there is plenty of room to fill out his 6-foot-3, 190 lb. frame. He also has good athleticism, a promising curveball, and a work in progress changeup. New York will use some of their saved draft pool money to try to sign him away from Florida International. Oh, and as far as I know, he isn’t related to OF Jake Cave.

Five rounds later the Yankees selected Connecticut HS 3B Will Toffey (23), who also happens to be one of the top hockey players in the Northeast. He dropped hockey not too long ago and is now focusing on baseball exclusively. Toffey’s best tools are his speed and arm strength, though he projects to hit for both average and power from the left side as he gains more experience on the diamond. With a 6-foot-0 and 200 lb. frame with athleticism to spare, Toffey is something of a blank canvas with lots of potential. The team will have to buy him away from Vanderbilt, however.

The Lottery Tickets
Once you get into the late rounds, there’s not much a team can do other than gamble on super raw tools and athleticism. The Yankees drafted Stanford OF Dominic Jose (24) even though he was only a part-time player in college, hoping they could smooth out his swing and untap his power potential. Tennessee HS RHP Will Gaddis (36) is a raw thrower. On the position player side, New York also took California HS C Chris Hudgins (35) and South Carolina HS SS Madison Stokes (40). Stokes is expected to wind up at third and is more of a contact oriented, line drive hitter. The Yankees see something they like in each of these guys and will try to get them signed.

Carley. (@BenBadler)
Carley. (@BenBadler)

Big & Beautiful
It’s no secret the Yankees love physically huge players, especially on the mound. Day Three featured a run of massive college pitchers, including Eastern Illinois RHP Matt Borens (11), West Virginia RHP Sean Carley (14), Gonzaga LHP Derek Callahan (16), Concordia RHP Corey Holmes (20), Oregon LHP Porter Clayton (21), Indiana RHP Jake Kelzer (22), and USC RHP Lee Casas (28). Those seven average 6-foot-6 and 223 lbs. Boren, Holmes, Kelzer, and Casas stand 6-foot-7, 6-foot-6, 6-foot-8, and 6-foot-7, respectively. Carley, as you can see, bears some resemblance to Kenny Powers.

Carley and Kelzer are the best prospects of the bunch. They both sit in the low-90s with good sliders, almost non-existent changeups, and questionable control. It’s worth noting Kelzer was also on the swim team and has a really loose and athletic body. What more do you expect from double-digit round picks? Both guys were (mostly) relievers in college and figure to continue in that role in pro ball. Clayton walked more batters (26) than he struck out (25) in 36.1 innings this spring, but he has lefty specialist potential because of a low-90s heater and big breaking slurve. Borens should be able to start at the next level and both Callahan and Holmes are pure arm strength guys.

Corner Power
The Yankees draft four first basemen and only two shortstops this year, which is just weird. Usually teams load up on the up-the-middle players, but I guess they’re doing that in international free agency next month. Two of the three first basemen selected on Day Two are Grayson County JuCo 1B Chris Gittens (12) and Citadel 1B Bo Thompson (13), both of whom have huge raw power. The third, Oklahoma HS 1B Cameron Warren (39), projects to have power down the road. The other two have it right now.

Gittens is another huge guy at 6-foot-4 and 250 lbs., and he’s a better hitter than Thompson because of his bat-to-ball skills and advanced approach. Thompson is basically a brute masher, swinging from his heels and trying to yank the ball 500 feet every at-bat. The Yankees will try to teach him that he is strong enough to hit the ball out of the park with shorter, more controlled swings that make him a better all around hitter. None of the drafted first basemen stand out defensively, so the Yankees grabbed all of them for their bats. In the late rounds, power is a good tool to emphasize.

The Depth Players
Pittsburgh RHP Joe Harvey (19), Grand Canyon RHP Jorge Perez (30), and UNC Wilmington RHP Jordan Ramsey (32) are all bullpen prospects with good fastballs and not so good secondary stuff. Both Alabama RHP Justin Kamplain (18) and Pittsburgh RHP Matt Wotherspoon (34) have the three-pitch mixes necessary to start and I assume they’ll continue to do that in pro ball. Arizona State RHP David Graybill (33) played the infield this spring but has pitched in the past, and the Yankees plan to stick him on the mound full-time. That’s what they did with Chase Whitley back in the day.

On the position player side, Oppenheimer & Co. opted for experience with Washington State C Collin Slaybaugh (26), Jacksonville State OF Griffin Gordon (27), and William & Mary 2B Ryan Lindermuth (32), all of whom are seniors. They’ll help fill out minor league rosters. Same with UC Riverside OF Devyn Bolasky (31), a junior. Other miscellaneous arms include Boston College LHP Andrew Chin (15), Tampa RHP Dylan Barrow (25), and UH-Victoria RHP Andre Del Bosque (38). Some of these guys will sign, some won’t. Either way, they’re there to be role players around the actual prospects in the minors.

Mo Jr. (Boston Globe)
Mo Jr. (Boston Globe)

The Legacy Pick
The name says it all: Mariano Rivera Jr. The Yankees drafted Mo’s kid out of Iona College in the 29th round because that’s what teams do — they draft the kids of their all-time greats. It’s been going on for years. Junior told Stan Grossfield getting drafted is “an opportunity that I can’t let pass” back in April, though his father has made it clear he wants him to return to school to finish his education. Sounds like something the family will have to work out. Either way, Mariano Jr. is not his father and it’s unfair to put any kind of pressure on him or have any real expectations. (He doesn’t even throw a cutter.) He’s not much of a prospect and the draft pick was more of a thank you than anything. It’s nuts we’re at the point where Mo’s kid is getting drafted out of college though, isn’t it?

* * *

Aside from Cave, Toffey, and Connecticut HS RHP Austin DeCarr (3), the Yankees did not draft a ton of upside this year. That is … kinda disappointing. They went very heavy on college players, particularly relievers, which are the types of prospects they’ve had success developing into MLB players over the last seven or eight years. They stuck to their strengths, basically. Boring but not entirely unreasonable, especially not with the rumored international spending spree on the horizon. This was far from the sexiest draft haul and its impact potential will depend on whether Cave and Toffey turn pro.

2014 Draft Open Thread: Day Three

2014 DraftThe first two days of the draft are complete, but there are still another few hours and 30 rounds left to go. Thankfully, those 30 rounds will be drafted during a rapid fire conference call with no wait between picks. It’s glorious. The entire draft used to be like that. I get that MLB is trying to market the draft and increase interest, but it really isn’t a made-for-TV event. A minute (or worse, five minutes) between picks is an eternity.

Anyway, Day Three of the draft is actually pretty fun. More than Day Two, at least. Day Two is more about manipulating the draft pool and selecting cheap, easy to sign players to save as much money as possible. Day Three is about drafting high upside players to use that extra money on. Sure, there will be a ton of organizational types selected today, that comes with the territory, but expect a run of prep players at some point.

Here are the Day One and Day Two threads, and here are some miscellaneous links heading into Day Three:

  • Here are the best available players according to Baseball America. Just about all of the top ranking high school players have huge bonus demands and are considered unsignable at this point. Guys like Virginia RHP Jacob Bukauskas and Georgia HS LHP Mac Marshall have definitively said they are going to college.
  • In ESPN’s Day Two analysis (subs. req’d), Chris Crawford says RHP Austin DeCarr (third round) has the highest upside among AL East draftees. “[DeCarr’s] stock shot up over the past few weeks after touching 96 mph with his fastball, but he was always on scouts’ radars because of his ability to throw strikes with all three pitches, the best of which is a curveball that’s a plus offering right now … has a chance to be a quality starting pitcher, perhaps even a No. 2,” he wrote.
  • Within the same link, Crawford says RHP Jordan Foley (fifth round) will reach MLB the quickest among AL East Day Two draftees. “Assuming the Yankees move Foley to the bullpen, he could move quickly through their system as a reliever who can hit 96 mph on radar guns and will show a plus slider with a good amount of tilt,” wrote Crawford.
  • “It was a tremendous honor to be drafted by the Yankees. It’s the greatest organization in all of professional sports,” said DeCarr to David Carty. “There’s definitely a business side of baseball, you’ve got to understand it to the best of your ability. With the new slotting system, it has a little bit to do with the talent level, but the draft picks themselves have to do more with signability.”
  • In case you missed it the last two days, make sure you check out this FanGraphs post by former Mariners front office staffer Tony Blengino to get an idea of what it’s like inside a team’s war room during the draft.

The draft resumes at 1pm ET and the conference call will be streamed live on MLB.com. Here’s the audio link and here’s the Draft Tracker link. There won’t be a liveblog today (sorry, I just don’t have the time), so do all your draft talking here. Enjoy.