The annual amateur draft starts tomorrow and the first round will be televised on ESPN2.
For people who have covered baseball a long time, that is almost comical.
There was a time, not so long ago, when baseball refused to say what round any player had been selected. They thought that information could be used by agents to negotiate better deals. The draft was some big secret
I used to work at a small paper in Connecticut and when a local high school or college kid was drafted, we used to have to plead with the area scout to tell us what round it was. Sometimes you would get answers like, “in the mid 30s” or “after the 25th round.”
It was only weeks later when he complete draft order would be revealed. Now everything is on the internet the second it happens and the first round is on television.
If you some exact details, check out this primer from Baseball America.
As for the Yankees, they have the 30th pick then do not select again until 94. This is because the “sandwich round” of compensation picks is so large this year.
Brian Cashman lets scouting director Damon Oppenheimer run the draft from Tampa but the GM does have a say. The Yankees went with high-ceiling college pitchers in the early rounds last season and high-ceiling players with signability issues in later rounds. Expect more of the same. The Yankees, finally, are flexing their financial muscles in the draft.
Don’t believe anything you read about what player the Yankees would or want to take. Nobody knows because the draft is so unpredictable. Evaluating baseball talent is so subjective – far more so than basketball or football. Small market teams also regularly pass on better players to take kids they know they can sign.
If I had to guess, and this is a total guess, the Yankees would be happy if University of Florida first baseman Matt LaPorta if he fell to them. But there are so many pitchers who could fall to them at 30 including Connecticut high school stud Matt Harvey.