Via Joel Sherman -
For there are many events over the past few years that accentuate the Yanks’ attempted shift toward a more youthful hue, beginning with the early-season 2005 promotions of Robinson Cano and Chien-Ming Wang. But the 2006 draft just might be the most symbolic episode because of its marriage of amended philosophy to successful execution.
That was the first draft in which GM Brian Cashman participated fully and the first in which VP of Pro Scouting Damon Oppenheimer was empowered to take whomever he wanted, regardless of cost.
If the Yanks were to get nothing else from that process besides Kennedy and Chamberlain, it would be considered an excellent draft. But the Yanks think they will get more. Oppenheimer said the Yanks “felt blessed” how the draft fell, allowing them to grab six players ranked in the top 70 on their board: Kennedy, Chamberlain, Melancon, Zach McAllister, Dellin Betances and Colin Curtis. The Yanks also believe pitchers from that draft such as George Kontos and Daniel McCutchen, particularly, but perhaps David Robertson and Tim Norton, too, have a chance as major league relievers.
One NL talent evaluator called it a “high-end draft.” An AL executive, however, while terming the picks “very good” said “do not attribute it to genius” because the Yanks simply overpaid to get a high-ceiling player such as Betances to forego Vanderbilt and sign.
It could take up to five years (after the fact) to see how a draft really works out for a team. Come 2011, we’ll see just how the class of 2006 panned out for the Yankees.