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  • Paul Semendinger

NYY International Draft: A (Quick) History

Yankees International Draft: A (Quick) History (2011-2018)

by Paul Semendinger

January 18, 2022

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There is always a sense of great excitement when we hear of the players the Yankees drafted (and signed) following a draft or a signing period. The Yankees have always been very active in the International Draft.


I decided to scour the Internet to find the players the Yankees have drafted and signed over the years to see how many reached the Major Leagues for the Yankees and their results therein.


What follows is a very brief overview of the players the Yankees brought in through the international process since 2011.


Please note that the International Draft and signing rules have changed over time. Each list is linked to its original source. Writing in italics below comes from the source. The non-italic writing is my quick summation of the players drafted. I am quite sure that there were more players signed in each of these drafts, but it's a quick study so I'm only looking at the top players identified by year and source.


If I missed any drafts, or players, please let me know in the comments and I'll update this article. I would especially like to know of any players that were traded to help the Yankees acquire big league talent that helped the club.


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2011


From Baseball America, this list comprises


"July 2 eligible six-figure signings are players who became eligible to sign last year during the July 2 international signing period as 16-year-olds. The "other six-figure signings" include players who signed in 2011 but had been eligible to sign prior to 2011."


Top signing: 3B Miguel Andujar, Dominican Republic, $700,000.

July 2 eligible six-figure signings: RHP Moises Cedeno (Panama), SS Abiatal Avelino (Dominican Republic), RHP Luis Severino (Dominican Republic), C Alvaro Noriega (Colombia), OF Wascar Rodriguez (Dominican Republic), 3B Victor Rey (Dominican Republic), RHP Raudy Guzman (Dominican Republic).

Other six-figure signings: OF Freiter Marte (Dominican Republic), RHP Giovanny Gallegos (Mexico).


It seems the Yankees did well in this draft. Two players made significant contributions to the Major League team. Miguel Andujar reached the big leagues and finished second in the Rookie of the Year vote in 2018. After 2018, though, his career has been a disappointment. He played 259 games as a Yankee. Also in this class was Luis Severino who is still a top pitcher when healthy and who is a critical piece of the starting rotation heading into the 2023 season.


None of the other players had any significant history with the Yankees.


MLB Players/Players Signed = 2/10 (20%)


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2012-13


From Baseball America:


The new CBA will hurt the Yankees, who finished with baseball’s third-best record and will have one of the lowest signing bonus pools for the 2013-14 signing period.


Top signing: C Luis Torrens, Venezuela, $1.3 million.

Six-figure signings: OF Alexander Palma (Venezuela), SS Yancarlos Baez (Dominican Republic), RHP Manolo Reyes (Dominican Republic), LHP Corby McCoy (Nicaragua), LHP Carlos Diaz (Dominican Republic).

Notable Cuban signings: LHP Omar Luis, OF Adonis Garcia, OF Yeral Sanchez.


This looks to be a complete strikeout. None of these players played any significant time with the Yankees.


MLB Players/Players Signed = 0/9

Total MLB Players/Players Signed (since 2011) = 2/19 (10.5%)


***

2014


From Baseball America:


Top signing: SS Dermis Garcia, Dominican Republic, $3 million.

Seven- and six-figure signings: 3B Nelson Gomez (Dominican Republic), OF Juan De Leon (Dominican Republic), OF Jonathan Amundaray (Venezuela), SS Wilkerman Garcia (Venezuela), C Miguel Flames (Venezuela), SS Hoy-Jun Park (South Korea), OF Antonio Arias (Venezuela), SS Diego Castillo (Venezuela), OF Raymundo Moreno (Venezuela), OF Lisandro Blanco (Dominican Republic), OF Brayan Emery (Colombia), OF Pablo Olivares (Venezuela), OF Frederick Cuevas (Dominican Republic), SS Danienger Perez (Venezuela), OF Leobaldo Cabrera (Venezuela), SS Griffin Garabito (Dominican Republic), OF Erick Mendez (Dominican Republic), C Jason Lopez (Venezuela).



I remember the hype of excitement when the Yankees drafted this class. The talk was that the Yankees broke the system - the signed the best and the brightest and it wouldn't be long before many of these players hit the big time.


Sadly, none of them did. Of this class, Hoy-Jun Park did play for the Yankees for one games, but was part of the package that brought the Yankees Clay Holmes. I'll give the Yankees credit for Hoy-Jun Park, though it's a stretch.


MLB Players/Players Signed = 1/19

Total MLB Players/Players Signed (since 2011) = 3/38 (7.8%)


***

2015


From Baseball America:


After blasting through their international bonus pool in unprecedented fashion in 2014, the Yankees were in the first year of the penalty beginning on July 2, 2015, so they were limited to signings of no more than $300,000.


Top signing: SS Jesus Bastidas, Venezuela, $300,000.


The article states the Yankees signed 57 players, but this quick study is only highlighting the major players listed at the top of the articles. As such, we focus on just one player. And he didn't reach the MLB.


MLB Players/Players Signed = 0/1

Total MLB Players/Players Signed (since 2011) = 3/39 (7.6%)


***

2016


From Baseball America:


The Yankees blitzed the international market in 2014-15, which put them under the penalty the last two signing periods. They couldn’t sign anyone for more than $300,000 last year, the second and final year of their penalty.


Top 2016-17 signing: C Saul Torres, Dominican Republic, $300,000.


The article states the Yankees signed 43 players, but this quick study is only highlighting the major players listed at the top of the articles. As such, we focus on just one player. And he didn't reach the MLB.


MLB Players/Players Signed = 0/1

Total MLB Players/Players Signed (since 2011) = 3/40 (7.5%)


***

2017


From Pinstripe Alley


Every year the July 2 signing period allows teams to sign the very best the international market has to offer. The Yankees are taking advantage of this signing period by adding five new players to the organization.


This process takes place every year, but this particular signing period is a big deal for the Yankees. Remember when the organization went crazy on the international market in 2014? As a penalty for going over their spending limit, the Yankees were forbidden from signing players to deals worth anything over $300,000. That means a lot of elite talent had gotten by in the last few years. In 2017, that restriction has finally been lifted, so now they are going back to spending.


Top Players Named in the Article: Everson Pereira, Roberto Chrinios, Anthony Garcia, Ronny Rojas, Stanley Rosario, Miguel Marte


MLB Players/Players Signed = 0/6

Total MLB Players/Players Signed (since 2011) = 3/46 (6.5%)

Total MLB Players/Players Signed (since 2011 - not including Hoy Park) = 2/46 (4.3%)

Players Still Considered Prospects From This Class: 1


Of Note - since these players are signed so young, even going back to 2017 brings us players who the Yankees are still prospects in the system. Everson Pereira is still only 21-years-old. He reached Double-A last year and he is still a player the Yankees are high on, although, his trip through the minor leagues has not been fast. He will be 22 in April. He's not a super-young kid any longer, although (according to MLB.com) he is the #5 prospect in the system right now.


***

2018


From Pinstripe Alley:


As the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline approached, Yankees fans were enrapt. Which players would GM Brian Cashman acquire to help the club with this year’s playoff push, and at what cost in terms of prospects?


Ninja Cash came through, landing a quartet of big-league players without giving up a single top prospect. He also made some under-the-radar moves, trading away spare parts in exchange for international bonus pool signing money.


These dollars were immediately spent to sign top available talent. Switch-hitting shortstop Alexander Vargas (ranked number eight by MLB Pipeline) and right-handed pitcher Osiel Rodriguez (number ten) — both from Cuba — headlined the haul. Outfielder Kevin Alcantara (No. 11, Dominican Republic) and catcher Antonio Gomez (No. 12, Venezuela) were joined by right-handed pitcher Denny Larrondo (No. 30, Cuba).


Of this group, from the MLB site. Alexander Vargas is the Yankees' #25 prospect, and Antonio Gomez is #16.


***

OVERALL ASSESSMENT - I am not a person who studies the minor leagues and prospects in depth. As such, I can only judge this list of players by the impact they have had on the MLB club, the Yankees. It seemed prudent to stop this study after the 2018 signings because all the players going forward are too young to have made an impact on the MLB roster or team.


In 2019, the Yankees signed Jasson Dominguez who is still a top prospect in the system. Oswald Peraza, also a top prospect, was signed as an International Prospect in July 2016.


My quick assessment, overall, though, is that the Yankees have not had as much success as they hoped and as predicated by many.


Absent of Miguel Andujar (whose overall Yankees career was a disappointment) and Luis Severino (who had been injured for the bulk of his MLB career, but who still is seen as a top pitcher in the league), the results have been less than encouraging. Both of those players, Andujar and Severino, were in the players signed in 2011.


Since 2011, the Yankees results have been very poor.


I welcome further information on players I missed through this quick study.

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