First ’07 draftee signs

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Second baseman Justin Snyder, the Yanks 21st round pick out of San Diego, has signed. The Yanks gave him close to $100,000 in bonus money AND will pay for his last year of school. That’s a HUGE bonus for a 21st round pick.

There’s some rumblings that prep RHP Manny Barreda (12th round) and college OF Dave Williams (15th round, from what school Joe?) have also signed, but I have yet to see confimation. When I do, I’ll let you know (some NYYFans.com forum commentor doesn’t count as confirmation).

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Dude goes into Corvallis and no-hits the defending National Champs for 8+ innings before a walk, sac bunt and single gives Oregon State a 1-0 lead in the top of the 9th.

Michigan is considered the home team because of record, but the matchup is taking place in Oregon State’s turf because the Wolverine’s Athletic Director didn’t submit a bid to host a Regional. Let’s see if Putnam’s teammates can bail him out in the bottom of the 9th against Joe Paterson, the Beaver’s #2 starter who came out of the ‘pen in the 8th…

Update: After getting a quick GB out and giving up a single, Paterson is relieved by Eddie Kunz, one of the nation’s top closers. Because he was also serving as Michigan’s DH, Putnam came up representing the winning run … and promptly grounded out to short on the first pitch. Kunz gets another grounder from the next guy to end the game, and gives OSU a 1-0 lead in the best of 3 series. Talk about a tough loss for Putnam.

This is what baseball is about, not all that soap opera WWF bullshit that the media has made it.

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Down on the Farm

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Triple-A Scranton (8-1 loss to Durham)
Kevin Thompson: 1 for 3, 1 R, 1 K
Andy Phillips: 0 for 4, 3 K
Shelley Duncan: 1 for 4, 1 RBI, 2 K – 13 of his last 39 AB have ended with strike 3
Bronson Sardinha: 1 for 3, 1 2B, 1 BB
Alberto Gonzalez: 0 for 2, 1 HBP - left with an injury after being plunked
Steven White: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 5 K, 1 WP
Colter Bean: 1.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HB – the Beaners are having a real hard time proving their case this year…
Ben Kozlowski: 3.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 4-1 GB/FB

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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Taken from the street and at various points along the left field rotunda, you can check out the slide show here.

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On May 6, the Stadium erupted when Roger Clemens announced his return. Today, on a hot, muggy day in New York, Clemens is just a minute or two away from his debut. He’s facing the Pittsburgh Pirates, and I’ll be here live-blogging. So let’s get to work.

Seventh Inning: The Yanks score three runs in the top of the sixth, and Brian Bruney is on the hill in relief of Clemens. Cairo is at first, and Melky makes up for last night’s error with a great play to lead off the inning. That’s it for the live blog. We’ll have some Clemens analysis later on. Let’s hope the Yankee bullpen can nail down another win.

For the rest of the live blog, continue reading below.

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Categories : Game Stories
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Today won’t be as much of a recap as a rail on the Pirates and their history with pitchers. The idea came up after I got a text message or two during the game asking if Gorzelanny is really that good.

The answer is yes. The kid can flat deal. The question, though, is whether the Pirates will screw him up like they have nearly every other promising pitcher that has gone through their system.

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After a disastrous introduction to the Major Leagues, the Yankees sent Kei Igawa down to Tampa to work with pitching guru Billy Connors. And then he disappeared. Phil Hughes, Tyler Clippard and Matt DeSalvo filled in at the back end of the rotation, and now Roger Clemens’ return is upon us.

However, down in the Minors, Igawa is quietly showing some progress. After two alright starts at Tampa, the Yanks sent Igawa to AAA Scranton. In his first start, he was bad, giving up 8 hits and 4 runs in 5 innings. But lately, he’s shown some progress.

Tonight, Igawa threw 100 pitches in 7 innings. Sixty-two of those were strikes. That’s about on par with his MLB strike percentage of 61, but the results were different than we remember. He gave up just 5 hits and 1 earned run while walking 2 and striking out 8. His totals from this two most recent AAA starts look good: 14 IP, 11 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 17 K.

With Clippard set to start on Sunday and Igawa pitching well, I have to wonder if the pressure will start to mount just a little on young Tyler. If Clippard scuffles — and there is nothing to indicate he will — the Yanks may consider giving their expensive Japanese import another shot at the Majors.

But this may not be a good idea. Tonight, Igawa pitched well, but he got 9 fly-ball outs and only 4 ground-ball outs. In his previous start, he recorded 6 fly-ball outs and 5 ground-ball outs. Those numbers are less than impressive.

In April, Igawa’s problem came on the long ball. He has already surrendered 8 home runs in in 30.2 innings. While he’s limited the number of home runs he’s given up in the Minors, I’m not yet convinced he’ll be a viable option in the Majors. As long as the Yanks have other options, I say they should keep using him, money be damned.

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When it was all said and done, 21 of the 30 clubs went the distance and worked all 50 rounds of the draft, including the Yankees. In his third draft at the helm of Scouting Director, we are beginning to see some very real trends in Damon Oppenheimer’s draft stategy:

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Categories : Minors
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Yanks 45th pick, #1345 overall

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With the final pick of the 45th round, the Yanks took the awesomest pitcher in the history of the universe: Pat Venditte, from Creighton. I am not worthy to speak of his awesomeness, nor are you worthy of watching this (don’t worry, I won’t tell):

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The Yanks took RHP Drew Storen out of Brownsburg High (In.) with the final pick of the 34th round.

Scouting Report: Low-90′s fastball, nifty slider and a very good changeup for a high school kid. At only 6′-1″, 170 lbs, he could still add some serious velocity to his fastball. Scout’s are scared off by his delivery, which has enough twisting to make Tim Lincecum blush. His got good control and a nice understanding of changing speeds.

My Take: I like the pick, and subsequently, I felt like blogging it. BA rated him as the second best prospect in the state of Indiana behind first rounder Jarrod Parker, and had him near the end of their Top 200 Draft Prospects list (subscription required). In what seems to be a running theme for Yankees’ draftees this year, he’s got a strong college commitment (Stanford) and will be a tough sign.

The 36th round is just about to end as of this writing, and so far every team is still picking except Toronto, who dropped out after the 30th round.

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