Could Zambrano be a real target?

Yesterday, we heard the Yankees linked–though it was obviously a fabricated link–to someone they’ve been linked to before: Carlos Zambrano. Two Chicago writers penned scenarios that would send Big Z to the Yankees.

Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago thinks the Cubs could get Joba Chamberlain or Brett Gardner for Zambrano, but that’s an absolute joke. There’s no way the Yankees would do that, and the MLBTR article says that, too. The only way Zambrano comes to the Yankees is going to be if the Cubs are doing a straight salary dump. He’s scheduled to make $17.875M this year, is guaranteed $18M in 2012, with a vesting option for 2013 worth $19.25M “1) he is first or second in 2011 Cy Young vote or if he finishes in top 4 in 2012 Cy Young vote and 2) he is healthy at end of 2012” (Cot’s).

That’s…ugly. But, since we’re trying to be fair, let’s look at the numbers.

Zambrano’s strikeouts are down to 6.02 (8.12 in 2010, 7.63 career), but so are the walks at 2.80 (4.04 career). His groundball rate is trending downwards, which is not encouraging, but he’s doing a good job of keeping the ball in the park with a HR/FB% at 5.6, which is about what it’s been in the last few years. His ERA/FIP/xFIP line is more or less fine at 3.98/3.57/4.12 as well.

The numbers match up and if the Cubs were willing to get nothing but money and a very, very, very minor prospect in return this might make sense, if not for the contract. That contract is just absolutely awful and regardless of the small prospect price, the Yankees need to just say no to Zambrano. Not only is the idea that Levine floated incredibly unrealistic, but so is any trade involving Zambrano to the Yankees (or probably anyone for that matter).

Why bother writing about this, then? Well, because things like this need to be nipped in the bud immediately. Obviously it doesn’t matter that much since the guys that matter don’t pay attention to this stuff, but the more writers that run with things, the more legs things like these get in the rest of the media/blogosphere and that’s just frustrating. As friend of the blog Joe Pawlikowski likes to say your trade proposal sucks.

Maybe baseball needs to grow up

I’m pretty clear about my antipathy for the “unwritten rules” surrounding beanball wars (so is Craig, for that matter), and this is a good illustration of why I simply can’t get behind the barbarism involved in this part of the culture of baseball. The other day, another pitcher on the same team hit Harper with a pitch. I can’t find anything definitive on it, but the implication of most reports is that it was intentional, and frankly that’s what I’m inclined to believe. Prospects with Harper’s talent and hype get targeted pretty frequently in the minor leagues, so it shouldn’t be shocking that people might be going after the #1 prospect in baseball.

But there’s something very strange about our conception of “maturity” here. After all, how mature is it to throw a 90+ MPH fastball into someone’s ribs because they insulted you? If I violently assaulted someone to the point of breaking their ribs simply because they insulted me, I’d be going to jail, likely for an extended period of time. But in baseball, not only does this not get you in trouble, it’s celebrated. I’d be willing to wager money that, if Harper was intentionally hit, the opposing manager totally condoned it. Heck, he may have even lauded it! And then we say that the person getting hit with the potentially dangerous object is the one who needs to grow up while the guy acting like a violent toddler is “respecting the game.”

The whole thing strikes me as absurd, childish, and barbaric. Yes, Bryce Harper needs to grow up a little bit, but Bryce Harper is an insanely talented 18 year old kid. He can be forgiven his brashness and arrogance a bit because, well, because he’s 18 years old. The proper response to his behavior is discipline from his coach, the Nationals organization, or even the governing authority if they feel it’s appropriate. Throwing a fastball into his ribs because he insulted you is assault, plain and simple. And I refuse in any way to endorse a “sporting culture” that acts like Bryce Harper is History’s Greatest Monster for being an immature teenager while condoning pitchers assaulting hitters with potentially dangerous weapons because someone hurt their fee-fees.

Yankees got the guy they wanted

And that pretty much matches up with all of his scouting reports. Even though he’s been a shortstop in high school, the kid profiles as a corner defender due to lack of range, though his arm grades well. Offensively, everyone agrees that he’s got good raw power, but they also agree that his contact skills aren’t great, and that his swing will need quite a bit of work for him to succeed as a professional. On some level that makes him a risky pick, but on the other hand his work ethic and makeup have been universally praised, and that’s a pretty good sign when the pick has a lot of work to do.

Ultimately I think most of the disappointment about the pick stems more from the players they didn’t pick than from Bichette. Outfielder Josh Bell and pitchers Dillon Howard  and Daniel Norris, all in Baseball America’s top 31 prospects, were all available when the Yankees picked. I personally was hoping for Bell, the 5th best hitter in the draft according to Baseball America’s rankings, so there was a bit of shock and awe when Bichette’s name was announced. Keep in mind, however, that everyone else passed on those players as well, and the Rays and Red Sox both passed on them multiple times. That’s a pretty good sign that teams regard these players as very difficult signs, and everyone is more inclined to wait until today to secure the right to negotiate with them. Picking players in the baseball draft isn’t quite as straight-forward as it is in the NFL draft.

And if nothing else, keep in mind that the odds are stacked against anyone succeeding from the 51st pick. According to Baseball Reference, after likely Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, the next best player drafted 51st overall in terms of career bWAR is Frank Duffy at 6.7. Only six player have ever been drafted with the pick and gone on to post a positive bWAR. Only eleven players have reached the big leagues after being taken with the pick. So really, whomever they picked would have been far from a sure thing to ever contribute in the Bronx.

At the end of the day, the Yankees drafted the player they wanted, a player about whom there are things to like, and who will probably sign for slot-money. That’s not so bad, even if we were all surprised by things last night.


Yankees vs. Red Sox III: What happens when the two best teams in the American League stop being polite, and start getting real?

(photo c/o Getty Images)

The Yankees and Red Sox kick off tonight’s three-game set at Yankee Stadium with two of the best records in the American League and the Yankees in first place, one game up on Boston. The Yankees are a rather woeful 1-5 against their archrivals thus far this season, although for anyone overly concerned about this performance one simply needs to recall the Bombers’ panic-inducing 0-8 start against the Sox in 2009 that ultimately turned into a 9-9 finish.

Not that the two teams’ early season games aren’t important — they most certainly are — but historically the Red Sox have made something of a habit of beating up on the Yankees in the first half of a given season before the Yankees turn the tables and return the favor from July onward. That being said, it would be nice to see the Yankees make something of a statement this week against the Sox — who have thoroughly outplayed the Bombers in their head-to-head matchups this season — especially after the Sox administered the first-ever three-game sweep of the Yankees in New Yankee Stadium last month amidst New York’s ugliest stretch of the season.

Both teams have played extremely well since the Yankees took their lumps from Boston at home in mid-May — the Yankees have gone 13-6, while the Sox have been even better, at 13-5. The Red Sox have done it with beastly hitting — their team wOBA of .367 over the last two weeks was not only the second-best mark in the AL during that time, but their hot-hitting has finally brought Boston into a tie with the Yankees for top team wOBA in the AL on the season, with both teams sporting a .344 mark — while the Yankees have primarily done it with pitching, as the staff has posted an AL-best 2.91 ERA and 3.33 FIP over the last 14 days.

That’s not to say that either team has struggled on the other side of their respective ledgers — Boston’s pitching staff boasts the 4th-lowest FIP (3.78) in the AL during the last two weeks, although it hasn’t entirely matched up with the results (4.12 ERA), while the Yankees’ .343 wOBA during the last two weeks was also coincidentally 4th-best in the AL and basically right in line with how they’ve been hitting all season.

It’ll be interesting to see how both offenses fare going forward — Boston’s offensive attack obviously started out in a putrid slump during their 0-6 debut, but they have since pounded the ball seemingly better than anyone. The Yankees have seen their team wOBA decline from April, a month that saw them rake at a .355 clip. A quick glance at the two teams’ most commonly used lineups looks like this:

Red Sox wOBA Yankees wOBA
Jacoby Ellsbury .369 Derek Jeter .297
Dustin Pedroia .321 Curtis Granderson .407
Adrian Gonzalez .409 Mark Teixeira .394
Kevin Youkilis .383 Alex Rodriguez .374
David Ortiz .427 Robinson Cano .360
Carl Crawford .299 Nick Swisher .311
Jed Lowrie .330 Jorge Posada .286
J.D. Drew .295 Russell Martin .358
Jarrod Saltalamacchia .316 Brett Gardner .317
Unweighted Avg. .350 Unweighted Avg. .345

By this relatively unscientific measure,the Sox would appear to have the slightly more potent lineup at the moment (interestingly enough, the discrepancy between the two isn’t all that different from the quick-and-dirty side-by-side comparison of the two teams’ Bill James preseason rojections), though now that Carl Crawford has finally remembered he’s Carl Crawford, the Sox’s advantage on offense is almost certainly larger than just .005 points of wOBA. Much as it pains me to admit, unless Jeter and Posada miraculously rediscover their once-potent forms, Boston will probably have a better offense for the remainder of the 2011 season.

In tonight’s opener, Jon Lester does battle with Freddy Garcia (3.34 ERA/4.44 FIP/4.04 xFIP). Lester has been surprisingly un-Lester-like this season (3.94 ERA/4.21 FIP/3.52 xFIP), which appears to be primarily due to the near-doubling of his HR/9 from last season. He’s also lost one strikeout per nine, but is still fanning more than 8 men per nine innings, while also boasting a 52% GB% and a shiny 80% strand rate. The Yankees got to him for four surprising runs last time out but as you’ll recall still managed to lose that game. Given Lester’s historical dominance of the Yankees, they’ll be lucky to notch even half that amount this time out. Sweaty Freddy has been as good as one could have hoped for so far this season, but he’ll clearly have his work cut out for him in this mismatch.

The one game the Yankees absolutely must figure out a way to win this week is Wednesday’s contest, in which they face longtime nemesis Tim Wakefield (4.40 ERA/4.66 FIP/4.72 xFIP), making the start in place of Clay Buchholz, who owned the Yankees last time out. While Wake and his knuckleball certainly have the ability to shut the Yankee offense down, historically he’s had some trouble with the Bombers, as his 4.90 career ERA against them is his third-worst mark against American League opponents. The Yankees counter with the continually enigmatic A.J. Burnett (3.86 ERA/4.48 FIP/4.00 xFIP), who hasn’t seen Boston yet this season. Despite pitching reasonably well, Burnett hasn’t exactly been dominant this season and is still prone to the one-blowup-inning —  I will be surprised if Burnett’s able to keep the Red Sox offense in check. This game seems destined to be decided by bullpen.

The finale is the third face-off this season of both team’s aces, as CC Sabathia will try to exact some measure of revenge against a resurgent Josh Beckett, who has beaten Sabathia in both of their previous showdowns. In fact, Beckett has yet to allow a run to the Yankees this season, having thrown 14 straight scoreless innings against them. For as nice a season as Beckett is having — 2.01 ERA/2.91 FIP/3.67 xFIP, 2.1 fWAR — you have to figure the Yankees will finally break that scoreless stretch. Sabathia’s obviously been no slouch himself this season — 2.80 ERA/2.96 FIP/3.51 xFIP, 2.5 fWAR — and truly, the only major blemishes on his ledger are his two starts against Boston, and so between the Yankees being due to finally score on Beckett and CC seemingly due for a strong outing against Boston, hopefully this game tilts in the Yankees’ favor.

Once these games do get to the teams’ respective relief corps’, it’ll be interesting to see who breaks first, as the Yankees and Red Sox boast two of the stronger ‘pens in the league, ranking #1 and #2 respectively in FIP. That being said, to date the Yankee bullpen has been just a tad better at preventing runs, with a tidy 2.78 ERA compared to the Boston relievers’ 4.26 mark, and has also accumulated the second-highest WPA in the AL — 2.48 — compared to Boston’s 0.72.

With both teams playing some of their best baseball of the season, this is going to be a very tough series, but the Yankees — between having home-field advantage and also perhaps slight starting pitching advantages in two of the three games — really should take two of three this week.

A Quick Look at Dante Bichette, Jr.

At twelve years old, Bichette, Jr was making headlines in the 2005 Little League World Series, and he has not slowed down since.  Interestingly, Bichette could easily have chosen another sport for his future, but it is not football or basketball like you might typically expect.  Instead, it was tennis that seemed to be Bichette’s calling.  At fourteen he was ranked in the top 100 for 18 and under in the United States Tennis Association. Still, his first love was baseball and he chose to pursue it instead.

Bichette comes out of Orangewood Christian High School in Florida, where he has played shortstop and third.  He has been named All-Central Florida Player of the Year twice now and had ten homers and 40 RBIs this season.  He hits for average, but has more power than his father.  Bichette’s got great bat speed, but his mechanics will need to be adjusted.  He appears to have learned some of his father’s hitting techniques.  Defensively, analysts have said he is unlikely to stick at short and will end up either at third or in the outfield.  This is primarily due to Bichette’s lack of range, he has a solid and accurate throwing arm.

As Bichette flew under a lot of radars, there is not a ton of information on him, though I am sure there will be more in the morning.  This does seem similar to last year’s Cito Culver pick, as the Yankees appear to have taken a kid far earlier than he was projected, but there are some things to like about him.  By all accounts he has a solid work ethic and even has a leg up on some kids, knowing what professional baseball can be like.  Bichette has some strong tools, but he is young and is not a player you will be seeing in the Bronx anytime soon.



2011 Round 1S Pick: Dante Bichette Jr.

With the 51st pick in the 2011 draft, the Yankees surprised many by selecting outfielder Dante Bichette Jr from Orangewood Christian High School in Orlando.  Bichette Jr has great major league bloodlines, as is the son of Dante Bichette, who played 14 seasons in the major leagues and posted a career .299/.336/.499 line, including a ridiculous .340.364/.620 season in 1995.  Bichette Jr, well built at 6’1″ 215, put up great numbers this season (albeit against high school competition), batting .640 with 10 homers and 15 steals, though you would expect a high draft pick to dominate high school competition.  He also starred in the Little League World Series in 2005, and was once a nationally-ranked tennis player.  Bichette is committed to play college baseball at Georgia, though I imagine that he will be signable.

Although Bichette plays infield in high school, a move to an outfield corner is expected due to his lack of exceptional range.  He should be athletic enough to handle an outfield postition, with a solid throwing arm.  Like his father, Bichette’s strongest tool is his bat, with a solid hit tool and plenty of raw power.  He’s also considered to be an exceptionally hard worker, spending many hours at the cage working on perfecting his swing.  This dedication is a sign of strong makeup, which often goes along with having a relative who played the game for many years.  He at times gets too power-happy according to the scouting reports, so he’ll fit in nicely in the Yankee organization (zing!).  At times his swing gets inconsistent, which is something he’ll have to workon as a pro.  Bichette’s ceiling is a powerful middle of the order bat who will be an average defender in left field, with the athleticism to steal a few bases here and there.  However, his future value will be very tied up in his bat due to his likely location in an outfield corner.

The pick was somewhat of a surprise because nobody had any idea he was on the Yankees’ radar.  Several first round talents were available, in the form of Josh Bell, Daniel Norris, and Dillon Howard.  Baseball America had Bichette ranked at the #108 prospect in the draft class, and he did not crack Frankie Piliere’s top 100.  Going by the rankings, Bichette looks like a bit of an overdraft, but clearly the Yankees were not afraid to buck conventional wisdom and take the guy they liked best (as they did with Cito Culver last year).  A lot of people will be upset at this one, but I am definitely intrigued by Bichette’s talents.  The Yankees could certainly use more power bats in the system, and to add one with a great work ethic and major league bloodlines is a nice bonus.  I wonder if he would have been available in the 2nd round, but clearly the Yankees took the guy they liked, and I can’t argue with that.  Bichette likely won’t be an exceptionally expensive sign, which will leave the Yankees plenty of cash to take some tough signs in the middle rounds.  Hopefully he’ll sign early and get most of a GCL season in like Culver did last year.
Here’s what the Yankees’ vice president of amateur scouting Damon Oppenheimer had to say about Bichette (via press release): “Dante is one of the guys in this draft we thought had an impact bat and the potential to hit for big power in the middle of the order.”  “He’s someone with an advanced makeup and work ethic who possesses the desire and drive to be a special major leaguer.” 

The draft continues tomorrow beginning at noon with rounds 2-30, and can be viewed online at  We will have another live chat with a number of authors and commenters participating, so feel free to stop by and share your thoughts or just check out what we’re thinking.  Thanks for everyone who participated in the live chat tonight, it was a great time.  There are definitely some interesting talents available tomorrow, including the aforementioned Bell, Norris, and Howard, as well as Oregon C Andrew Susac, HS C Austin Hedges, and several outfielders from my Big Board (Derek Fisher, Granden Goetzman, William Jerez).  Matt Purke is lurking as well, though he may fall far.  It should be another fun draft day to follow, and I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on how far the tough signs fall.

Dante’s apparently also on Twitter, so follow away you creepers.

2011 Draft Live Chat: Day 1

We’ve got some great coverage planned here at TYA for this year’s amateur draft. We’ll have live chats going while teams are picking, and will quickly provide information and analysis about the Yankee draft picks. Starting at 7 pm, join us here for a live chat. We’ll have a 30-40 new potential Yankees to talk about this time on Wednesday.

The 2011 MLB Rule 4 Draft

(7:04 P.M.) The Pirates are officially on the clock.

(7:16) First two picks in and we’ve already got a surprise. Gerrit Cole did indeed go first overall to Pittsburgh, and Seattle then surprised everyone by taking Virginia left-hander Danny Hultzen 2nd overall.

(7:19) Arizona takes Trevor Bauer of UCLA 3rd overall.

(7:25) The Orioles take Oklahoma high school pitcher Dylan Bundy.

(7:27) Was it me or was Gerrit Cole’s explanation of why he didn’t go with the Yankees before a bit lame?  He said it wasn’t his time and then rambled a bit.  It seemed like even he didn’t know why he didn’t at least listen to an offer.  (Tamar)

(7:32) The first position player is off the board, as the Royals have selected high school outfielder Bubba Starling. This could be the first difficult sign of the draft too, as Starling could be headed to the University of Nebraska to play football. (Brien)

(7:37) Anthony Rendon, who many projected to go second, is now off the board as the Washington Nationals take the Rice third baseman.  THere was some question over his medicals, as he has had a couple ankle surgeries along with a shoulder injury.  Happy 21st birthday to him as well.  (Tamar)

(7:43) Arizona takes Archie Bradley, a right-handed pitcher out of high school in Oklahoma.  He could be headed to the University of Oklahoma to play quarterback, but after seeing how excited he and his family were it looks like will be playing baseball.  (Tamar)

(7:47) The Cleveland Indians take the top ranked shortstop in the draft, Francisco Lindor out of Florida.  The switch hitting infielder is just seventeen, turning eighteen in November.  Lindor is committed to Florida State. (Tamar)

(7:53) We get back-to-back Florida shortstops, as the Chicago Cubs take Javier Baez.  (Tamar)

(7:59) Another middle infielder off the board as the Padres take Cory Spangenberg, a second baseman out of Indian River State College in Florida.  He has a verbal commitment to University of Miami. (Tamar)

(8:06) The Houston Astros take New Britain, CT native and UConn Husky outfielder George Springer with pick number 11.  (Tamar)

(8:11) The Milwaukee Brewers take RHP Taylor Jungman from the University of Texas.  (Tamar)

(8:16) The Mets take the State of Wyoming’s highest draft pick ever, as they choose Brandon Nimmo from Cheyenne East High School.  The interesting part of this story is that there isn’t high school baseball in Wyoming so he had to get noticed playing Legion baseball.  (Tamar)

(8:22) Another interesting story with the Florida Marlins’ pick.  They take Tampa, Florida RHP Jose Fernandez.  He was caught trying to flee Cuba when he was younger, arrested and told he would never be able to play baseball again.  He later defected and is now a first round draft pick. (Tamar)

(8:27) Milwaukee takes another pitcher, as they pick Jed Bradley out of Georgia Tech.  Bradley is a big southpaw listed as 6’4 and 224 lbs. (Tamar)

(8:33) The Los Angeles Dodgers take LHP Chris Reed out of Stanford University. (Tamar)

(8:39) The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim take C.J. Cron out of the University of Utah.  He’s a big (6’4, 235 lbs) first baseman who hits for power. (Tamar)

(8:44) With the 18th pick in the draft, Oakland takes Sonny Gray, a RHP out of Vanderbilt University. (Tamar)

(8:52) Another Connecticut native and UConn Husky goes, as the Red Sox take Matt Barnes a lanky right-handed pitcher.  (Tamar)

(9:07) Apologies, had to run out for a second.  The Rockies took LHP Tyler Anderson out of Oregon with the 20th pick.  The Blue Jays took Tyler Beede, a RHP out of Lawrence Academy in Massachusetts and St. Louis took second baseman Kolten Wong from Hawaii.

(9:13) The Nationals used their second pick of the round to take RHP Alex Meyer out of Kentucky. (Tamar)

(9:19) The Tampa Bay Rays take RHP Tyler Guerrieri, a high schooler out of South Carolina whose fastball has touched 98 mph.  That leaves the Yankees as the only AL East team who has not made a pick in the draft yet. (Tamar)

(9:23) Goodness gracious, the Nationals have really put a lot of high end talent into their organization. Over the past three seasons, the Nationals have drafted Strasburg, Bryce Harper (basically the consensus #1 prospect in baseball right now) and now the best hitter in this draft plus a quality arm in Myers. The crew down there is doing a heck of a job. (Brien)

(9:29) With their second first round pick, the Red Sox take high school catcher Blake Swihart. Given the state of catching in that organization, I won’t be shocked if they’ve got him signed by the end of business tomorrow and starting behind the plate in Fenway this month. (Brien)

(9:36) The Reds pick up Robert Stephenson, a RHP from California. (Tamar)

(9:44) The Braves use their first pick of the draft to take Sean Gilmartin, a southpaw from Florida State. (Tamar)

(9:47) San Francisco goes with a middle infielder whose favorite infielder is Derek Jeter.  Joe Panik is coming out of St. John’s College in New York. This was a bit of surprise, as Panik didn’t look like he was going to go this early. (Tamar)

(9:54) The Twins take Levi Michael, a shortstop out of UNC-Chapel Hill.  He is a switch hitting shortstop. (Tamar)

(9:58) This now turns into the Tampa Bay Rays show… (Tamar)

(9:59) If you’re keeping score at home, the Rays just took Mike Mahtook, an outfielder from LSU, with the pick they got from the Yankees. His offensive tolls aren’t extremely well rated, and his biggest attributes are his intangibles if you listen to the MLB Network analysts, which is a nice way of saying he doesn’t really stand out. Still, it will be interesting to watch this guy develop. (Brien)

(10:05) With their third pick of the evening, the Rays take Jake Hager, a shortstop from Las Vegas who has committed to Arizona State. (Tamar)

(10:12) Bud Selig just cracked a “Joe Torre can’t do anything without Don Zimmer” joke. I laughed.

(10:18) Only 60 seconds per pick in the compensation round, so no more pick by pick updates. Sit tight, the Yankees will be up before you know it. Until then, Tamar and I will be entertaining you with our insight and biting wit. (Brien)

(10:19) The Nationals have picked 3 Boras clients with their first three picks in the draft. Boras and Rizzo, total BFF’s.

(10:24) There goes one of the possible picks for the Yankees as the Rays nab Brandon Martin, a shortstop from Cali.  (Tamar)

(10:26) Ok, I let it go through the first round, but I can’t hold back any more; MLB Network’s draft coverage is absolutely terrible! And I know I bag on them a lot, but this is just embarrassing. Harold Reynolds thinks literally everyone is a “great player,” John Hart has graded approximately 171 guys as top-15 talent, and Greg Amsinger is acting like a total clown. Just totally embarrassing. But at least there’s no Mitch Williams I guess. (Brien)

(10:30) You took the words right out of my mouth, Brien!  Harold Reynolds kills me. I want to know if he wanders around his house alone shouting out people’s names. (Tamar)

(10:36) The Rays take Tyler Goeddel at 41st overall. This was a guy a lot of people might fall to the Yankees, and his hit tool graded out very well. I know Mike Axisa of RAB was particularly enamored with him. But, alas, Tampa Bay grabs him 10 picks ahead of the Yankees. (Brien)

(10:40) Five more picks until the Yankees finally get to go!  Who’s excited? (Tamar)

(10:49) Lee Mazzilli just announced the Yankees’ first pick of the 2011 draft.  They take Dante Bichette, Jr. who is committed to Georgia, but will almost certainly sign with the Yankees. (Tamar)

(10:52) I do not really care for this pick, and judging from the instant reaction on Twitter, no one else does either. Honestly, other than that I don’t really even know what to say about it. It’s even more puzzling than the Cito Culver pick was last year. (Brien)

(11:04) And with a nice moment between Joe Torre and Don Zimmer, that’s it for the televised portion of the 2011 draft. Be sure to check back tomorrow for more information on Dante Bichette Jr., and of course updates on the rest of the Yankees’ picks. I expect there will be at least a couple of intriguing guys picked by the Bombers tomorrow. (Brien)

Draft Prediction

The first round of the MLB rule 4 draft begins tonight at 7. Sometime around 10:30 or 11, the Yankees should be on the clock with the 51st selection in the draft, awarded to them when Javier Vazquez did not accept arbitration as a type B free agent. The past few weeks I’ve previewed outfielders, corner infielder, middle infielders, catchers and pitchers who may be available in the supplemental round. Here’s who I think the Yankees will take tonight.

Tyler Goeddel, St. Francis HS, Mountain View California

Bats/Throws: R/R

6’4”, 175 lbs

I first wrote about Goeddel while previewing outfielders that could be available in the supplemental round. He was mentioned again when the rumor came across from Frankie Piliere that the Yankees were interested in him. Here’s why I think he’s the selection. The Rays and Red Sox both have multiple picks and the early word is they’re going to be big spenders. Traditional prospects requiring a lot of money to sign are high school seniors who demand large bonuses to keep them away from college. While I would like other prospects to fall and make it to 51, I don’t think it’s in the cards this year. Additionally, Goeddel fits with the “Oppenheimer profile” very well. He’s an athletic, a bit raw but plays an up the middle position and has plenty of tools.

Goeddel is the son of a famous biotech engineer and the brother of Mets prospect Erik Goeddel. He has a quick swing with above average bat speed and the ability to keep the barrel in the hitting zone for long time. With a solid approach for a HS prospect, Goeddel projects to hit for power once he grows into his frame as he uses his lower half well in his swing. With above average speed and an above average arm, Goeddel has played 3B well for his HS team so far this year. Scouts look at him as an outfielder though, CF if he doesn’t get too big but RF if he does. Given his speed and arm, neither position should be much of a problem for him.

Keith Law has him ranked as his 36th best player on his board while Baseball America has him at 89 right now. Lincoln Hamilton of Project Prospect has him as the 48th best prospect available. Mike Axisa over at River Ave Blues also has the Yankees selecting Tyler Goeddel.


We’ll have a chat up when the draft gets going around 7, so make sure and stop by. EJ or Eric will also possibly be adding their predictions to the post, so make sure to come back and check it out.