Thursday, June 29, 2017

So it Seems the Yankees Could Have Had Clay Bellinger


Could you imagine a lineup that had some combination of the Los Angeles Dodgers star Cody Bellinger and the Yankees stars Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge hitting in the middle of it? Talk about that being the dream. Well according to a new report that was released this week that could have been a reality for the Yankees as the organization had a chance to draft Bellinger, son of former Yankee Clay Bellinger, during the 2013 MLB First Year Players Draft.

Before the 2013 MLB Draft the Yankees had Bellinger inside Yankee Stadium after inviting him to a pre-draft workout for some of the top amateur players. During the workout they had a game for the players and Bellinger hit a three-run home run to right field, the first home run Bellinger would ever hit inside of a big league park. The Yankees instead took LHP Ian Clarkin and Aaron Judge with their pair of first round picks in that draft passing on Bellinger. Instead the Dodgers took Bellinger in the fourth round with the 124th overall pick with what might soon be the steal of the draft.

All told the Yankees drafted Clarkin, Judge, Eric Jagielo who is still in Double-A within the Cincinnati Reds organization at last check, center fielder Michael O’Neill and second baseman Gosuke Katoh. Yeah, looking at that list hurts when you see what Bellinger has done thus far for the Dodgers in 2017.

In the Yankees defense every team passed over Bellinger at least three times, sometimes four times, during that draft and for good reason. Bellinger had just one home run during his senior season and didn’t show the pop that he has at the big league level. As a first baseman with little-to-no power you can see why teams would be weary of using an early draft pick on him. The Dodgers took the chance and the Dodgers caught lightning in a bottle. Say what you will about the Dodgers scouts and system being better than the Yankees, and it very well may be but not because they drafted Bellinger, but any team that drafted Bellinger did not expect him to be lighting the world on fire and being among the league leaders in home runs before the All-Star Break. Nobody.


One last thing before we go. Kris Bryant was also drafted in that draft class, ahead of Bellinger obviously, leading me to wonder if that draft class may go down as one of the best in recent memory when all the dust settles and when this trio stops hitting home runs. Food for thought on this Thursday. 

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