We conclude our look back at recent Yankees draft classes with the most recent 2013 draftees. The Yankees took advantage of departing free agents and landed three picks in the first round and compensation round. Hopefully that restocking proves to be beneficial to a farm system that has been extremely underwhelming in producing major league talent as of late. In case you missed any of the other drafts in review, Andrew covered the 2009 draft, Jesse reviewed the 2010 draft, I looked back at the 2011 draft, and Jesse summed up the 2012 draft earlier this week.
1st round: Eric Jagielo
3B, Notre Dame (South Bend, IN), 26th overall
With their first of three picks between the first round and compensation round of the 2013 draft the Yankees selected a polished college bat in Eric Jagielo out of Notre Dame. In three seasons with the Fighting Irish, the lefty-hitting Jagielo managed a .321/.420/.532 batting line to go with 47 doubles and 27 home runs. The Yankees desperately needed infield prospects that could help out at the big league level sooner than later, and Jagielo coming out of college allows them to aggressively move him through the system in hopes of replacing Alex Rodriguez at the hot corner.
Jagielo was assigned to begin the 2014 season in High-A Tampa after a 51-game stint with the Staten Island Yankees after he was drafted last season. So far this year, Jagielo has clubbed ten home runs and eight doubles in 42 games after skipping over the Low-A level entirely. Though he has not quite lit the world on fire with his .256/.339/.500 batting line, the Yankees' aggressive promotion of Jagielo shows that they are willing to give him a challenge at a higher level that they think his college bat can handle. He's certainly not been overmatched to this point.
1st round: Aaron Judge
CF, Fresno State (Fresno, CA), 32nd overall
Doubling up on college picks, the Yankees took Judge out of Fresno State with their first compensation pick of last year's draft. Judge is an imposing figure at 6'7", 230 pounds. He looks more like a pitcher than a center fielder. An injury kept Judge from making his minor league debut last season, so the Yankees assigned him to Low-A Charleston to begin the 2014 season. Though he has not hit for much power yet, it seems almost inevitable that it will come when you consider his frame.
In 42 innings so far this year, Judge is batting .311/.420/.430 for the Charleston RiverDogs. He has three home runs to this point, as well as seven doubles and one triple. He has struck out 37 times vs. 27 walks in 151 at-bats. Should Judge continue to swing the bat well, he should be in line for a promotion to High-A Tampa sometime this summer.
1st round: Ian Clarkin
LHP, Madison HS (San Diego, CA), 33rd overall
The Yankees bucked their two straight college bat picks with a prep left-hander out of California with their final pick of the compensation round last year. Clarkin's curveball was regarded as one of the best among high schoolers in the draft, complimenting his 94 mph fastball. Although he was originally committed to playing baseball at San Diego State and casually mentioned that he hated the Yankees on live television, Clarkin signed and was ready to begin his professional career.
Clarkin's professional career was a bit delayed due to injury, causing him to make only three starts in the Gulf Coast League last season. He began his 2014 season with the Low-A Charleston RiverDogs where he has a 3.66 ERA after 19.2 innings. He's struck out 20 and walked only four in that span. It seems unlikely that the Yankees would be in a hurry to promote Clarkin this season, but he could always force their hand if he pitches well enough.
2nd round: Gosuke Katoh
2B, Rancho Bernardo HS (San Diego, CA), 66th overall
Going back to the San Diego prep well with their second round pick, the Yankees selected second baseman Katoh. It seemed, at first, like Katoh was a bit of a reach for that draft slot, but he quickly rewarded the team's faith in him by lighting up Rookie Ball to the tune of a .310/.402/.522 batting line in 50 games. His 2014 season has not gotten off to a similarly hot start, hitting only .183/.312/.270 in 36 games for Low-A Charleston. The on-base percentage is heartening, though. Hopefully that means that the batting average will come.
3rd round: Michael O'Neill
CF, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI), 103rd overall
The Yankees went with a familiar last name in the third round of last year's draft by selecting Michael O'Neill, nephew of former Yankee and current YES broadcaster Paul O'Neill out of Michigan. O'Neill hit .329 with 11 doubles in his final season for the Wolverines. It was actually his second time being drafted by the Yankees after he was taken by them in the 42nd round back in 2010 before he decided to honor his college commitment.
O'Neill appeared in 64 games with the Staten Island Yankees last season, batting .219/.282/.293 with 17 doubles and nine steals. So far this year with Low-A Charleston, O'Neill has a .227/.292/.383 batting line with five home runs and 14 stolen bases in 43 games.
4th round: Tyler Wade
SS, Murrieta Valley HS (Murrieta, CA), 134th overall
Another prep player added to the mix was shortstop Tyler Wade out of California. The team is without any real shortstop prospects outside of Abiatal Avelino, unless you count the unimpressive Cito Culver, so Wade was a welcome addition at a position that needs a lot of help on the farm. His impressive arm strength could play at either position on the left side of the infield and he possess gap power, which is pretty much what you can ask for from a young shortstop.
In his first taste of professional baseball, Wade performed very well in 46 Gulf Coast League games last season. The left-hander batted .309/.429/.370 with ten doubles and eleven stolen bases for the GCL Yankees. He's begun his 2014 season playing shortstop for Low-A Charleston in Avelino's absence due to injury, where he is currently hitting .271/.337/.342 in 38 games so far.
If there was one advantage to the corners the Yankees cut with the big league team in 2013 it is the extra draft picks it got them. Unfortunately, it seems like inevitably the picks seem good before fading out within the minor league system. Spending their first two picks on college players in Jagielo and Judge may have been an especially good move, considering they will require less developmental time at the hands of the Yankees' staff. Getting three first round picks is not likely to be a phenomenon the Yankees experience again for quite some time after the front office realized the effects of putting a lackluster product on the field, so it's good that so much promise exists in one of the biggest drafts the Yankees are likely to have in a while. So far, the first three picks have looked especially good. The future could look pretty bright if they can keep that up.