The MLB Draft concluded on Saturday and the Yankees got themselves 40 shiny new toys to play with. While not all of them will sign (two have already said they will stick with their college commitments), the Yankees will work hard to sign as many of the prospects as they can.
In the first round, the Yankees started things off by drafting Blake Rutherford out of Chaminade College Prep high school in California. The general consensus around the league is that the Yankees got themselves a steal by getting Rutherford so late in the draft. He was considered a top ten talent, but prospect fatigue and money may have possibly contributed to him falling so far.
Rutherford will most likely require a good amount of money over slot value to sign, but that shouldn't be a concern for the Yankees as they seemed to have designed the remaining 39 rounds around making sure Rutherford gets enough money. The Nick Solak pick in the second round showed that strategy because he was considered to be a slight reach for the Yankees with the 62nd overall pick. From Jason's post:
As Jim Callis mentioned on the broadcast, he's not a huge reach, going at 62nd overall, but the Yankees might be looking to save some money here.
Probably not a great idea to put all their eggs in one basket, but the Yankees generally draft in the later part of the first round and very rarely does talent and potential such as Rutherford's make it down that far. Plus prospects are far from a sure thing, so I'm personally okay with the team's strategy. As Matt Provenzano said, Rutherford may just be one of the Yankees' best first round picks since Derek Jeter, and possibly even the best.
If you didn't get a chance to follow the draft or just want a refresher on the players the Yankees selected, be sure to check out the Yankees Draft Coverage hub. Everything on Pinstripe Alley regarding the draft can be found there, including Tanya and Jason's coverage on all the players the Yankees selected. Also be sure to check out our Draft Tracker that will help keep track of the team's draftees and their signing status.
Now it's time to hear from you–are you happy with their draft selections overall? Personally, I like to judge prospects based on their names. While I don't think this is a particularly strong group of names, there are definitely quite a few that have potential. My personal favorite is probably 26th round pick Gage Burland. Unfortunately, the Yankees had a chance to really bump their grade but instead chose to pass on some great names like Handsome Monica (drafted by the Braves) and Akil Baddoo (drafted by the Twins).
Obviously it's hard to immediately decide if the draft was good or bad because a) not all the players will sign and b) the ones who do are still likely years away from even possibly making it to the majors. However, based on what we know, it's just as hard to not have an immediate reaction to at least their draft strategy. Tell us what you think in the comments!