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New York Yankees Draft Review

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Moving ahead with the AL East....

New York Yankees Draft Review
1) Cito Culver, SS, New York HS: One of the shockers of the first round. Culver is quite toolsy, but coming out of high school in Rochester, he is very raw. Pre-draft, most people thought he'd go to college at Maryland to refine his game, but the Yankees really wanted him and apparently had indications that he wouldn't last past the second round. Many Yankee fans are upset by this pick, but I'll take a wait-and-see attitude at this point.

2) Angelo Gumbs, OF, California HS: Another toolsy player, also somewhat raw but not as much as Culver. Gumbs excites scouts as much for his attitude as his athleticism, and I rather like him. College commitment to USC shouldn't stand in the way.

3) Rob Segedin, 3B, Tulane: Very solid bat, average glove, should be signable here despite sophomore status. Should hit for average with at least decent power. Good pick in this round.

4) Mason Williams, OF, Florida HS: Hits for average, runs well, very good glove, only lack of home run power kept him from going earlier.

5) Tommy Kahnle, RHP, Lynn University: Short right-hander can hit 95 MPH, but lack of effective breaking stuff and erratic track record moved him down boards. He pitched well in the Cape Cod League last year, and that is probably what attracted the Yankees, but this strikes me as an overdraft by at least a couple of rounds.

6) Gabe Encinas,RHP, California HS: Great pick in the sixth round: Encinas is projectable, throws in the low 90s already, has good breaking stuff, and could have gone several rounds higher. He has a commitment to Loyola Marymount, but the Yankees certainly have the resources to go over slot to sign him if necessary. I love this pick.

7) Jake Anderson, OF, Louisiana HS: Raw athlete, runs well, has a chance to be a good hitter eventually but will need a lot of patience and development work.

8) Kyle Roller, 1B, East Carolina University: Lots of power, also has good plate discipline, but lack of athleticism and defensive value hurt his stock in the eyes of scouts.

9) Taylor Morton, RHP, Tennessee HS: Hits 90+, has a good changeup, but inconsistent. University of Tennessee scholarship will need to be dealt with, and he is a bit raw, but the arm strength for success is here.

10) Ben Gamel, OF, Florida HS: Mat Gamel's brother, and like his sibling he is a skilled hitter, though in a different way: he has less power, but is more refined and should hit for a higher average. If he goes to college at Florida State and develops properly, he could be a much higher draft pick in three years.

FOUR OTHERS OF NOTE: 12-Dan Burawa, RHP, St. John's; 13-Tyler Austin, C, Georgia HS; 16-Evan Rutckyj, LHP, Ontario SS; 19-Kevin Jordan, OF, Georgia HS.

COMMENT: The selection of Culver confused a lot of people and has Yankees fans up in arms. It was certainly an unexpected choice, and on paper it looks like a significant overdraft. However, I've been doing this kind of work long enough to know that the "sure" picks often don't work out and the weird ones sometimes do. I would have picked A.J. Cole or Tyrell Jenkins myself, but the Yankees didn't ask me. The rest of the class looks pretty good. I like Gumbs a lot, and the subsequent rounds mix college guys with high school guys, refined talents with upside, in a way that I like. Encinas could be a steal in the sixth round. Overall, despite the oddity of the Culver pick, there are things I like here.