2011 MLB Draft: New York Yankees Review
High school power bats seem a popular choice for the Yankees in 2011.
1S) Dante Bichette, Jr, OF, Florida HS: The Yankees seem to be taking some criticism for this pick, but if Bichette turns out to be anything like his dad, they may have the last laugh. His tools are very similar to his father's at the same stage.
2) Sam Stafford, LHP, Texas: Big lefty has 90-95 MPH heat and a good curve, but has significant problems throwing strikes at times. High-ceiling, higher-risk than many college arms. 1.57 ERA with 86/41 K/BB in 74 innings, just 49 hits.
3) Jordan Cote, RHP, New Hampshire HS: Projectable cold-weather prep needs some polish but already hits 90 and has a promising curveball. Buyable away from Coastal Carolina in this spot.
4) Matt Duran, 3B, New York HS: Power hitter from New Rochelle, quite raw with positional uncertainty. Committed to Fordham.
5) Greg Bird, C, Colorado HS: Scouts like his power bat, but there are mixed opinions about his ability to remain behind the plate. Arkansas commitment. Pre-draft buzz had him likely going to college, but he went early enough that he should be signable.
6) Jake Cave, OF, Virginia HS: Tougher sign than Cote, Bird, or Duran with Louisiana State commitment. Two-way player, hits 90 on the mound but raw, also athletic but raw as a hitter.
7) Austin Jones, 1B, Washington HS: Left-handed power with reasonable polish for a prep. University of Arizona commitment.
8) Phil Wetherell, RHP, Western Kentucky: Can hit 95 MPH, has a good splitter, 4.25 ERA with 44/19 K/BB in 59 innings. Projects as middle reliever with outside chance to close.
9) Zach Arneson, RHP, Lewis-Clark State: Low-90s fastball, workable cutter, projects as a middle reliever. 2.82 ERA, 46/17 K/BB in 45 innings.
10) Jon Gray, RHP, Eastern Oklahoma State JC: Low-90s fastball, good slider, has command issues, also projects as a reliever.
OTHERS OF NOTE: OF Justin James (13th round, Sacramento CC) is the son of Dion James. He's raw for a college guy and bloodline player but has good speed and power potential and could be a bargain. RHP Rookie Davis (14th round, North Carolina HS) is a signability risk from East Carolina but has the arm strength to earn an overslot bonus. LHP Dan Camarena (20th round, California HS) could have gone 15 rounds higher on talent but is strongly committed to San Diego.
SUMMARY: I personally like Bichette. The rest of the class was focused on raw high school kids with power potential and signability issues, plus some college pitchers who look like bullpen contributors, though Stafford could be really good if he throws more strikes. I particularly like James in the 14th round as a sleeper choice.