The MLB Draft is right around the corner. Beginning Monday, June 12th years of scouting gets put to the test and years of hard work pays off for hundreds of college and high school baseball players. Last year, the Yankees got one of the biggest steals in draft after selecting Blake Rutherford 18th overall. Rutherford was a consensus top 10 talent who fell to the Yankees due to signability concerns.
Since last year’s draft, though, the Yankees farm system as a whole has seen a great turn around. Rutherford is seen as the second or third best prospect in the Yankees’ system, depending on who you ask. Everyone agrees Gleyber Torres is the top prospect, but between Rutherford and Clint Frazier is up for debate among some. The point being that the system is pretty deep and doesn’t have any glaring needs.
The Yankees are also seeing the fruits of their past labors in this year’s major league squad. Youngsters Aaron Judge and Jordan Montgomery are holding their own and thriving while helping the Yankees to the top spot in the American League East. Help is on the way for them too, with Torres and Frazier in Triple-A and other Yankee draftees like Chance Adams knocking on the door as well.
So it’s time for the next wave of prospects to come in to the system and make their mark. While the Yankees surely have their draft strategy and board set at this point, I’m sure many of you who follow these prospects do as well. So the question remains: who do you want the Yankees to draft?
It’s hard to keep track of all the prospects, especially the high school players, so here are some top prospect lists that could help.
MLB.com’s Top 100 Draft Prospects
Baseball America’s Top 200 Draft Prospects
Additionally, Tanya Bondurant took a look at some mock drafts to see who the experts think the Yankees might pursue. Matt Provenzano created an aggregated mock draft and looked at some of the projected options for the Yankees with the 16th pick.
Looking past the first round, Brett Borzelli talked about some of the projected second-round prospects that should be available with the 54th overall pick. After all this, TJ Knapp broke down the system’s strengths and weaknesses to help determine where the organization should focus.
I personally believe the draft, especially MLB’s, is a crapshoot so I am a firm believer in the best player available method of drafting. Especially with the farm system being one of the top ones in all of baseball and with most prospects being a few years away, it seems like the best strategy to just go with the best talent and hope that turns into something rather than going after needs. Sure, take it into consideration, but it shouldn’t be the main strategy.
If there’s any doubt, the Yankees could always just draft based on player names. Never judge a book by its cover, but judging the title is okay. DL Hall (LHP, HS) seems like someone to stay away from because I’m sure he’ll forever be injured. Donnie Sellers (RHP, Wake Forest) seems like potential trade bait.
On the other hand, Jeter Downs (SS, HS) looks destined for pinstripes. It may not be his nephew Jalen, but perhaps Derek Jeter would give up his #2 for another shortstop named Jeter. Or since Jake Cave has been a disappointment, the Yankees could look at two other Jakes: Jake Leftwich (RHP, HS) and Jake Burger (3B, Missouri State) to fill their appetites. While Daulton Varsho (C, Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Hugh Fisher (LHP, HS), and Bryce Montes de Oca (RHP, Missouri) also look like solid choices.
How do you want the Yankees to approach the draft? Position or best player available? Or the foolproof best name available method? More importantly, back to the original question: who do you want the Yankees to draft?