2017 Draft: Day Two Open Thread

2017-draft-logoNow that all the pomp and circumstance of Day One of the amateur draft is in the books, it’s time for teams to really get down to business. The first rounders get all the attention and understandably so, but Days Two and Three separate contenders from pretenders. The teams that turn those mid-to-late-round picks into valuable (or just useful) players have a big advantage over the teams that don’t. How many teams right now wish they used a third or fourth rounder on Jordan Montgomery in 2014? Exactly.

The Yankees selected two players during Day One: South Carolina RHP Clarke Schmidt (first round) and California HS RHP Matt Sauer (second round). Here is my Day One recap. The draft continues today with Day Two, covering rounds 3-10. Day Two is, typically, the most boring day of the draft. Teams typically use most of their Day Two picks on cheap college seniors to save bonus pool money. Lame, but it is what it is. Here are some stray draft links:

  • In his first round recap, Jim Callis says the Yankees took Schmidt “close to the high point of where he would have gone before he had Tommy John surgery this spring … He could be a quality starter when he’s healthy … He has a hard sinker and a pair of breaking balls that can both be plus at their best.”
  • In a separate piece, Callis listed Clarke has one of his biggest surprises and Sauer as one of his best value picks. “Another high school righty who easily could have fit in the first round, he can run his fastball up to 97 mph and his slider up to 87. Sauer needs some polish, but he has a ceiling of a No. 3 starter or a closer,” said the write-up.
  • Keith Law (subs. req’d) said he “never bought into (Schmidt) as a first-round talent given the rough delivery, but his stuff did tick up this year to the mid-90s and he was still throwing strikes when he blew out his elbow in April,” in his Day One recap. As for Sauer, Law said “perhaps they’re just not worried about the things that worry other teams (or me!) in pitcher mechanics.”
  • John Manuel singled out the Schmidt pick as a surprise given how high he was selected. “It’s expected Schmidt’s bonus will be below the pick value at No. 16 ($3,458,600) while Sauer’s will be significantly above the value at pick 54 ($1,236,000),” he wrote.
  • According to Joe Bailey, Sauer said he will likely sign with the Yankees rather than follow through on his commitment to Arizona. Bailey says the team reportedly offered a $2.5M bonus. That all but confirms the Yankees have a below-slot deal in place with Schmidt.
  • Here are the best available players per MLB.com and Baseball America. Keep an eye on California HS SS Nick Allen (RAB profile) and California HS OF Garrett Mitchell. They both fit New York’s typical profile as toolsy up-the-middle athletes. The Southern California thing doesn’t hurt either.

The draft resumes today at 12:30pm ET and you can stream it online at MLB.com. There is no MLB Network broadcast today. The draft shifts to online only for Days Two and Three. Here is the MLB.com Draft Tracker. Talk about all things draft right here throughout the day.

2017 Draft: Day One Open Thread


Later tonight, the Yankees will begin their seven-game West Coast swing with the first of three against the Mike Trout-less Angels. The Yankees are currently in first place at 37-23 and have baseball’s best run differential at +115. It is a pretty awesome time to be a Yankees fan. The team is good (and fun!) and the farm system is excellent.

In the grand scheme of things, today’s big event is not the game in Anaheim. One game is just one game. Hard to make too much of ’em. More importantly, the 2017 amateur draft begins tonight, so the Yankees and every other team has a chance to add impact players to their organization. Future All-Stars will be drafted tonight. Probably an MVP and Cy Young winner. Maybe even a Hall of Famer.

The MLB draft is a three-day event and a total of 75 picks will be made tonight. That covers the First Round, Supplemental First Round, Competitive Balance Round A, Second Round, and Competitive Balance Round B. The Yankees have two picks tonight: 16th (first round) and 54th (second round). The full draft order is right here. The Astros and Pirates lead the way with four picks tonight. The Cardinals have zero.

Reports these last few weeks have been all over the place. The Yankees have most often been connected to arms, both college and high school, though the prevailing thought is they will pounce should a top talent fall into their laps in the first round, a la Blake Rutherford last year. For what it’s worth, the Yankees have selected 14 players in the first three rounds over the last four drafts, and nine of the 14 were college players. We’ll see how it goes.

Tonight’s draft broadcast begins at 7pm ET, and you’ll be able to watch live on MLB Network or stream online on MLB.com. You can also follow along on MLB.com’s Draft Tracker. Here are Baseball America’s top 500 draft prospects and MLB.com’s top 200 draft prospects for reference. As always, MLB.com’s draft content is completely free. The scouting reports and everything.

We’ll have a regular game thread for tonight’s game later on, closer to first pitch. For the time being, use this thread for all draft-related comments and whatnot. Enjoy the draft, everyone. This promises to be a fun day.

Sunday Open Thread

Good homestand? Good homestand. That was a fun weekend against the Orioles. Anyway, here is an open thread for the remainder of the weekend. MLB Network has regional games throughout the afternoon and the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball game is the Tigers and Red Sox. Also, Game Six of the Stanley Cup Finals is on later tonight too. Go Preds. You folks know how these open threads work by now, so have at it.

Saturday Open Thread

Since the Yankees don’t play until later tonight — have I mentioned I hate Saturday night games? I just want to make sure that’s clear — here is an open thread for the day. The Mets are playing right now, and MLB Network will show regional games both right now and later tonight. No NBA or NHL games today though. Only baseball. And I am totally cool with that. Anyway, talk about whatever here, just not religion or politics.

Monday Night Open Thread

The Yankees have an off-day today and this one comes at a good time, I think. That was a tough road trip through Baltimore and Toronto, so today gives them team a chance to reboot before six games against the Red Sox and Orioles. Winning two of three each of these next two series would be swell. In the meantime, check out Dan Martin’s feature on Brett Weber, the man who tells Joe Girardi whether to challenge a call on the field. Thanks to Weber, the Yankees have baseball’s highest success rate (75.2%) on getting calls overturned since the current replay system was put in place in 2014.

Anyway, here is an open thread for the evening. The baseball schedule is light tonight, but MLB Network is showing a regional game at 7pm ET, and ESPN will have the Dodgers and Nationals at 10pm ET. Also, Game Four of the Stanley Cup Finals is on as well. Go Preds. Talk about those things, the Weber article, or anything else here that isn’t religion or politics.

2017 Draft: Jeren Kendall

Jeren Kendall | OF

Three years ago the now 21-year-old Kendall was a potential top three rounds talent who slipped to the Red Sox in the 30th round because he was dead set on attending Vanderbilt. In his three years with the Commodores, Kendall is a career .309/.390/.558 hitter with 32 homers and 65 steals in 178 games. That includes a .306/.380/.570 line with 15 homers and 18 steals in 56 games this spring.

Scouting Report
Thanks to a wide array of high-end tools, Kendall came into this year as a serious candidate to go first overall. He’s an outstanding runner who uses his speed to steal bases and run down balls in center field. Kendall also has a strong throwing arm. His bat speed and power potential from the left side of the plate are both very exciting, plus he has a disciplined approach at the plate. It’s a true five-tool package. The big concern with Kendall is the abundance of swing-and-miss in his game. He’s struck out in 24.1% of his plate appearances with Vanderbilt, including 25.0% this spring. That is simply way too much for a top college hitter. There is legitimate worry Kendall will require a complete swing overhaul before he can reach his considerable offense ceiling against advanced pro pitching. The tools are very loud. Kendall has star potential. But he’s also quite risky.

After coming into the spring as a potential No. 1 pick, Kendall has slipped in the various draft rankings these last few weeks. That said, he still ranks quite highly. MLB.com ranks him as the sixth overall prospect in this year’s draft class while Keith Law (subs. req’d) has him tenth and Baseball America has him 17th. The Yankees pick 16th. If you’re looking for a top talent who could potentially fall, this is the guy. He won’t fall due to bonus concerns through. If Kendall falls, it’ll be because teams aren’t convinced he’ll hit at the next level.

Sunday Open Thread

Here is an open thread for the rest of the weekend. The Cubs and Cardinals are the ESPN Sunday Night Game, and Game Two of the NBA Finals will be on later as well. You folks know how these open threads work by now, so have at it.