Damon Oppenheimer, the Yankees’ director of amateur scouting, was on a conference call with reporters prior to Wednesday night’s game discussing the 2012 draft. With the game starting soon after, there really wasn’t time to post his thoughts on first-round pick Ty Hensley and the draft as a whole until now.
The most noteworthy draft pick from a “hey, I recognize that name” standpoint was Jose Mesa Jr., the 18-year-old son of former Cleveland, Seattle, Philly and Pittsburgh closer Jose Mesa, whose 321 saves rank 14th all-time. The Yankees selected Mesa Jr. in the 24th round at 757th overall. He is a big, power righty from the Dominican who has pitched at Flanagan High School in Florida the last three years.
Mesa Jr. was among 21 pitchers drafted by the Yankees over the last three days. After the call, the Yankees published a complete breakdown of their draft picks, a group that included 27 college players and 14 high-schoolers. Here’s the breakdown by position:
Pitchers — 21 (14 RHP/7 LHP)
Catchers — 3
Infielders — 6
Outfielders — 11
Here’s Chad’s transcript of the Hensley conference call from yesterday. Now, here’s a transcript of the call with Oppenheimer:
On Hensley: “We’re really excited on this guy. He’s got the ideal pitcher’s body. He has a fastball that we’ve had up to 97 — it’s plus. He’s got a power curve ball. The guy’s really got good work ethic and makeup. We think we really have a chance at a guy who’s got a high ceiling here.”
On Hensley’s size and strength: “He’s a big durable guy. He’s in great shape. He’s big and strong. He’s not a lean guy who you have to worry about the toll of the innings. He has the durable look of guys who pitch at the top of the rotation.”
On if the Yankees expect to sign Hensley quickly: “I would think we’re going to get him done pretty soon. I would think we have a few technical things to take care of, but I think we’re in the ballpark on a lot of things to get things done. He wasn’t a signability guy. … We took him because he was the best guy on the board.”
On the draft as a whole: “We think it’s a good haul. We think we have a good group of guys. … I think it was a diverse group and a group that’s got talent. It should give us some guys who are going to impact the Yankees, whether it’s in New York or who are going to give us some depth in the organization.”