Scouting the Yankees' non-drafted free agent signings

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The MLB Draft has come and the MLB Draft has gone, but not everyone who was eligible ended up getting drafted. For every hundred players going pro, another thousand are likely to end their playing career, never getting the chance to chase the dream. A select few are saved, at least for a little while, and given contracts with minor league affiliates to see if they have what it takes to make it. The Yankees have signed players like Jaron Long, Radley Haddad, Tim Giel, and Mike Ford after the draft, and this year they have signed three more.

Travis Hissong

The six-foot, 194-pound right-hander has experience pitching out of the bullpen and in the rotation. In February, Baseball America highlighted him as the third best draft prospect in the Horizon League. He can throw 91-94 mph out of the bullpen, but right now it's unsure how the Yankees will use him in Short Season-ball. I imagine he'll end up as a reliever, but they could try and find some extra value as a starter.

A Tommy John survivor, he was Wright State's closer in 2013, pitching to a 2.39 ERA with an astounding12.42 K/9, but a poor 4.54 BB/9. He was named the Friday night starter for 2014, pitching to a 4.23 ERA in seven starts before partially tearing his hamstring and opting to rehab the injury instead of having surgery. The injury likely kept him from being drafted, though he also had an offer to sign with the Dodgers before ultimately deciding to go with the Yankees in order to stay closer to his family.

Jake Hernandez

Four years ago, Jake Hernandez was a promising young defense-first backstop coming out of high school. Just prior to the 2010 MLB Draft Baseball Beginnings mentioned that "he has a chance to be a top-tier defensive catcher, and I think that gives him more value that anything else. I don't see him as a middle-of-the-order type bat in the coming years, nor do I think he'll be so limited offensively that he would be confined to a backup role." He was drafted by the Tigers in the 22nd round that year, but chose to attend the University of South Carolina.

Before the 2013 draft, he was previewed by The Baseball Draft Report, who still saw him as a great defensive catcher. In 2014, he hit .327/.363/.374 in his senior year, easily his best season of his collegiate career, but it wasn't enough to impress scouts.

Matt Marsh

Signed as a fifth-year senior out of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, the six-foot-three, 190-pound right-handed reliever "can reach 92 and has a good palmball," according to Baseball America. In 2014 he pitched to a 0.92 ERA along with excellent peripherals in a 9.15 K/9 and 0.46 BB/9 over 19.2 innings. Kris Bryant of The Baseball Draft Report said in March of 2013 that he believed Marsh could be drafted in the later rounds that year, however, he missed most of the 2013 season with an injury.

All minor leaguers have the deck stacked against them, but non-drafted amateur free agents are usually in an even deeper hole than most fringe prospects. Hissong, Hernandez, and Marsh may sound interesting, but they have a long uphill climb to endure if they want to ever see the majors.

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