• Estee Harris – The Next Andy Brown?

    Posted by on March 21st, 2006 · Comments (5)

    From Newsday:

    The Yankees thought highly enough of Harris to take him in the second round of the 2003 draft, but they are still waiting to see him produce the way they were expecting.

    “He needs to have a good year,” said Mark Newman, a senior vice president who heads the farm system. “He’s still young. He needs to make a step forward.”

    Harris, 21, has struggled to make consistent contact in the various levels of Class A, with 152 strikeouts in 380 at-bats in 2004 and 106 in 375 last season. He said yesterday his top goal this season is to “make sure I make as much contact as possible.”

    In 1998, the Yankees drafted an OF by the name of Andy Brown – in the 1st round – one pick after the Dodgers took Bubba Crosby.

    Brown was a whiff-machine. In his first 254 pro-games, he struck out 366 times – in just 917 ABs. Yet, because he was a 1st round pick, someone had to play CYA on that selection and Brown stayed in the organization for seven years (while batting .220).

    So, using the Brown-scale, Harris should stick around until 2009.

    It’s silly, actually. As you move up the ladder, the pitchers get better. So, if you can’t make contact as a pup, against crap pitching, why would anyone believe that you’re going to improve as your career moves forward?

    Whoever was drafting these kids need to figure that out.

    Comments on Estee Harris – The Next Andy Brown?

    1. March 22nd, 2006 | 10:42 am

      If anyone could “figure out” why some prospects fizzle and others catch fire, building a winning baseball team would be a very different game. Clearly both these players had something at the high school (or college) level that caught the scouts’ attention. And it’s not like the Yankees are the only team whose high-round draft choices don’t always pan out.

    2. March 22nd, 2006 | 12:55 pm

      True, but, the Yankees seem to be worse at it than most teams.

    3. rbj
      March 22nd, 2006 | 2:14 pm

      I don’t know Steve, the Yankees did do decently drafting guys like Mo, Jeter, Bernie, Jorge, and Pettitte (and heck, developing Roberto Kelly and flipping him for O’Neil).
      More so than in the other major sports the baseball draft is such a crapshoot. One the one hand you can draft a player in the first round and he’ll flame out in the low minors (Brien Taylor — though he was f’ing stupid enough to get in a fight), on the other you can draft a guy in round 50something as a favor to the family and he becomes the greatest offensive catcher ever.

      I think the real Yankee problem is in identifying their good minor league talent and holding on to them, rather than trading them for an over the hill veteran.

    4. JohnnyC
      March 22nd, 2006 | 3:32 pm

      I think the Yankees’ problems have more to do with whiffing on the later rounds from about 1995 through 2003…roughly the time when George really overdosed on the international talent pool and essentially ignored the domestic pool, especially college players. And, rbj, Mo, Bernie, Jorge, and Roberto Kelly were not drafted. They were international “amateur” free agents. There’s been some talk of incorporating other countries into the amateur draft. I don’t see that happening though.

    5. rbj
      March 22nd, 2006 | 4:49 pm

      JohnnyC I tend to lump those free agents in with the drafted folk. Especially if they come up through an organization’s system. To me, the question is: does your organization develop major league talent? And secondly, do you hold onto that talent or at least get value for that talent. That is a sign of a good farm system and GM office.

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