The MLB Amateur Draft is on Monday. It’s kind of like Christmas in a way as we have no idea what the Yankees are going to get and we just have to wait and see what happens. But it’s a great time of the year where endless potential is abound and a whole lot of new talent is injected into the organization.
It takes place over three days starting on Monday with the 1st and supplemental rounds. The Yankees select 30th overall that day. The draft resumes on Tuesday and Wednesday with the final 49 rounds. The Yankees draft twice in the 2nd round, 89th and 94th overall.
The Yankees are at a disadvantage in the draft as they pick at the back end of every round. They will look for the best available player each time through, but the man in charge of the draft, Damon Oppenheimer, vice president of amateur scouting, explains that there is an additional challenge of trying to find the right type of player to fit into the Bronx environment.
“We’re always looking to get players who can play for the New York Yankees and not just be Major Leaguers,” Oppenheimer told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. “That is our shopping list, to see who can impact us. It’s not easy to be a Yankee, so sometimes we will take a little more risk to find somebody who can fit for us.
“There’s a big combination to be a guy that can play in New York. You have to be exceptionally talented, with high-end makeup and really special tools, because the guys that we have are guys that have All-Star potential and All-Star ceilings. We’re looking for somebody that can unseat one of those guys when it’s time.”
Things have changed a bit this season due to the new collective bargaining agreement as there will now be specific slot bonuses for each player where teams will incur large fines for exceeding those slots. The Yankees will actually have more money available in the 1st round than they’ve spent in each of the past two seasons, but they will not be able to flex their financial muscle in later rounds by signing as many sign-ability cases as possible.
In the first round this season, the Yankees have been linked to Joey Gallo, Duane Undersoon, D.J. Davis, Jose Berrios, Mitch Gueller, and Mitch Haniger so far by Keith Law. Hoch also named high school catcher Stryker Trahan, Texas A&M outfielder Junior Naquin, and high school righties Walker Weickel and Nick Travieso as possible targets if they are still on the board with the 30th overall pick.
The Yankees will take the player they feel is the best available, but as always expect them to target pitchers, catchers, shortstops, and centerfielders over corner positions.