The Cash Man has made improving the farm system his pet project over the past few years, and he continued his quest to revamp the whole operation at the draft yesterday. In the past, when the Yanks were more famous for making moves like signing washed up juicers (I'm looking at you, Kevin Brown... looking at you with fire in my eyes), I had a hard time caring much about the kids they drafted, since it was unlikely we'd ever see them in a Yankees uniform. Now that Cash has successfully prevented Big Stein and the Steinbrothers to resist trading any live body under the age of 23, though, I am happily very interested in the process.
Yesterday was day 1 of the draft, and the Yanks wasted no time stocking up
on young pitchers. Of their top 10 picks, 5 were pitchers, and 3 of those 5 are high schoolers. Their first-round pick (28th overall), Gerrit Cole, is a 17-year-old RHP from Orange, California, who can hit 95+ with his fastball and also has a good slider and changeup; selection numero dos was a LHP junior from Stanford who rocked a 1.09 ERA in 33 innings this year. They also picked up a couple infielders and a high school catcher, a particularly wise move considering the quickly-advancing age of Jorgie Porgie and lack of a viable long-term backup.
Having seen the Yanks sign draft-picks like Joba, Hughes, and I-Ken and actually hang on to them long enough to put them out on the field in Yankee Stadium certainly makes the draft more exciting (and gives the drafted dudes some hope that they might actually play for the team that drafted them one day), and I'm very tempted to get excited whilst I peruse the information about these draftees. The problem, though, is that the progress of baseball prospects is incredibly difficult to predict - more so than any other American sport (note: I added that "American" in there because I realized I don't know how cricket and curling prospects project). A player that looks like the next Doc Gooden can easily end up being a Paul Wilson;
Khalil Greene's $3 million would-be successor might just be your run-of-the-mill Matt Bush
Bottom line? Let's be optimistic, but hold off on your Cole tattoo for the time being.
Labels: farm hands