With their fifth round pick of the 2014 MLB Draft, the Yankees took right-handed pitcher Jordan Foley out of Central Michigan. This is a player that the Yankees have shown interest in before as they drafted him back in the 26th round of the 2011 draft out of his Texas high school. MLB.com has him at no. 95, while Baseball America has him ranked as the 128th best in the draft and have him at no.1 in the state of Michigan. Discussing him during the draft, they spoke about how a few months ago he would have been a third-round pick, but a less than stellar finish to the season might have dropped him a bit. If that is indeed the case, then the Yankees got somewhat of a deal here.
MLB.com grades him out to have a 60-fastball, 50-slider, 50-cutter, and 45-changeup with 45-control. He stands at six-foot-three, 205 pounds and really made a name for himself in the Cape Cod League last year. Foley is capable of throwing 90-96 mph deep into games, his slider is effective, but still lacks consistency, and his cutter could be his best third pitch. The one drawback is that his high arm slot allows hitters to get a good look at the ball during his delivery.
This is what Baseball America has to say about the Texas righty:
He’s built for starting at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, and he has become more efficient as a junior, but many scouts view him as a reliever. His delivery is inconsistent, at times with too much effort for him to repeat above-average stuff. Foley works primarily off an 89-94 mph fastball, touching 96, and at times he shows a plus slider, though he struggles to repeat it. Other scouts see Foley as a reliever because he uses a split-finger fastball as a changeup to combat lefthanded hitters. While his strikeout rate has dipped from 8.9 to 7.5 K/9 since last year, so did his walk rate (4.4 to 2.7). A team that takes Foley in the first three rounds likely saw him on a day when he repeated his delivery well enough to envision him as a starter.
This is the fourth pitcher the Yankees have selected in the draft so far, and they have all seemed to be more on the safer side, rather than dreaming big on players who might be amazing or might crash and burn. There's a definite strategy to taking higher-floor prospects, though Foley sounds like the "riskiest" of the pitchers they have taken so far.
You can follow him on Twitter @JFol12. What does everyone think about this pick for the Yankees?