Archive for 2008 Draft

The Roanoke Times has the news. I wrote up O’Brien on draft day, so you can find more info about him here. If he wasn’t a 5′-11″ righthander, O’Brien would be considered a much sexier prospect. He passed on a 98% scholarship to Winthrop, so I suspect his signing bonus is rather large, probably in the $300,000 to $500,000 range, although that’s nothing more than a guess. A solid addition to the farm system. (h/t to Pending Pinstripes)

Update: Lane Meyer points out that O’Brien is also a Type 1 diabetic. Teams tend to be concerned about a player’s ability to hold up over a long season if he’s a diabetic, and I can’t say I really blame them. Current Yankee farmhand Bradley Suttle is also a Type 1 diabetic.

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Rays ink top pick Beckham

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I missed this one while I was out of town at the end of last week. Tim Beckham, the first overall pick in this year’s draft, agreed to a record $6.15M deal, bringing in $50,000 more than The Justin Upton did in 2005. I’m surprised the deal was announced so soon, but Jim Callis doesn’t think the signing will inflate the bonuses for the remaining unsigned players. Last year Rick Porcello received a $3.58M bonus as part of a four-year ML contract that could be worth $11.1M with incentives, the largest deal ever given out to a high school pitcher. Boras will likely milk the Yanks’ teet dry for Gerrit Cole, but I doubt he’ll get a Porcello-esque deal, even if Beckham’s deal causes inflation. I do expect Cole to get more than the $2.1M given to Jarrod Parker recieved as the 9th overall pick, which was the second largest bonus given to a HS pitcher last year.

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Jeremy Bleich takes on Georgia

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If that exhilarating Dan Giese-Daryl Thompson matchup in the Bronx doesn’t do it for you, flip on over to ESPN at 2pm EST to check out sandwich rounder Jeremy Bleich try to save Stanford’s season in the College World Series. If the Cardinal wins today, they’ll take on Georgia again tomorrow, winner goes to the CWS Finals. If Georgia wins today, Stanford goes home and Georgia will take on either UNC or Fresno State in the Finals. Talk about the game here if you want, here’s the Game Tracker if you can’t get in front of a TV.

Categories : Asides, College Ball, Draft
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Draftee signings update

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P-Abe notes that the Yanks signed a bunch of draft picks in the last few days, including 5th rounder Chris Smith and 8th rounder (and super sleeper) Dan Brewer. Smith is the kid that hit .708 with a .2100+ OPS as a senior in high school last year, and he’s already getting overhyped. They’re high school stats, throw them right out the window, they’re useless. Pete also notes that 7th rounder Kyle Higashioka was in the clubhouse yesterday and took BP with a team, while NoMaas shows that 6th rounder Brett Marshall was kickin’ it with the team during their recent trip to Houston. Signings for the top 3 guys will probably go down to the wire, but you can see all of the picks & signings here.

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Jim Callis on Bleich

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Baseball America’s Jim Callis took a question about Yanks’ sandwich rounder Jeremy Bleich in this week’s Ask BA. When asked if Bleich would have been considered a first rounder if not for the elbow strain, Callis replied “he could have been regarded as a consensus sandwich-rounder. He’s a lefty who knows how to pitch with an 88-91 mph fastball, a curveball and changeup, and his changeup grades as his best pitch. I wouldn’t call him a steal in the supplemental first round, but he wasn’t a reach either.” I’ll take it, but the real question is this: can he hold down Wang’s rotation spot? Pretty please?

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CWS kicks off today

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The College World Series (aka the most exciting two weeks in baseball) starts today, and Yankees’ fans get a primo matchup right from the get-go. Sandwich rounder Jeremy Bleich takes to the mound and faces Florida State, where 13th round pick Jack Rye bats cleanup behind 5th overall pick Buster Posey. The game begins at 2pm EST, and can be seen on ESPN. If you can’t watch, you can follow along via CSTV’s ridiculous Game Tracker.

Make sure you check out The College Baseball Blog’s CWS preview to get your head around all the upcoming action, then check out all the box scores and game recaps at NCAA-Baseball’s calender. Baseball America also has a ton of CWS content up on their site, including a 12-page preview, player highlights, and a breakdown of all eight participants. You can find the bracket for the double elimination tournament here.

I can’t recommend the CWS enough, the game is so much more exciting when the goal is to win as a team, not to land a big contract or a postseason award. DotF turned into a game thread the last time a Bleich start was televised, so feel free to comment on the action here.

Categories : College Ball, Draft
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Draft Q&A with Damon Oppenheimer

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As Ben mentioned earlier, Yanks’ Scouting Director Damon Oppenheimer chatted today over at the official site, taking fans’ questions about last week’s first year player draft. Obviously there was only so much he could reveal, so the answers aren’t all that juicy, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t some good info provided.

You can see the full transcript here, but here’s a few things that stood out to me:

mike: So when do you get to work on the ’09 Draft class?

Oppenheimer: We have been working on it the last two years, but we will really start this Thursday, with the High School Showcase in Minnesota.

That was my question, so I’m obligated to post it. It makes sense that they would start scouting players in advance, but it shows you just how far in advance they start to look. Were they scouting Gerrit Cole as a 14-yr old? Probably. I know they had their first report on Austin Jackson when he was 12.

Read More→

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Yanks’ sign Adams, Maruszack

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Draft signings are starting to trickle in: David Adams and Addison Maruszack, the Yanks’ 3rd & 17th round picks, respectively, have agreed to terms (don’t know the signing bonuses). Adams had a subpar junior year at Virginia, hitting only .286-.384-.411 with a 39-41 K/BB ratio after posting consecutive seasons with .950+ OPS’s as a freshman & sophomore. Maruszack, who you may remember from the Yanks’ ST game against the University of South Florida, hit .364-.474-.494 this year, and is a prime candidate for conversion to catcher.

(h/t the posters at NYYFans’ MiL Forum)

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2008 Draft Review

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After months and months of anticipation, the draft has finally come and gone, and all I have to say is: Thank God. It’s fun trying to find hidden gems and discussing who your team should take, but the actual event can be like watching linoleum curl. Televising the draft was a great idea, and it’s amazing how far draft coverage has come in the last 10-15 years, but it’s time to go back to the old rapid fire conference call. Four hours for 46 picks is just too long, sorry.

The Yanks employed their tried and true philosophy of taking the best talent available on their board regardless of bonus demands. While they didn’t land any of the sexy names in the later rounds like we’re accustomed too, Damon Oppenheimer & Co. still selected a bevy of high ceiling players late to supplement the talent they took at the top of the draft.

Obviously, the big prize is first rounder Gerrit Cole, a UCLA recruit who was ranked as one of top three high school pitchers in the country all year long, but other prep pitchers like Brett Marshall, Mikey O’Brien and Matt Richardson all bring a similar package of stuff, projectability and youth. To diversify the portfolio, so to speak, the Yanks also took safer college arms like Jeremy Bleich, Scott Bittle and Luke Greinke. Bleich and prepsters Blake Monar & Chris Dwyer give the club a solid group of southpaws for the farm system, which is all but devoid of quality lefties.

On the position player side, the Yanks went for youth and hitting ability up the middle with high schoolers Corban Joseph, Chris Smith, Garrison Lassiter and Sam Mende, and balanced them out with proven college bats like David Adams, Dan Brewer, Jack Rye and Luke Anders. Kyle Higashioka and Ben McMahan add to an already impressively deep crop of young catching, and Addison Maruszak is a prime conversion candidate.

Overall, I’m pleased with the haul. They landed high upside talent on the mound at up-the-middle positions, which are the critical areas of any baseball team. You can see all of the Yanks picks here. Selecting the players was only half the battle. Now they have to get them signed.

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With their 30th round pick, the Yanks selected Ben McMahan, C, Bishop Moore HS (Fl.)

Scouting Report: Known as a defense first catcher, McMahan also has a potent bat and runs very well for a catcher. His defense is Gold Glove caliber, and he could blossom into a .280-.350-.420 hitter. He’s a strong student and committed to Florida. Here’s his scouting video.

My Take: Great pick. Let’s hope they keep him away from the Gators.

Outlook: If they sign him, we won’t see him in any games until 2009 because it’ll likely go don to the wire. He could survive a full season assignment next year based on his defense alone.

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