Unsigned draftees: What happens to them?

Jonathan GrayTonight I was bored so I did a quick “where are they now?” of the unsigned 2010-2012 draft picks. By and large, the guys who went unsigned are either still out of baseball or have since been drafted by another team and haven’t done anything impressive so far.

There are six exceptions to that. Let me preface this by saying this is not a post whining about who the Yankees should have signed, but rather just data. It’s interesting to look at the guys the Yankees passed on, but we should all know quite well that every team passes on a gem every now and then.

1. RJ Hively, RHP – 26th round in 2010 – Re-drafted by the Diamondbacks in the 19th round of the 2012 draft, Hively has been quite impressive so far in his career as a reliever. He threw 59.2 innings this year and had 68 strikeouts and 33 saves. He pitched in both Low-A and High-A in 2013. Hively could be a guy we hear about in the near future, although he will already by 25 starting next season.

2. Kyle Hunter – LHP – 43rd round in 2010 – He was also drafted by Tampa Bay in the 33rd round in 2008. He was finally signed in 2011 after being drafted by the Seattle Mariners. He has been quite consistent for them. He’s thrown a total of 201.2 innings for them and has now reached Double-A. This season he threw 70 innings and had a 1.80 ERA over two levels with 55 K. He doesn’t seem to be much of¬† strikeout pitcher, but it’s always good to have another consistent relief arm in your system. Hopefully he’ll get a shot in the majors in a year or so and we’ll all get to see what could have been. Probably not hurting the Yankees too bad on this one despite his success.

3. Jonathan Gray, RHP – 10th round in 2011 – He went on the be the third overall pick in 2013 by the Rockies. A little known fact about him is that he was also drafted in 2010 by the Kansas City Royals. He did not disappoint in his first season, although brief. He pitched 37.1 innings and had a 1.93 ERA, eight walks, and 51 strikeouts. He spent most of his time in High-A, where he had a 0.75 ERA and 36 K in 24.0 innings after a brief stint in rookie ball to shake the cob webs. It sure would be nice to have him in the system now.

4. Jeremy Rathjen, OF – 41st round pick in 2011 – He went in the 11h round of the 2012 draft to the LA Dodgers. His first season he played in rookie ball and looked like a monster, but that’s likely because he was literally a man amongst boys. He was 22 years old playing against 18-19 year olds. He stole 16 bases and had nine homeruns in just 68 games. He hit .324/.443/.500/.943. Then as a 23 year old he was placed in Low-A, where he struggled more but still had some bright spots. He hit seven homeruns and stole 33 bases. His quad slash was .232/.337/.349/.686. He does appear to have a lot in the way of tools though, and I’m sure the Yankees wouldn’t mind having him in their system as a guy who has some good combined speed and power. No big loss here though.

5. Raph Rhymes, OF – 30th round pick in 2012 – Rhymes was drafted in the 15th round by the Tigers in 2013. He was able to amass a .296/.412/.379/.791 stat-line over two levels (Low-A and High-A) in 2013. He didn’t hit any homeruns and had seven stolen bases and was caught seven times. He did have 38 walks in 58 games though. I’m sure the Yankees don’t regret losing him too badly, reminds me a lot of a Taylor Dugas type.

6. Sherman Lacrus, C, OF – 40th round pick in 2012- Lacrus was drafted in the 27th round by the Texas Rangers in 2013. As a 19 year old in rookie ball, he was impressive. He hit .330/.440/.413/.854 with three homers, four doubles, and eight SB in his first year in the minors. He played in rookie ball. He’s young and versatile, although he’s a bit small at 5-foot-11. It will be interesting to see where his career goes for him. Hopefully he doesn’t make the Yankees regret overlooking him.

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2 Responses to Unsigned draftees: What happens to them?

  1. Snuffy Stirnweiss says:

    So Phil Hughes is now with the Royals? What did the Twins pull of a completely secret trade?

  2. gcorcoran says:

    oops… I got caught up in the rumors from a few weeks ago. Thanks for the correction.