This year’s baseball draft will start on June 9th. The Yankees first three picks in the draft are the 29th overall pick, the 76th overall pick, and the 135th overall pick – bad selections thanks to all the free agents that New York signed this off-season. (Actually, the Yankees are lucky to have those 29th and 76th picks – because they only have them as a result of not signing their 1st and 3rd picks in last year’s draft.)
Most feel that this draft pool is not a great one. So, you can look at this in two ways.
From one angle, you can say “Smart move by the Yanks, giving up all their early picks, because this draft stinks anyway.” Or, from another angle, you can say “Bad move by the Yanks, they didn’t sign two of their first three picks last year and now they have three bad picks in a beat draft this year. This will be two years in a row with no premium talent added to the pipeline.”
Just for the heck of it, here are the Yankees first three picks in each draft since Brian Cashman took over as G.M. of the team:
Year Pick Player Pos 2008 1 Gerrit Cole RHP 2008 2 Jeremy Bleich LHP 2008 3 Scott Bittle RHP 2007 1 Andrew Brackman RHP 2007 2 Austin Romine C 2007 3 Ryan Pope RHP 2006 1 Ian Kennedy RHP 2006 2 Joba Chamberlain RHP 2006 3 Zachary McAllister RHP 2005 1 Carl Henry Jr. SS 2005 2 James Cox RHP 2005 3 Brett Gardner OF 2004 1 Philip Hughes RHP 2004 2 Jonathan Poterson C 2004 3 Jeffrey Marquez RHP 2003 1 Eric Duncan 3B 2003 2 Estee Harris OF 2003 3 Timothy Battle OF 2002 1 Brandon Weeden RHP 2002 2 Alan Bomer RHP 2002 3 Matt Carson OF 2001 1 John-Ford Griffin OF 2001 2 Bronson Sardinha SS 2001 3 Jon Skaggs RHP 2000 1 David Parrish C 2000 2 Danny Borrell LHP 2000 3 Jason Grove OF 1999 1 David Walling RHP 1999 2 Gary Winrow OF 1999 3 Alex Graman LHP 1998 1 Andy Brown OF 1998 2 Mark Prior RHP 1998 3 Randy Keisler LHP
Wow. From these picks, how many would you say are “success” stories?
Me? Maybe I see three: Chamberlain, Hughes and Gardner – in the sense that they have seen some success at the major leage level and they’re still in the majors. The rest of these guys either flamed out or have yet to show that they are players capable of doing good things at the major league level.
Basically, for the last 11 years, under Brian Cashman, the Yankees have screwed up their first three picks in the draft – on the whole of it. So, maybe it doesn’t matter that the Yanks have three bad picks, for their first three choices, in a less-than-stellar draft this season? After all, even if they had good draft position for those picks, would they even know what to do with them?