Now 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.