Yankees: A look ahead at Monday’s amateur draft selections

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports /

The Yankees, it could well be said, might have a difficult time in deciding where they have holes to fill in the June Amateur Draft scheduled to begin on Monday. But they will pick players when their turns come around. Who might they be?

The Yankees, like many teams, when they have a choice will default to pitching as a primary target when it comes to landing future major league talent. This, despite the propensity of pitchers, to develop career-threatening injuries before the ink is dry on the contracts they sign.

The Yankees are looking to uncover a hole in their farm system that is not covered by players who are, not only well on their way to the majors, but are potentially blocked by others already with spots on the team for years to come.

Given that it is not like the team has that glaring a hole to fill, this might mean that the likely choice of the Yankees this year is to go for pitching and hope for the best.

But let’s see what the prognosticators are saying the Yankees will do when their turn comes around on Monday. Here’s the take by Baseball America:

16. Yankees

New York has been linked to college arms all spring, but it also could go for the right college bat. If Keston Hiura were fully healthy, he’d fit at 15 or 16, but both those teams have history of voiding or not signing players due to medical issues. Hiura either fits higher, such as with the Angels at 10, or he may start to slip a bit.

Pick: Griffin Canning, rhp, UCLA |

Oh, and by the way, the Yankees pick at #16 has a value of a signing bonus worth about $3.5 million. So that’s one for a top line pitcher after looking at a pretty good college bat. Let’s look at another predictor.

Meanwhile, highly respected Brett Borzelli of Pinstripe Alley has a different take on the Yankees 54th overall pick in the draft, placing Griffin Canning behind these players, and even entirely removed from his lit of the Top Ten the Yankees should consider drafting in 2017.

  1. Luke Heimlich, LHP, Oregon State
  2. Brent Rooker, 1B, Mississippi State
  3. Brian Miller, OF, North Carolina
  4. Stuart Fairchild, OF, Wake Forest
  5. Gavin Sheets, 1B, Wake Forest
  6. Jacob Heatherly, LHP, Cullman (AL) HS
  7. Wil Crowe, RHP, South Carolina
  8. Corbin Martin, RHP, Texas A&M
  9. Kevin Merrell, 2B/SS, South Florida
  10. Jeter Downs, SS, Monsignor Edward Pace (FL) HS

And if you want a little clue as to how these guys stand in the world of baseball, Brian Miller is the only one of these players to be highlighted, meaning he is the one being tracked by Baseball Reference.

The whole process is a crapshoot

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So, if nothing less, the whole process amounts to a crapshoot, especially since selecting a player is only the first step leading to the eventual signing of the player you pick.

Borzelli’s list, for instance, includes two high school players who have yet to decide if they will go directly into the pros or pursue a college education that adds four years of baseball to their resume.

Of course, the choice for them at this point is, do I risk the chance of injury at some time over the next three or four years and the possible end of my career – or do I take the money and run now?

No doubt, the Yankees team of scouts is working double overtime this weekend in trying to sort out an infinite number of possibilities before the team makes its choice on Monday and throughout the next two days as the rounds compound and the number of players selected reaches into the hundreds.

And just as an eye-opening reminder, Aaron Judge was originally selected by the Oakland A’s in the 31st round of the June 2010 draft. And Gary Sanchez, who was never selected in the amateur draft, was signed as a free agent by the Yankees in 2009.

With all that in mind though, Yanks Go Yard will keep you posted as to what the Yankees do between now and Wednesday when the amateur draft concludes.