Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Yankees 40th Round Pick & “Courtesy Picks”


The New York Yankees made 40 picks this season in the MLB Draft and while some were notable, none more notable than #18 overall pick Blake Rutherford, some were not including the Yankees 40th round pick Nate Brown. Earlier this week I was reading a great article on LakeCountryNow.com regarding Brown and his pick with the Yankees and the intriguing story is something I felt compelled to bring to you guys this morning. The story revolves around Brown’s commitment to the University of Florida and what are referred to “courtesy picks” in the MLB Draft.

Steve Lemke is the Yankees area scout in that area and is the scout that watched Brown throw while in High School. Lemke suggested drafting Brown with the 40th pick despite his strong commitment to Florida as a way of getting a relationship started and to show Brown, and I’m sure this went on with others as well with all 30 teams, that while others weren’t watching or noticing his talents that Lemke and the Yankees were.

Brown was the third ever Arrowhead High School player to ever be drafted in the MLB Draft but there is almost no way he foregoes his college commitment to sign so why would the Yankees draft him? Well Brown answered that very question himself in the article linked above. Brown was quoted as saying the following:
"My adviser and I both knew I was going to fall to the late rounds, and it would be a 'courtesy pick,'" Brown said. "Once Round 35 started, they started pushing my name as a courtesy pick. The Yankees want to build the relationship up.
"They kind of know they're probably not going to be able to get me (to sign with the organization as a late-round pick)," Brown added. "But it's the thought of saying, 'Congratulations, we think you're going to be a prospect to watch in three years.' It's more of a thank-you for me for all the communication we had and everything that led up to the draft. They're trying to build a connection and relationship for all their courtesy picks. ... Now I have a love for the Yankees I didn't have before. Three years from now, if they come in and (draft me) and don't offer me as much as I've been (hoping for), there's still that deep feeling in my heart that three years ago, they saw something that the other guys didn't."

See you in three years Nate. Remember this day because I know I will.

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