The first two days of the 2017 MLB Draft were very exciting. We saw some surprising picks, especially by the Yankees. Clarke Schmidt was ranked 31st by Baseball America and 49th by MLB.com before the draft. He was one of the 34 prospects that I profiled as a possible second-round pick by the Yankees. He did not make my Top 10 list because I thought it unlikely that the Yankees would use their first round pick on a player who just underwent Tommy John surgery. Boy, was I wrong.
Matt Sauer was ranked 26th by Baseball America and 28th by MLB.com before the draft. Nearly everyone predicted that he would go in the first round, so he may have fallen due to concerns over his signability. Jason Cohen profiled Sauer and provides insight on how the Yankees' first two picks of the 2017 draft dovetail together. Tanya Bondurant noted earlier today that Sauer intends to sign with the Bombers.
The Yankees chose right-handed pitchers with eight of their first ten draft picks this year. This makes a lot of sense, considering the high demand for quality starting pitching around the league. This is especially the case when considering Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman's knack for acquiring high-value position players on the cheap via trade. The Yankees' keystone duo of Didi Gregorius and Starlin Castro come to mind.
Before the picks start to come in, it would be fun to let's take a look at the Hall of Famers, Yankees legends, and current members of the team who were chosen in the later rounds of the MLB Draft. In terms of Hall of Famers, Mike Piazza, Ryne Sandberg, John Smoltz, and Bruce Sutter were all drafted in the 11th round or later.
Seven players from the draft-era — and eligible to be drafted — have had their numbers retired by the Yankees. Three of them were selected in the late rounds. Don Mattingly, Andy Pettitte, and Jorge Posada all stand out as prime examples. Each could be considered a borderline Hall of Famer.
In addition to the legacy Yankees, seven players on the current 40-man roster were drafted in the 11th round or later. This includes Tyler Austin, Chris Carter, Dietrich Enns, Chad Green, Ben Heller, Bryan Mitchell, and Chasen Shreve. Given the Yankees’ propensity for developing players of late, it wouldn’t be too surprising if a few of today’s selections turned in serviceable careers.
Today’s draft begins at 12 PM. Be sure to visit our Draft Tracker for real time coverage of the Yankees’ selections. In the meantime, what do you think of the team’s picks so far? Who would you like to see the Yankees select in the late rounds? Let us know in the comment section below.