Monday, June 7, 2010

Can the Yankees get lucky in the draft?


The only downside of winning the 2009 World Series is that the New York Yankees have to wait for a lot of teams to select players in the amateur baseball draft before they get a chance. But that doesn't mean the Yankees can't get lucky.

The Yankees got Joba Chamberlain with a low first-round draft pick in 2006 and Chamberlain is far from a bust, even if he was voted the most overrated player in baseball in a secret poll of major league players by ESPN magazine. The Yankees got Phil Hughes with the 23rd pick of the 2004 draft and he is turning into one of the best pitchers in the American League right before our eyes and will no doubt be the future ace of the pitching staff.

The draft is such a crapshoot; it's easy to miss out on a potential superstar. Consider the New York Times story outlining the five players selected in the 1992 draft ahead of Derek Jeter. Can you imagine five teams passing on the opportunity to sign Jeter? It's easy to see why when you look at old photos of Jeter, who was all skin and bones when the Yankees signed him a week after his 18th birthday. But still, given all the attention he was getting for his superior baseball skills, you would think one of those organizations would have selected him. Lucky for the Yankees and their fans, they all passed and he got picked by the team he worshipped, forever changing the course of its history.

The Yankees have made it clear they are going for the best player available when the time for the #32 pick comes. I can’t wait to see who gets the call from the Bronx Bombers.

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