Friday, June 12, 2020

Could a five-round MLB draft give the Yankees an advantage?

There cannot be a Don Mattingly in this year's MLB draft. 

Actually, some team - not the Yankees - might find a great-hitting, sweet-fielding 1B. But Mattingly was chosen in the 19th round of the 1979 cattle call. He's one of many stars who came late on draft day, unheralded by the Simon Cowells and Paula Abduls of the game. 

As if to signify the 2020 mini-season - (if there is one) - this year's draft, conducted Tuesday and Wednesday, lasted just five rounds. Five. Cinco. Due to the signing of Gerrit Cole, the Death Star only had three picks - three - in the first, third and fourth rounds.

We started by choosing a 6'2," 220-pound catcher/lugnut, who is compared to Kyle Schwarber. That may or may not be a good thing. His defense might be suspect, and if he's another K-BB-HR guy - well - is that still where we're going? 

In the third round, we picked an offensive 2B who might be an OF. Shades of Brigadoon Refsnyder! Sounds like a great prospect at 2B... but but BUT, if he's a corner outfielder, well... 

In the fourth, we took a 6'4" RHP. I think we can all agree that you never have enough 6'4" RHPs. We go through them like Kleenex, because Kleenex is what their elbows look like within two years. Actually, I think 2020 might have been a good year to stock up on elbows pitchers, because they couldn't be drained by malevolent managers in the NCAA World Series. Less innings could equal less surgeries, no?

But what about the Mattinglys out there? Many who are graduating high school will go to college and turn up in future drafts. But I wonder if this truncated draft system gives the Yankees an opportunity to beat the bushes for the waves of talent that's ripe for the plucking? Also, I wonder if Hal Steinbrenner will exploit that opportunity? 

Pandemic or not, the Yankees remain baseball's biggest money team. Could a shrunken draft allow them to run out and sign kids who didn't get called? In the NFL, undrafted players form a huge nucleus of the rosters. Good grief, Victor Cruz was undrafted! Is baseball following that model? And if so, could the Yankees find an advantage.

Now, I know what you're thinking: El Duque, that's an interesting question. What would have been nice would be if you did some fucking research and found the answer, rather than just blathering out some theory. Well, you're right. You're always right. But this rotten season - and the impasse between the owners and players - has taken the oomph out of me. If I do work, the bastards won. Because I respect you all, I cannot let that happen. 

But no Mattinglys this year. That's a shame.


Anonymous said...

Without a doubt, there are Don Mattingly type gems out there. No time like the present to hire an army of scouts and talent evaluators to sign the best unsigned prospects for chump change. Would Prince Hal unloose the purse strings to do such a thing? Ya gotta be kidding me, ha ha.

El Duque, short of visiting 10,000 highs schools and 5,000 colleges and universities, interviewing 20,000 coaches, and viewing 30,000 videos, I don't think we can expect you to have done any research into potential unsigned prospects. This is what an army of scouts and evaluators is supposed to do.

The Hammer of God

JimmyEatsHotDogs said...

With three picks this year .... this draft is a big zero. I'd say D+ so forgetaboutit!

JM said...

We could go the Bill Veeck route and draft the shortest players possible. Lot of walks, high OBP.

Just sayin'.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Good grief, another catcher! Because the two we drafted in 2018 have worked out so well.

I know it's something of a crapshoot. But if I could buy a baseball team tomorrow—that is, if baseball teams sold for five or ten bucks—I would look around and pick up the front office guys with the best draft records.

And beyond that, yes, Duque, this SHOULD work in the Yankees' favor. For that matter, what the Yanks should do is now run MORE minor-league teams, not fewer, sign up all kinds of diamonds in the rough, and steal a march on every other team in baseball.

But such a strategy would assume that the Steinbrenner family is deeply interested in maximizing profit by maximizing wins and championships, and maintaining fan interest.

It's not. It's interested in maximizing profits by sopping up public subsidies and tax breaks, and limiting payroll. In the long run, this will be a losing strategy. But really: how much do billionaires care about the long run?

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