Tuesday, June 13, 2017

In the first round, the Yankees draft Tommy John

Last night, the Al Gore Information Superhighway was jammed with broken heroes over the Yankees' 1st pick in the amateur draft: Slade Melancon-Brackman. Actually, the name is Clarke Schmidt - (yes, he spells "Clarke" as in Horace) - a 21-year-old RH pitcher from the U of South Carolina, which gave us Jordan Montgomery. All would be hunky-dory and higgety-piggety, but for one eency-weency, nip-and-tuck glitch: Schmidt is recovering from elbow surgery and won't throw a salt shaker until mid 2018. 

Hence, Yankee fan outposts exploded into ugly debate - and why not? Everything else in America is sharply divided. Why not meaningless fan forums, too? 

The hateful talk goes along these three philosophical fault lines in the Yankiverse.

1. The current first place team proves the Yankees know what they're doing, so shut the fuck up. This argument is self-explanatory. And, well, it's true. Over the last six years, Yankee critics have been able to point to the on-field monstrosities that were the Yankees and question front office worthiness. Now, we are baseball's greatest success story, and Mr. Cashman deserves praise.

Not only are we leading the AL East, we have a youthful core of rising stars - perhaps the most electrifying player in the game - (whom we drafted, by the way) - and one of baseball's best farm systems. So we picked a guy with a bum elbow. So what? He's getting it fixed. Isn't that better than picking a guy, having him pitch a year, and then have him go down with a bum forepaw? Around July of 2018, we should have both Schmidt and James Kaprieilian throwing in Trenton or Scranton. By 2019, both could be ready for The Show. Weren't we all supposed to be thinking of 2019? By the way, when did you become a pro scout? Did you travel to South Carolina to watch this guy? Do you even own a radar gun? Who the fuck are you to question professional Yankee scouts? GET OUT! GET OFF THIS INTERNET, NOW, BEFORE WE LOOK FOR A SECOND-AMENDMENT SOLUTION!

2. This is madness; we just wasted the 16th pick in the draft on a guy who would have been there in the second round. Are you kidding me? We drafted a kid in rehab? He's probably taking Oxi as we speak. How can you justify this in the first round? There is no such thing as routine surgery. Some pitchers come back, and some simply never are the same. If you want to roll the dice, you do it in the second or third round - not the first. Moreover, nobody is saying this is a case of a top 5 pick dropping to 16th. This was a late first round pick being taken in the mid-first round after - gulp - Tommy John surgery. What gives?

And while were at it: The Yankee front office loves to congratulate itself for success, traditionally long before the final score is tallied. But the brass was pulled kicking and screaming into this youth movement - which is barely into the third month of 2017. Yes, we love Aaron F. Judge, but his induction to Cooperstown is no done deal, no matter how many No. 99 jerseys are being sold. He homered last night - yay - but he is still in his rotation around the league.

And another thing: If we have one of the best farm systems in baseball, it's not because we drafted all that well. It's because we traded Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman, Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann - arguably our four best players last July - for prospects. Almost any team in baseball could have done the same. 

And another thing, goddammit! Over the last 10 drafts - going back to Andrew Brackman - our first round picks (with one 6'7," 290-pound exception) have stank out the joint. In 2010, we picked Cito Culver ahead of Noah Sydergard. We took Gerrit Cole despite his stated refusal to sign with us. Slade Heathcott - God bless him - had a multitude of issues. And three years ago, we baffled the world by picking Kyle Holder, a no-bat SS who is still barely hitting his weight. There were consensus, high-ceiling prospects available in each case. We ignored them in order to play the lottery. What's wrong with drafting a consensus, high-ceiling prospect? Do they always have to be rim shots?

And one last thing: If our front office is so god-almighty smart, how come we came within an eyelash of sending Aaron Fucking Judge down to Scranton out of spring training? Remember that? The decision to keep Judge came on the last day of camp, after trial balloons were being floated that he would benefit from more time at Triple A. If we had sent Judge down to Scranton, he could have been demoralized and depressed, and he might still be down there, working his way out of his April slump. And the worst part? The front office would still be congratulating itself for seeing his flaws.

3. They are playing a strategy, and let's see what it is. This might be wishful thinking. I dunno. But maybe - let's hope, anyway - the Yankees plan to use their leverage on Schmidt to spend less in first round slot money. Theoretically, that would allow them to pick a high-ceiling kid later in the draft, and blow him away with an offer. Some have even speculated that they have already reached an agreement with Schmidt; hence the selection.

Of course, this is what they did with Cito Culver, long ago. They picked Cito, so they could shower money on Mason Williams. How did that work out? And then there is another fear: Will they actually have leverage over Schmidt? What if he just holds out - says, fuck you, gimme $3 million. Will they walk away? Jeeze, I donno.

For now, I'm going with door number three. Let's make a deal, folks. 

Oh, and Aaron Fucking Judge did hit another home run last night, winning yet another game. His legend just keeps growing. 


DutchFan said...

Maybe the Yankees brass decided to become sober over the winter together with CC and all of a sudden they all got their act together?

John M said...

So far, Cashman drafted Judge, got Castro and Didi, and extorted a farm system out of desperate World Series wannabes last year. Just to remind us of the many, many, many boners executed by the GM and the brilliant Yankees organization, here's a passage from the ESPN.com coverage of last night's game:

"The Japanese right-hander largely shut down the Angels after Kole Calhoun's first-inning homer, but he yielded Espinosa's two-out RBI single before reliever Tyler Clippard (1-3) gave up Maybin's tying RBI double in the seventh. Both runs were unearned in A RALLY AIDED BY CHASE HEADLEY'S ERROR on Eric Young Jr.'s grounder."

Yip Headley (four years, $52 million) almost cost us the game there. And as much as I like him, Ty is not the guy. Even though the binders say he must be.

Blind Robin said...

Is Chris Christie practicing his own brand of juju?

Alphonso said...

Chase is digging an opening for Torres.

He can't hit and he can't throw.

Is he being haunted by Knobby?

Alphonso said...

The yankee draft pick sucks. There is something horribly wrong in that from office.

This pitcher is not only still in his hospital bed, there is nothing to note about him.

A 6' right handed pitcher.

They are rare, right?

They like the South Carolina thing because that is where Monty played.

Not very good reasoning.

As pointed out by El Duque in reaction number two, 99% of the top players we have came through the Miller et al trades.

Happily, we didn't fuck those up, which is counter to a trend as well.

No praise for Cashman or the front office.

Anonymous said...




Vampifella said...

From what I read he was considered a top 10 pick before his Tommy John. He has a lot of upside and 4 great pitches to work with. And he's old, so he wouldn't Cole-out of his offer either. He's pretty much stuck with the Yankees (or any team that would have drafted him after that) and I wouldn't doubt that they'd low ball him because of that.

It's basically a pretty crafty pick with low risk. If you read up on the picks below Clarke you'd find a LOT of just as questionable selections as Clarke, according to the people who supposedly knows about such stuff. I can only assume they know what they are talking about. It seemed a lot of teams were taking their chances on reclamation projects (or criminals) who had lowered their stock value quite a bit rather than finding the next Mike Trout/Arron Judge or a sensible position player even. He would not have lasted much longer, certainly not to their second pick.

So it seems the Yanks were doing like most of the other teams at that point, taking chances rather than going for a sure thing or a safe pick. Only time can tell how they really done but they seemed to have drafted accordingly to trend this year.

Personally I would draft someone who has their Tommy John out of the way early as it's unlikely to happen again. I know that they are never quite the same again, but history shows they are still of some use after it. He may end up being our #3 or #4 and lately even getting a decent one of those is extremely hard and is going to be an overpay for any team. It's not likely to get a #1 or a #2 mid-first round, it's all a guessing game at that point for any player, so taking risks on your picks is probably the smarter thing to do. It's like playing the lottery and one day you may win.

I'm Bill White said...

The second pick is out of Ernest Righetti High School in California. Get your shirt here: http://www.righetti.us/?PageName=LatestNews&Section=Highlights&ItemID=195721&ISrc=School&Itype=Highlights&SchoolID=4280

Anonymous said...

I'm with Fonz & All-Caps on this one - - BAAAAAD Cash-Puss!! Go back to your basket, Cash-Puss, and stay there!!
As for Joey Blue-Binders, BOO on him, too - - he wore out Tanaka, and has Clip-Hard equal to a giant '8' in his mind. LB (No J)

joe de pastry said...

Let's face it, guys, we know absolutely nothing about draft picks.

John M said...

Sadly, Joe, we haven't seen a lot of evidence that the Yankees do, either.

NaRong said...

So it seems the Yanks were doing like most of the other teams at that point, taking chances rather than going for a sure thing or a safe pick. Only time can tell how they really done but they seemed to have drafted accordingly to trend this year.
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