The MLB First-Year Player Draft is one of the biggest crapshoots in all of sports. The chances of a top 100 pick out of college reaching the majors is usually less than 50%, and that mark goes down when we're drafting highschoolers. Matt Eddy at Baseball America crunched the numbers for the top 100 picks from 1989 to 2008, and has the odds for position players reaching the 40-man roster, the majors, and/or becoming impact players. (minimum of 10 career WAR) The numbers are low, and that's why very few baseball fans even follow the MLB draft. There are simply too many names and too many risks involved with the 40 round three day event, and most casual baseball watchers simply don't have the time or interest to follow it. But if there was ever a time to follow the draft as a Yankee fan, this is the year. The Yankees will have three first round picks, one at 26 overall, and two supplemental first round picks at 32 and 33 thanks to the departures of Nick Swisher and Rafael Soriano. As we grow closer to draft day on June 6th, we'll continue to update you on any major changes to top prospect lists, any connections with the team, or any major mock drafts or scouting reports that emerge over that time. There's less than three weeks until draft day arrives, so here are some links to get started learning about what this year offers.
- Top 100 by MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo
- Top 100 by Baseball America
- Top 100 by ESPN.com's Keith Law (Subscription Required)
- Top 100 by Baseball Prospectus' Allan Simpson
- Top 50 by Chris Crawford
- Catchers: Nick J. Faleris (Baseball Prospectus)
- Corner Infielders: Nick J. Faleris (Baseball Prospectus)
- Middle Infielders: Nick J. Faleris (Baseball Prospectus)
- Mike Axisa's 2013 Draft Series (River Ave Blues)
- John Sickels' Mock Draft Version Two (Yankees take LHP Rob Kaminsky (26th), RHP Chris Anderson (32nd), RHP Teddy Stankiewicz (33rd))
- Jim Callis Mock Draft 1.0 (Yankees take 3B/OF Eric Jagielo (26th), LHP Rob Kaminsky (32nd), C Jon Denney (33rd))
- Keith Law's Mock Draft 1.0 (Subscription Required) (Yankee take OF Austin Wilson (26th), C Jon Denney (32nd), SS Dustin Peterson (33rd))
- Dave Perkin's Mock Draft at SI (Yankees take RHP Phil Bickford (26th), LHP Rob Kaminsky (32nd), SS Tim Anderson (33rd))
- Kiley McDaniel's Mock Draft 1.0 (Yankees take LHP Rob Kaminsky (26th), SS Tim Anderson (32nd), RF Michael Lorenzen (33rd))
- Chris Crawford's Mock Draft Volume IV (Yankees take OF Ryan Boldt (26th), RHP Jonathon Crawford (32nd), LHP Blake Taylor (33rd))
- Jonathan Mayo's Mock Draft (Yankees take C Jon Denney(26th), LHP Rob Kaminsky (32nd), SS Tim Anderson (33rd))
You can obviously look at the mock drafts and see who the experts like for the Yankees, but there's a decent chance that all of these predictions are wrong. As I mentioned, there's a lot of different players on the board, and every organization has their own philosophies. In the past, the Yankees have loved high school players, especially position players. Their last five first round picks (Ty Hensley, Dante Bichette Jr, Cito Culver, Slade Heathcott, and Gerrit Cole) were all out of high school. Before this, the Yankees took a quartet of college pitchers in Jeremy Bleich, Andrew Brackman, Ian Kennedy, and Joba Chamberlain. The last time they drafted a 1st round position player out of college was John-Ford Griffin in 2001.
Rob Kaminsky probably has the biggest connection to the Yankees thus far. As a high school left-handed pitcher with great make up and a North East connection, he matches almost everything the Yankees' look for in a player. Catcher Jon Denney out of Yukon HS (Oklahoma) is another name that keeps coming up with the Yankees. High school outfielder Ryan Boldt has also been named a few times, and as a left-handed batter with plus athleticism, Boldt would be another fit into Oppenheimer's philosophy, assuming a recent knee injury allows him to fall to the team. A few college bats have been linked to the Yankees, including Tim Anderson, Austin Wilson and Eric Jagielo, but it would be a rare event for the Yankees to go after older bats.
For those that believe that the Dante Bichette Jr or the Jose Mesa Jr picks were due to nepotism, Cavan Biggo (Craig Biggio's son) and Michael O'Neill (Paul O'Neill's nephew) will garner first round consideration this year. Biggio, a high school third baseman, probably has the better chance with his left-handed bat, although O'Neill was previously drafted by the Yankees in the 42nd round of 2010. Andy Pettitte's son Josh Pettitte, and Roger Clemens' son Kacy Clemens will also be eligible, though they're unlikely to be first rounders.