Hey everyone, over at minorleagueball, we have a community mock draft every year. This is my 3rd year participating as a scouting director, second for the Yankees (I missed out on them last year). I have been posting discussions over there, but with little interaction. I am hoping this great community will help discuss who we think the Yankees would target with their picks in each of the first four rounds of this year's draft. We only have 2 weeks until the the mock draft, so let's get to work!
First, a primer. Here are the Yankees draft tendencies in the first four rounds over the last five years (you can find this information for all teams here):
|Table 1: Level of drafted players, in total and by round|
|Team||Total picks||% High School||% College||1st Round % HS||1st Round % College||2nd Round % HS||2nd Round % College||3rd Round % HS||3rd Round % College||4th round % HS||4th round % College|
|New York (A)||21||62%||38%||83%||17%||50%||50%||50%||50%||60%||40%|
|Table 2: Type of player picked, rounds 1-4|
|Team||1st Round % HS Arms||1st Round % HS Bats||1st Round % College Arms||1st Round % College Bats||2nd Round % HS Arms||2nd Round % HS Bats||2nd Round % College Arms||2nd Round % College Bats||3rd Round % HS Arms||3rd Round % HS Bats||3rd Round % College Arms||3rd Round % College Bats||4th round % HS Arms||4th round % HS Bats||4th round % College Arms||4th round % College Bats|
|New York (A)||33%||50%||17%||0%||0%||50%||33%||17%||25%||25%||0%||50%||0%||60%||40%||0%|
|Table 3: Type of player picked, positional breakdown|
|Team||% Bats||% Prep Bats||% College Bats||% C||% 1B||% 2B||% 3B||% SS||% OF||% Arms||% Prep Arms||% College Arms||% LHP||% RHP|
|New York (A)||62%||48%||14%||23%||0%||0%||23%||31%||23%||38%||14%||24%||38%||63%|
For comparison, here are the league averages for the information posted in the three tables above:
|Table 4: League-Average Tendencies|
|Total HS Picks||43.4%|
|Total College Picks||56.6%|
|1st round HS||49.2%|
|1st round College||50.8%|
|2nd round HS||54.2%|
|2nd round College||45.8%|
|3rd round HS||34.4%|
|3rd round College||65.6%|
|4th round HS||34.0%|
|4th round College||66.0%|
|1st Round % HS Arms||22.7%|
|1st Round % HS Bats||26.5%|
|1st Round % College Arms||26.9%|
|1st Round % College Bats||26.1%|
|2nd Round % HS Arms||22.9%|
|2nd Round % HS Bats||31.4%|
|2nd Round % College Arms||26.8%|
|2nd Round % College Bats||22.9%|
|3rd Round % HS Arms||11.7%|
|3rd Round % HS Bats||22.7%|
|3rd Round % College Arms||34.4%|
|3rd Round % College Bats||31.3%|
|4th round % HS Arms||13.3%|
|4th round % HS Bats||19.3%|
|4th round % College Arms||39.3%|
|4th round % College Bats||28.0%|
|% Prep Bats||25.1%|
|% College Bats||25.5%|
|% Prep Arms||18.0%|
|% College Arms||31.1%|
You can see that the Yankees pick high school players 1.4 times more often than the league average, and have the fifth-highest rate of taking high school players in the majors. They especially focus on high school players in the first round, gong that route an astonishing 83% of the time. They also focus more on bats than the league average (62% vs. 51%), on left handed pitchers (38% vs. 26%), and on catchers (23% vs. 13%), third basemen (23% vs. 13%), and shortstops (31% vs. 23%).
The Yankees have 6 picks in the first four rounds, including three in the first round. Their total bonus pool for rounds 1-10, covering their first 12 picks, is $7,957,400. They are allowed to spend an additional 5% without losing future draft picks, which would equal $8,355,270. Here are the picks in the first four rounds, with bonus slots:
|Pick #||Slot Value||Slot Value + 5%|
Let's look at the recent drafting history of the Yankees to see what type of player the team will focus on, and try to identify some draft prospects they should target. Below is a list of players the Yankees have drafted over the last five years in the first four rounds:
|Year||Round||Pick #||Name||Position||School level|
As you can see, they focus heavily on high school players. They have only selected 8 college players out of 21 total players, and half of those were selected before 2010. In the last 5 years, they've selected high school players 62% of the time, and college players 38% of the time. In the first round, they've picked high schoolers 83% of the time. They've gone with prep players and college players an equal number of times in both the second round and third round. In the fourth round, they've gone with prep players 60% of the time. However, they have selected at least one college player within the first four rounds each year, so we can assume they will use either a second or third round pick on a college player.
What type of players do they focus on? In the first round, they have picked a prep bat 50% of the time, a prep arm 33% of the time, and a college arm 17% of the time. In the second round, they have gone with a prep bat 50% of the time, a college arm 33% of the time, and a college bat 17% of the time. In the third round, they've gone with a college bat 50% of the time each, and prep arms and bats 25% of the time each. In the fourth round, they've picked prep bats 60% of the time and college arms 40% of the time.
Overall, they've gone with a prep bat 10 out of 21 picks, or 48% of the time. They've picked both a prep arm and a college bat 14% of the time. And they've picked a college arm 24% of the time. Of the arms they've selected, they've picked a RHP 63% of the time, and a LHP 37% of the time. Of the bats selected, they've picked a SS 31% of the time, a catcher and a third baseman 24% of the time, and center fielder 15% of the time.
Given their draft history, what type of draft could we expect from the Yankees this year? Given their three first round picks, it seems reasonable to expect them to pick a college player in the first round, if for no reason other than to free up some cap space for two prep players. Looking at their tendencies over the last four years, I would expect the first three picks to be a prep bat (probably a SS) a prep arm (probably a LHP) and a college arm. In the second and third round, I would expect a another prep bat and a college bat in that order. And either a prep bat or college arm in the fourth round.
Here are players ranked 21-40 on my board, who may be available at these picks. Keeping in mind that we want a high school position player, a high school pitcher, and a college pitcher, which three would be your targets?
|First name||Last name||POS||State||High School||College|
|Robert||Kaminsky||LHP||New Jersey||St. Joseph Regional|
|Tim||Anderson||SS||Mississippi||East Central CC|
With the team's first pick, pick 26, we had narrowed it to the following five players:
Kaminsky was last year's New Jersey Player of the Year. He touches mid-90s with his fastball, with good command of it. His breaking ball, a hammer curve, has been called a major league pitch by some. Between those two pitches, he profiles well as a bullpen arm, which some will discount him as due to his height. I think that would be a mistake. He has a smooth delivery, kind of like a shorter version of CC Sabathia. As of April 20th, he had yet to give up a run in his senior year of high school, with a 54/5 K/BB ratio over 26 innings. As a local player, he could be a fan favorite in short order. His North Carolina commitment should be easily bought out at pick 26.
HS LHP backup: Matt Krook
Mercado has an above-average glove, and he is one of the few players who look like they can easily stick at SS in this year's draft class. Mercado gets dinged for his bat, and has dropped down the rankings recently, but I think people are underselling his bat's potential. Sometimes his swing looks real nice, and it is always pretty simple. It is the type of swing I think will only get better with some professional coaching. Beyond the second round, he will probably be a tough sign, given his Florida State commitment.
SS back-up: HS: Riley Unroe; JC: Tim Anderson
Cuiffo is a very good defensive catcher, one of the better ones in this year's stacked HS catcher draft crop. His bat has some real potential. Taking in account the overall package, he may be the best HS catcher available this year, in a competition between him, Jonathon Denney, and Reese McGuire. He made news as a 14 year old when he committed to USC before having played a varsity baseball game. But he should be an easy sign in the first round.
HS C backup: Jonathan Denney (if he falls)
Harvey, son of former MLB pitcher Bryan Harvey, has been shooting up the rankings this spring. He is a RHP who sits in the low 90s already, with some projectability in his tall, lanky body that shows when he hits mid to upper 90s on occasion. He is more raw than some other HS arms available at this point, but few have his potential. He has flashed a potential plus curveball, but needs to work on his changeup. He has no college commitment, so he should be an easy sign.
HS RHP backup: Phil Bickford (if he falls)
McKinney is a corner outfielder who will be drafted for his bat. A sweet swinging lefty with above average power, he doesn't look like he would struggle with contact issues. Defensively, he should be at least average in the corners. The big question with McKinney is signability, given his commitment to TCU. But in the first round, he should be a better than 50/50 shot to sign.
HS OF backup: Ryan Boldt
So, who would you take with pick 26? Vote below.
Also, who would be your target for picks 32 and 33? Keep in mind, if you pick a HS Bat at 26, look at a HS Arm and a College Arm. If you pick a HS Arm, look at a college arm and a HS bat. And if you pick a College arm, look at HS arms and bats.