Everybody excited for the draft? I know I am! With that said, I put together a list of Do’s and Don’ts for Damon Oppenheimer and the Yankees brass.
Draft high potential players, even high school
I’m a fan of the high risk, high reward draft picks. No prospect is a guarantee, so why not take the player with the highest upside. While the chance that the player will actually reach the potential is important, the upside is what the teams should look for. The Yankees have plenty of borderline-starting prospects in their system, and there are plenty on the market, a star is usually tough and expensive to get.
Take the best available
To me, this seems obvious. The point of the draft is to infuse the teams with young, exciting players with great potential. The Yankees should weigh various factors, such as upside, chance to reach it, and future position, to decide the most valuable player to them.
Signability risk, hey it’s a weak draft
I’m a fan for a player whose signability is questioned but has more upside. As long as the team won’t lose the pick if it goes unsigned, such as if it was a pick from last year, the team shouldn’t worry about not signing them. Also, this year experts say that there isn’t a large difference between the early 1st round, after the top three, and the early 2nd. Next year, the pool of players should be better, so they could end up with a better player for less money.
Take a lefty pitcher
This advice only really relates to a few picks, but a power left-handed pitcher should be taken in an early round. I know that this advice could contradict the second rule, but it is not meant to. If there aren’t any lefties that impress them early, don’t take one. But if a left-handed pitcher and a right-handed pitcher have about equal value, go for the lefty. A left-handed throwing arm is instantly adds value to a player, since there are much less of them.
Take an up-the-middle position
The basis of this advice is similar to the above suggestion. The up-the-middle positions, which consist of catcher, shortstop, second base, and centerfield, usually require the most athleticism. Players that player in the middle of the field usually can move to another position if they are blocked in the majors or lose some range. Also, stars that play in the middle of the field are tougher to find.
One hit wonder
In general, I suggest the Yankees to stay away from players who only have one plus tool early in the draft. However, power and contact could make up for other weaknesses. However, a player who is only speedy does not deserve to be chosen in the first round. Speed is great, but if the player can’t get on base, they won’t be able to use it. Similarly, on defense, if a speedy outfielder can’t read a ball that great, his speed can’t get fully utilize either. There’s a reason Willy Taveras can’t find a single team to call home, even though he stole 68 bases in 2008.
Take a player for signability
It’s great to take a player in the draft and not have to worry about them signing. But unless the pick won’t transfer to next year, the worst thing that will happen is have two picks in next year’s draft. Usually, the players that are taken early in the draft and are easy signs have less upside.
Low risk, low reward
It’s great if a team takes a player who they believe could contribute to the team sooner rather than later. A higher chance of reaching potential is a great thing, but if the player doesn’t have as good as upside as other players, then that’s a deal breaker. Did anyone ever wonder if the reason that some players have a smaller risk is because they also have a lower upside?
Bat and defense don’t match
This is perhaps the least important tip. There are plenty of players that are great on defense but their bat isn’t up to par for their position. Look no further than Casey Kotchman, he has great defense, but just can’t hit, at all. However, he doesn’t have the ability to play the field anywhere that defense is more important than offense, such as shortstop. Players with a great bat can luckily DH in the American League, but do you really want the Yankees to take a player that is already relegated to DH before they play a game in the minors?
By the way, I won’t have any live updates during the first round, besides possibly a Yankees picks and scouting reports. More commentary will be here tomorrow waiting for you! I suggest heading over to RiverAveBlues.com. They have a great site with live draft updates, commentary, scouting reports, Q&A, and all those goodies. Enjoy!
I’m hoping for Austin Wilson, A.J. Cole, or Stetson Allie, in that order.