Yankees 2014 MLB Draft Preview: What kind of talent can they expect to find

Justin K. Aller

The Yankees don't have a first-round pick in the 2014 MLB draft, but there is still talent to be found in the second and third rounds

As we've already established, the Yankees don't have a first-round pick in the 2014 MLB Draft. Instead of the three first-round choices they made in 2013, they will have to wait until the second round before they can even make their first. Sure, it will be much less exciting than last year was, but, looking back at previous drafts, there is still plenty of value to be had with the 56th and 92nd overall picks. I looked over the last twenty drafts, between 1994 and 2013, to provide proof that there will still be some talent lying around by then.

I included picks No. 55 and 57 just to show you what kind of talent is sitting around in the general area of the No. 56.

Overall Pick Player Year Seasons WAR
56 J.J. Hardy 2001 10 23.6
Scott Linebrink 1997 12 9.6
55 Brett Anderson 2006 6 5.4
Dave Bush 2002 9 3.5
57 Jon Lester 2002 9 28.5
Brandon Phillips 1999 13 24
Brandon Inge 1998 13 19.1
Joel Hanrahan 2000 7 4.7
Robbie Ross 2008 3 2.9
Billy Hamilton 2009 2 0.5
Brandon Workman 2010 2 0.2

For whatever reason there has been a lot more talent plucked from the latter pick. The good news is that, hypothetically, this talent would still be on the boards when the Yankees make their pick. They could use any of these players on their team, but given their current/projected needs, they could really use a Hardy, Anderson, Lester, or Phillips (who wouldn't?).

I looked at the Yankees' third-round pick, the 92nd overall pick as well. I also included the 91st and 93rd picks to get a wider sample of talent in that portion of the draft.

Overall Pick Player Year Seasons WAR
92 J.A. Happ 2004 8 4.8
John Grabow 1997 9 2.2
91 Adam Everett 1995 11 12.6
Jeremy Affeldt 1997 13 10.4
Wil Myers 2009 2 2.0

Obviously, the success rate here drops considerably. The 93rd overall pick hasn't even produced anything worthwhile since the Reds drafted Paul O`Neill back in 1981. Myers is the clear winner, but I'd certainly be happy with a Happ or even an Affeldt or Everett at this point.

Of course, there are many different factors that go into drafting, so drafting now won't be as clear cut in 2014 as it would be if we look back at this draft in, say, 10 years.

In years past, the Yankees have taken John Ryan Murphy, Austin Romine, Shelley Duncan, and their biggest winner Al Leiter in the second round. In the third round they have taken Zach McAllister, Brett Gardner, Nick Johnson, and Ron Guidry. All-Stars like Jimmy Key (No. 56, 1982), Todd Helton (55, 1992), Bert Blyleven (55, 1969), and Paul O`Neill (93, 1981) have been taken in and around where the Yankees are drafting, and though it's unlikely they'll be finding any Hall of Famers, they still could come up with a useful player.

Last year the Yankees chose Gosuke Katoh in the second round and Michael O`Neill in the third. Katoh exploded out of the gate with a .310/.402/.522 batting line in the GCL, but has only hit .216/.352/.351 this year in Low-A. O`Neill has been somewhat the opposite, looking pretty bad with a .219/.282/.293 hitting line in Short Season last year, but has rebounded a bit by hitting .232/.283/.444 so far in Charleston. Both of these players have a long way to go, but they both have considerable upside and are already getting plenty of attention.

Katoh and O`Neill were the 66th and 103rd overall picks in last year's draft, so the Yankees have a chance to add even better prospects than what they found last season with a higher draft pick. Of course, they won't be as good as any first-rounders they could have had, but at least it's something.

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