The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Yankees take another pitcher

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Jun 05, 2008 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Their second round pick (No. 75) was RHP Scott Bittle of Mississipi.

UPDATE, 7:28 p.m.: Here’s what Baseball America has to say on Bittle:

Taken by the Yankees in the 48th round of last year’s draft, Bittle elected not to sign and transferred to Ole Miss this season from Northwest Texas CC. He was thrown into the closer’s role for the Rebels and has dominated SEC hitters all season, putting up Nintendo type numbers. He has tallied an almost 5 to 1 K/BB ratio, striking out close to two batters per inning pitched.

Uncharacteristic for a closer, Bittle’s fastball is just an average pitch, with velocity between the 88-91 mph range. However, Bittle pitches mainly off his cut fastball — a devastating late breaking pitch in the mid-80s that has two-plane movement similar to a slider. Bittle is able to command this pitch down in the zone and creates a ton of swings and misses by starting it just above the knees and having it drop just below the strike-zone. He also effectively mixes in a changeup, freezing unsuspecting hitters.

At 6-foot-1, 212 pounds, and without an above-average fastball, Bittle does not fit the typical closer’s profile in the major leagues. He will most likely be a long relief or setup man in the pros. Once signed, he should move quickly as his command and stuff are close to major league ready.

———–

UPDATE, 7:36 p.m.: We’ll be back later with the list of picks from the first day. But clearly the Yankees focused on pitching early and took some chances on high-ceiling guys. Bittle sounds like somebody who could get in the mix quickly.

Yes, we went a little nuts on the draft today. But you won’t get a lot of information in the newspapers, so why not the blog? There also does seem to be a growing interest in player development among the fan base.

Hopefully the Yankees will make Damon Oppenheimer available tomorrow and we’ll hear what he has to say about their haul.

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