Thursday, June 5, 2014

Finding Gems Late In The MLB First Year Players Draft

The MLB First Year Players Draft starts tonight on MLB Network and the Yankees will once again look to find some gems for cheap in the later rounds of the draft. The Yankees don't have a pick in the first round and will have to wait patiently for their turn until the second round, 55th overall.  The Yankees have made a killing, which we will highlight here, finding absolute gems in the later rounds of the MLB draft. Granted we haven't drafted a Albert Pujols type but who has besides the St. Louis Cardinals, you know? Let's hit the high spots of the gems in the rough that the Yankees have found in recent drafts.

This is more of a prospect hugging homer type beginning but the Yankees originally drafted outfielder Chris Dickerson back in the 2000 draft in the 32nd round. Dickerson did not sign but it makes you think what could have been (and what should be for that matter) had he signed and we had an extended look at him in our minor league system.

Phillip Humber was originally drafted by the New York Yankees in the 29th round of the 2001 draft. This was all obviously before his perfect game with the Chicago White Sox, not that he has done much since. Still worth noting that the Yankees originally drafted a guy who has thrown a perfect game.

Tyler Clippard was drafted by the Yankees in the 9th round of the 2003 draft and quickly became the Yankees #1 prospect before Phil Hughes came along. Not given his fair shot in the majors until he made a name for himself in the Washington Nationals bullpen but has had quite the career since being traded for some guy named Jonathan Albaladejo. The Yankees also drafted David Purcey, Jeff Karstens, Daniel Bard, and Daniel McCutchen in this draft. Obviously Bard and Purcey did not sign but Karstens and McCutchen all had careers in the major leagues before falling victim to pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates and basically ending their careers.

Austin Jackson was taken in the 8th round of the 2005 draft and has become one of the best center fielders and lead off men in the game. Granted the Yankees also took Brett Gardner earlier in this draft but still I think I would rather have A Jax at this point in their careers. Another notable Yankees draft pick in this draft was Doug Fister in the 6th round before making his career in Detroit with the Tigers.

David Robertson was taken in the 17th round of the 2006 draft out of Alabama and has made a name for himself as the heir apparent to Mariano Rivera's closing job when he hangs up his cleats after 2013. Other notable picks in this draft were Daniel McCutchen (again), Zach McCallister who has pitched well in Cleveland, and Dellin Betances and Mark Melancon who once were considered to be big time Yankees prospects.

Pat Venditte, the ambidextrous pitcher we have stashed in AAA, was drafted in the 45th round of the 2007 draft. While Pat has not made the majors yet he has still drawn some attention to himself and the Yankees for throwing from both sides of the rubber and I thought that was worth mentioning. Most 45th round picks do not even make it for AAA so there is always that. The Yankees also got current minor league hitting coach Eric Thames in the 39th round in this draft as well as Nationals closer Drew Storen in the 34th round. Astros 3B Brandon Laird was drafted in the 27th round of this draft and current catcher Austin Romine in the second round.

David Phelps signed with the Yankees in 2008 after being drafted in the 14th round of the draft and that signing has worked out pretty well for the Yankees in the last two seasons. David Adams is the current Yankees 3B and has done nothing but impress since coming up and was drafted as well in this draft in the 3rd round.

The 2010 draft brought the Yankees a couple interesting pieces as we saw the Yankees grab current bullpen guy Preston Claiborne in the 17th round and current top prospect Tyler Austin in the 13th round.

Who will the Yankees add this year that we will be talking about in two or three years? You have to tune in to find out on MLB Network. Go Yankees!

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