June 7, 2010

Yankees draft preview: Not all about the first round

Tonight is the MLB draft. Yes, tonight. If this were a New York Giants blog, I’d be discussing the draft a few months ahead of time.

But this is baseball. It’s still important, just not nearly as hyped. The MLB Network is paying more attention to it than any television network has before, and it still doesn’t have close to the same hype as the NFL or NBA draft.

There will be a one-hour draft preview show tonight at 6 p.m. ET before airing the first round and Compensation Round A. The Yankees won’t make their first pick until around 8 p.m., as they have the 32nd (last) pick in the first round. They do not have any compensation pick, and will follow with the 82nd, 112th and 145th picks.

MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch says the Yankees will take the best player available — pitcher or position player. GM Brian Cashman is putting all the picks in the hands of Damon Oppenheimer, the Yankees’ amateur scouting director.

Draft results To the right is a look at the Yankees recent first-round picks. It’s not a great track record, except for Ian Kennedy who has found some success with the D’Backs this season. Go back one more year to 2004 and you have Phil Hughes. He’s been decent this year (understatement of the century).

But it’s not always the first round that has the gems. Let’s not forget Andy Pettitte (1990, 22nd round), Jorge Posada (1990, 24th round), Joba Chamberlain (2006, 2nd round) and Brett Gardner (2005, 3rd round).

Bottom line: Do not expect the Yankees to draft a player to help them this year and probably not the next year either. There’s no telling whether Oppenheimer will pick a teenager or a college graduate. It all depends on who is available when their time is called.

Yankees blog River Ave. Blues will be liveblogging the draft for all three days. Head over there for more in-depth coverage. I will make a post tonight with a day 1 draft summary.

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