A Look At The DraftPosted: June 9, 2011
The 2011 MLB Amateur draft is now over and now it’s time to get the draftees to sign. Some will be harder than others, but most will sign. The Yankees had interesting philosophy in the first two days. They decided to go after power and corners. They do have a weakness in their system of these two things. Mark Newman referred to Brandon Laird as the only prospect who falls under this umbrella and he isn’t that much of a prospect.
Three of the first Yankee five picks were used to draft players that had power, size and played a corner. Dante Bichette Jr. was one of these as he currently plays third base, a position the Yanks think he can play because of his good hands and work ethic, but I think he will still wind up in left field.
Matthew Duran is another one who plays third and was taken out of a high school in New York. He has a lot of power and will probably move to an outfield corner. The last, who was taken with the Bombers fifth pick was Greg Bird, who was taken as a catcher, but will likely move to first base or corner outfield.
I’m not a huge fan of these three picks, but I’m not going to say it was a failure. The three players listed above all have good upside and have a lot of power, the one tool that is hardest to find nowadays. The other thing about these guys is that they were all drafted out of high school which means they are still pretty raw. The Yanks are gonna have to work on shortening swings so that these guy can put the bat on the ball more consistently.
Now on to my two favorite picks of the draft, neither of which fall under the umbrella I just talked about. Both are south paws with good stuff and were taken in the second and twentieth rounds. Sam Stafford is the first. Stafford was taken out the University of Texas and sits at around 92 with his fastball and has a curveball that has good 12-to-6 action on it. He didn’t really blossom until this past year and still doesn’t possess great control, but there is a lot of upside with him. If he can master control, he can be a very good prospect because a lefty sitting in the low 90’s is never easy to find.
The other pick I really liked was taking Daniel Camarena in the 20th round. Camarena is another south paw and he comes out of a high school in California. He sits at around 88-91 with his fastball, but apparently has well-developed off-speed stuff. He features a good curveball and a very good change up. A lefty at 18 who features three legitimate pitches is hard to find so I’m glad the Yankees snatched him up.
So there’s my take on things. I don’t know a lot about the player taken in rounds 30-50 so I’m not gonna try to act like I know what I’m saying, but a lot of those are just filler for the Gulf Coast League and Single A anyway. This draft wasn’t going to be a great one for the Yankees from the start because of the Soriano signing, but I’m still happy they were able to make a few good picks.