In last night’s first two rounds of the amateur draft, the Yankees took a pretty wide mix of players. Their first choice was a fairly polished college hitter, and their last first-rounder was a fairly raw high school pitcher. They took an outfielder with extreme power potential, and an infielder with a small-ball approach.
“We think we had a great first day,“ amateur scouting director Damon Oppenheimer said in a released statement. “I’m excited and the staff is excited. We feel really good about what happened for us today.”
The draft resumes this afternoon with rounds 3-10, and it will conclude with rounds 11-40 on Saturday. You can get basic scouting reports on top picks from either MLB.com or Baseball America (or several other sites). Here are the basics on the four guys the Yankees drafted last night.
3B Eric Jagielo
Left-handed hitter who put up good numbers in the wood bat Cape Cod League last summer. There seems to be some question about whether he can stick at third base, but he has a fairly advanced bat, and Baseball America notes that he improved his defense and his plate discipline this season. As far as late first-round picks go, Jagielo seems like a fairly safe choice because he’s a little older, a pretty good hitter across the board, and has had success with wood bats.
Oppenheimer: “Eric Jagielo is a physical, left-handed hitter with plus power. He performed well in Cape Cod, and shows a good combination of plate discipline and power.”
OF Aaron Judge
This guy is huge at 6-foot-7 and roughly 250 pounds (I’ve seen the exactly number listed differently on different sites). He’s another guy who had some Cape Cod success last summer, Judge seems like more a risk-reward player than Jagielo. As you might expect from a guy this big, he’s struck out a lot and there certainly seems to be some uncertainty about whether his raw power will play. He’s been a center fielder, but a guy that big just screams right fielder, doesn’t he?
Oppenheimer: “Aaron Judge is a big man, and obviously a great-bodied athlete who has a high upside. He can run, he has a good work ethic, he can throw and has the potential to be a five-tool guy with some size and strength.”
LHP Ian Clarkin
Madison High School
An 18 year old who throws 92 mph — and according to Baseball America, gets up to 94 mph — from the left side, which leaves a pretty easy answer to what there is to like about him. Baseball America’s scouting report says his curveball isn’t consistent, but it can be a legitimately sharp breaking ball. He also has a changeup with potential. As with most high school pitchers, there’s some work to be done, but he’s also a powerful left-hander with some upside. Most definitely a wait-and-see kind of guy.
Oppenheimer: “Ian Clarkin has a combination of the things we were looking for. He is a left-handed pitcher with plus velocity and has a plus curveball. On top of that, he’s a tireless worker. We think we got something special with him.”
Rancho Bernardo High School
The first line of MLB.com’s scouting report sums it up: “Katoh is the rare high school second baseman who is regarded as a legitimate prospect.” Most legitimate high school infielders are shortstops, maybe third basemen, but Katoh seems to be limited to second base because he doesn’t have a great arm. At the plate, he’s been a good contact hitter with speed, and Baseball America notes that he has “sneaky strength” that led to improved power this year. He’s committed to UCLA, and Baseball America tabbed him as a “tough sign” who could follow through on college.
Oppenheimer: “We were excited to get this guy in the second round. On our scale, he’s an excellent runner with great hand-eye coordination who can hit with some surprising power. He’s a really good defender, and someone that excites us.”
Photo of Jagielo from und.com