What Has Caused The Turn Around of the Yankees Farm System?
Realizing that Gambling in Drafts Only Works In Fantasy Sports
Mandatory Credit: MiLB.com
The Yankees have had a reputation of making bad draft choices in recent years, often taking chances on unpolished high school players or gambling on young stars that may not sign with the team after the draft (i.e. Current Pittsburgh Pirates’ ace Gerrit Cole). But the past couple drafts have seen the blueprint change. In the 2013 draft, the Yankees selected college outfielder Aaron Judge out of Fresno State and third baseman Eric Jagielo out of Notre Dame (Both in the first round). That same draft they took high school left-handed starter Ian Clarkin late in the first round.
Yeah, the Yankees fell into that old pattern with this one, but Clarkin’s selection came late in the first round after the selection of Judge and Jagielo, which lowers the risk and increases the possible reward. Also, Clarkin’s initial ranking placed him much higher up in the first round but his stock fell due to questions about whether or not he would sign with a team or go to college. When the Yankees did agree to sign him, baseball agreed they got away with a steal.
Has this draft class paidd off? In his first full professional season, Clarkin has gone 4-3 with a 3.12 ERA and 75 strikeouts, while Jagielo has batted .256 with 18 home runs and 58 RBI. Judge has turned himself into one of the premier prospects in the Yankees’ system, while raking in the minor leagues, batting .308 with 17 home runs and 78 RBI. The success of the 2013 picks have only been bolstered by this year’s new players including reliever Jacob Lindgren (2.16 with 48 K’s in 25 innings) and Mark Payton (.320 batting average with 4 home runs and 21 RBI in 48 games) both of whom were drafted out of college. It’s clear that this new crop of talent has come up big for the organization early on in their development.