So screw the major leagues. It's almost time for minor league baseball around these parts anyway and the draft is happening! Feel the excitement! Feel the total neglect for thousands of draftees who went on to accomplish nothing at the big league level!
The Yankees' first rounder this year was Blake Rutherford. I already had a card of his thanks to P-Town Tom's generosity and foresight. I also snatched a cool card on eBay to boot too.
Rutherford appears to be quite a catch. He's a 19 year old outfielder who projects to gain a lot of power as he develops. He can also be selective and offers line drive power to pretty much everywhere on the field. Defensively he's good enough to be a center fielder but some could see him moved to right field. If it all goes well it won't matter if he's moved to right on the count of his bat.
In a way it's rare that the Yankees went with a high school pick (Rutherford was held back one year) but as a guy who's had a ton of time in big events like the Team USA tournaments and was a top 10 draft-eligble prospect prior to the draft in many circles, he's a shot worth taking.
Of course he's yet another SoCal draftee so if you're a parent of an aspiring pro baseball player, move to SoCal. That way the Yankees'll notice you.
Admittedly one of my favorite things is the reaction the players, and their family and friends, make when they first get drafted. It's a pretty cool thing. I just love how genuinely excited everybody is for their friend/family member. Of course the smile on the draftee's face is priceless too. And thank goodness that we live in the age we live in, because otherwise we'd never be able to see this stuff.
So who else did the Yankees take yesterday?
Well in the second round they took Nick Solak (no cards yet). Solak's a pretty good hitter in his own right who profiles to have a high floor as a highly capable infielder (or outfielder given the logjam of infielders in the lower minors). Pretty decent bat with speed to boot. That said, he's obviously a pick the Yankees made to save money. Solak projected more as a third rounder at best. With this move the Yankees potentially saved hundreds of thousands of dollars to use for Rutherford. Make no mistake though, Solak's a pretty decent prospect too.
The draft party continues...this time for Nick Solak and the @Yankees! #L1C4 pic.twitter.com/ZEPHv5HTJC— Louisville Baseball (@UofLBaseball) June 10, 2016
Also there was a celebration video for Solak too.
How the rest of the draft plays out remains to be seen (it happens today and tomorrow) but considering how Rutherford's a high school grad with a commitment to UCLA, he's going to cost a fair bit of draft pool money (remember, teams have a limit on the total dollar amount they can give as bonuses to their draftees). And that in turn will have an effect on the draft as a whole as that limits their spending ability, as I already showed with Solak above. That doesn't mean that I think the rest of the Yankees draft will just be a bunch of hacks drafted for the sake of saving money. It just means the Yankees probably won't have enough wiggle room for the top (on paper) prospects left. I'd expect tons and tons of college hitters and pitchers who won't really cost that much in terms of bonuses.
So yeah, I'm excited for Rutherford and Solak and what the rest of the draft will bring the Yankees.
As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).