Yankees Sign Second Rounder Sam StaffordPosted: July 1, 2011
(The following post is being syndicated from New York’s Homegrown)
This morning, news broke that the Yankees had signed their second round draft pick Sam Stafford for $400,000, which is a little above slot. He was taken with the 88th overall pick out of the University of Texas as a left-handed starting pitcher.
I was a very big fan of this pick when it was announced because I would personally rather have a guy with a lot of upside rather than a safer guy and that is what Stafford is. A guy with a low-mid 90’s fastball who touches 96 and has a big power curve to go along with it from the left side will always have a lot of potential. He just needs to harness it and work on his command.
His fastball is his best pitch followed by his curveball which can be much tighter, but is still a solid strikeout pitch with some good depth. His worst pitch is his change-up, a pitch that he needs to improve upon if he hopes to be successful later in his career. As far as his delivery, not much needs to be changed because it is very smooth with not a lot of movement or any violent motion.
This past year for Texas, he tossed 81.1 innings, struck out 91, but walked 42 while pitching to a 1.77 ERA. These numbers show what Stafford truly is, a lefty with great stuff, but has control issues. He is still raw which is why a lot of people didn’t like the pick, but if Nardi Contreras and the rest of the Yankees organizational pitching coaches can help him out, his ceiling could be a 2-3 starter.
It will be interesting to see where the Yankees place him, but it will probably with Low-A Charleston since they just lost a bunch a guy with all the promotions that just went on. Where ever he does land, I will be keeping an eye on him because he could wind up being very, very good in a few years.
You can watch some video here.