Drafting in hindsight: Slade Heathcott and the 2009 draft

USA TODAY Sports

Drafting is a very difficult practice, and yet some organizations seem to be better at it than others. The Yankees haven't been that great at it in the last couple years, but it looks like they could be turning a corner starting with 2013. While the Draft is more or less considered a crapshoot, it's so much easier when looking at it with perfect 20/20 hindsight. In several cases over the last few drafts the Yankees might have drafted incorrectly and there were other prospects that were still on the board that we should have picked, now that we have the gift of hindsight.

The Yankees drafted Slade Heathcott with their first pick (29th overall) in the 2009 MLB Draft, and in his fifth season of pro ball, Heathcott has hit .270/.349/.408 with 20 home runs and 55 stolen bases in only 300 games. Limited by injuries, he had his first taste of Double-A at 22, but he's getting old now, has yet to put everything together, and could still end up limited by injury.

When Heathcott was taken, the likes of Rex Brother, Matt Davidson, Tyler Skaggs, and Tanner Scheppers were all still available at the time.

Taken 34th overall, Brothers just pitched in his third season at the MLB level. He has a 2.82 ERA and with a 3.22 FIP and an 11.17 K/9 in his career and collected 19 saves this in 2013. He will be 26 in 2014 and will likely serve as the Rockies closer.

Drafted 35th overall, Davidson made his major league debut this season after putting up .268/.351/.452 batting line in the minors. He ranked as high as 77 on Baseball America's top prospect list and now he looks like he could be the Diamondbacks' next everyday third baseman in 2014 at the age of 23.

With the 40th overall pick, The Los Angeles Angels selected Tyler Skaggs and traded him to Arizona a year later in the Dan Haren deal. He ranked as high as the No. 12 prospect on BA's top prospect list and pitched to a 3.34 ERA, a 9.8 K/9 and a 2.9 BB/9 in nearly 500 innings in the minors. He made his major league debut at the age of 20, but has yet to find success at the major league level in just 68 innings of major league experience.

Taken 44th overall by the Rangers, Scheppers ranked as high as No. 42 on BA's top prospect list, though he soon slipped off when he was moved to the bullpen. He compiled a 4.15 ERA with a 9.6 K/9 in 173.2 innings in minors and already has two seasons of major league experience. In 2013 he pitched to a 1.88 ERA and a 3.74 FIP for the Texas bullpen at the age of 26.

Between those three alternatives, the Yankees missed out on a combined total of 2.2 WAR in 2013, which mostly came from Brothers (1.1) and Scheppers (0.8).

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