Wednesday, August 21, 2019

A disturbing chart about Yankee draft failures

This long, depressing barf of data has been bouncing around Yankee forums lately. It purports to show the best (Cardinals) and worst (Yankees) teams in MLB draft success over the last quarter century, using the impossible-to-define WAR stat.

Yeah, that's the Yankees, way down on the far right. In last place. 

In any other franchise, somebody would walk the plank for such a horrible showing. Obviously, that won't happen here. The Yankees are making so much money that, really, there is no cause to hassle the good old boys at the top. 

And if you're wondering how to define the Yankee-Redsock rivalry over the last few decades, this chart explains everything. Boston ranks fifth. What a huge advantage... a scouting system.

I cooked up this list of the last 16 Yankee top picks. In terms of developing great Yankees, we are 1 for 16.

Andrew Brackman (bad idea: draft a guy who needs TJ surgery)
Gerrit Cole (didn't sign)
Jeremy Bleich (control issues)
Slade Heathcott (wild ride, now becoming a pilot; YOU GO, SLADE!)
Cito Culver (sigh... should've tried pitching)
Dante Bichette, Jr. (the wrong Bichette, shouldn't stuck to tennis)
Ty Hensley (worst luck ever, injury upon injury)
Eric Jagielo (traded for Aroldis, now out of baseball)
Aaron Judge (okay, we got one out of 16)
Ian Clarkin (traded to Cubs, mired in Double A)
James Kaprielian (hurt, traded to Oakland, mired in minors)
Kyle Holder (great glove, mired in Trenton)
Blake Rutherford (traded to White Sox, hitting .263 in Double A)
Clark Schmidt (viable, could reach Yankees in 2020)
Anthony Seigler (injured, but too young to discard)
Anthony Volpe (just starting)

Of course, we converted Jagielo, Clarkin, Kaprielian and Rutherford into some fine chess pieces... Chapman, Gleyber, Frazier (Clint), and others. At the same time, we had mixed results on International free-agents. Jesus Montero was a flop. Gary Sanchez, a success. The big, $30 million Latino class of 2014 - Dermis Garcia, Nelson Gomez, et al - has provided nothing yet. And all those "next man up" replacements who have played so heroically for the Yankees this season - Voit, Tauchman, Urshela, Maybin - none came up through our system. (But let's credit the scouts who picked them off the scrap heap.)

When you're 10-games up, bad draft picks don't seem like a problem. But we're always hearing how deep and great the Yankee farm system is. Strange, eh?


HoraceClarke66 said...

Thanks for this, Duque! It's very telling. And along with "drafting and retaining," it should mention the Yanks' utter failure at "developing" talent, as well.

Although, as you point out, those piece we've traded have also broken down elsewhere.

So what IS going on? Are the Yanks misjudging the meat on the hoof in the first place, or failing to develop once it's rustled and pulled into the corral?

And what about the little blip that developed the now-already-past-its-sell-date, 2017-18 team of renown? Was that all Denbo? Somebody else?

Again, why is the Yankees cannot retain or develop first-rate training/coaching/scouting talent? Or is it a case of not so much wanting to do that, because it might disturb one Steinbrenner or another?

Anonymous said...

Duque, Thanks. That was interesting. And fair.

Couple of omissions though. You didn't mention AnDUjar or Severino as international players. So if all they got recently from the recent IFA classes was Sanchez, Sevi, and AnDujar that's not horrible. (except for the whole injury thing.) German too right? Devi?

As to drafting... Yeah, they're pretty bad. Particularly with their top picks. But their 500 years in a row with a winning record means they don't get to skim the cream. The Red Sox if memory serves me well (and it might not) would bounce from worst to first a bunch of times and get those high picks. I don't know enough about the Cards but St. Louis and Dynasty are two words I haven't heard together since Bob Gibson took the mound.

But Judge, Gardy. John Ryan Murphy became Hicks in a 1 for 1. That's the whole outfield right there.

Betances was drafted as well.

The Ian Clarkin/Rutherford trade got us Todd Frazier, D. Rob and Kahnle as well as getting us one game from the World Series. That's not too bad.

And last.. as you said, Jaglio became Chapman. But more importantly Chapman became Gleybar! (While getting Chapman back.)

So actually not too shabby. At least since they got rid of the guy who made a lot of the early picks. I'd take a team with...


As the fruits of draft/IFA

Doug K.

Anonymous said...


We're in lockstep on the whole, "why is (it that) the Yankees cannot retain or develop first-rate training/coaching/scouting talent?" thing. It is ridiculous. They should be poaching at will by dangling bigger bucks. It's a shonda.

Doug K.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Thanks, Doug K. And yeah, it's more many of the top picks that are inexplicable. I will bet you dollars to doughnuts (actually, I think doughnuts are a little more than a dollar, these days) that this Anthony Siegler guy from last year will never get a whiff of the majors.

They seem to be just throwing darts at a board.

13bit said...

My mantra, as some of you know, ad nauseam, since two years ago:

Cash is a moron
Hal doesn't care

It's the second line that's the real difference-maker, though.

And yes, they are laughing all the way to the bank. Like any plutocrat, Hal spends some money - whose value he has no idea of - and then sniffs at the proles (US) and says "it's good enough. they should be grateful." That's an old, old story.

Carl J. Weitz said...

The poster boy for Yankee drafting futility and bad luck over the last 25-30 years has to be Brien Taylor who the Yankees thought would make the Core Four the Fab 5. They drafted Pettitte and Posada in 1990 and signed Mo as an amatuer the same year. (In 92 they drafted Jeter).Since the Yankees also finished last in 1990, they had the #1 pick in 1991 and selected Brien "Punch and Miss" Taylor, who swung so hard he dislocated his shoulder and tore his labrum.

But the Yankees also had a few scouting scandals, twice with international signings. One guy forged birth documents and cheated the signees out of money and several years later Steinbrenner's ugly daughter(who looks like George with a blonde wig) married Felix Lopez a Latino Yankee groundskeeper (I'm sure Old George must have been thrilled). Being Hispanic, Steinbrenner's daughter had him appointed as VP of International Player Development.He outdid his predecessor's shenanigans to the point where he and most of his scouts were fired.

Mike Fan Cessa said...

I don't worry so much about the first-round picks, though it would be great if more of them worked out. I can't complain that they picked Cole. I count that as a big draft win and a big convince-him-to-sign loss. Which makes the big draft win pointless. So I guess to continue arguing that line would be like testifying against myself.

I have no idea how many first round picks usually turn into serviceable players, much less stars. If I had to guess, I'd guess the percentage is lower than I'd think. I'd figure the first-overall pick would be the guy everybody'd want, everybody would have as much info as could be gotten about, the guy you'd want to pick. THE GUY. And yet, Steve Chilcott got picked before Mr. October; Al Chambers got picked over whoever the hell ended up better than him. That's the only two examples I can conjure to clarity in my admitted somewhat sloshed state, but they are two first-overall picks who didn't shine. And as others have said before me, the Yankees don't usually draft too high. It doesn't surprise me that they don't get lots of sure-fire high picks. Also doesn't surprise me that if they draft young kids who re-enter the draft (like Cole, I assume), they turn out to be stars. College and growth and knowledge of how the world works seem to make one better at 21 than at 17, unless you're Janis Ian.

For all the things I can rip the Yankees about, the drafts aren't it. I'm not sure it helps to even think about that stuff right now.

On the other hand, I DO want to know who found Andujar, and Tauchman, And German, and all of them. I want to know exactly who those people were or are. I want to know who managed to scored Gleyber from the Cubs for a rental. I cannot imagine a team so desperate as to have done that; I want to know how that person or people went about it. I want to know many things I will never come close to knowing.

I only say it because I think there are a couple people involved in these who deserve my respect.

All I got. Time for another ill-advised Labatts. Ill advisement is great when you do your own consulting.

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