2010 First-Year Player Draft

Today is the first day of the First-Year Player Draft. MLB Network will have a preview of it at 6:00 pm and at 7:00 pm they will begin to broadcast the draft live. I’m going to try to cover the first round. Here is the draft order. I plan to update this post tomorrow when the first round is said and done. Remember you can watch the draft unfold on MLB Network and MLB.COM.

  1. Washington Nationals:
  2. Pittsburgh Pirates:
  3. Baltimore Orioles:
  4. Kansas City Royals:
  5. Cleveland Indians:
  6. Arizona Diamondbacks:
  7. New York Mets:
  8. Houston Astros:
  9. San Diego Padres:
  10. Oakland Athletics:
  11. Toronto Blue Jays:
  12. Cincinnati Reds:
  13. Chicago White Sox:
  14. Milwaukee Brewers:
  15. Texas Rangers:
  16. Chicago Cubs:
  17. Tampa Bay Rays:
  18. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim:
  19. Houston Astros:
  20. Boston Red Sox:
  21. Minnesota Twins:
  22. Texas Rangers:
  23. Florida Marlins:
  24. San Francisco Giants:
  25. Saint Louis Cardinals:
  26. Colorado Rockies:
  27. Philadelphia Phillies:
  28. Los Angeles Dodgers:
  29. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim:
  30. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim:
  31. Tampa Bay Rays:
  32. New York Yankees:

Game 121: Yankees at Athletics

Here’s tonight’s starting lineup via Pete Abe:

SS Derek Jeter

LF Johnny Damon

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

DH Hideki Matsui

RF Nick Swisher

2B Robinson Cano

CF Melky Cabrera

C Jose Molina

And on the mound (making his first start as a Yankee), Chad Gaudin

Ian Kennedy progressing

As you know Ian Kennedy had surgery to remove an an aneurysm in his arm, now Kennedy is back to throwing off a mound, albeit restricted to only fastballs and change ups. Kennedy will not return to pitching in the minors this year, but he will pitch in the Instructional League and the Arizona Fall League according to the AP. Good luck to him, he could be a valuable piece of the 2010 Yankees.

You didn't forget this face, did you?

You didn't forget this face, did you?

2009 draft a success

This past Tuesday (August 18th) was the deadline for signing draft picks, and when it was all said and done the Yankees were able to sign 13 out of their top 14 picks, including the two top picks Slade Heathcott  and JR Murphy. Slade Heathcott received a 2.2 million bonus, which double the recommended amount for his slot (29th overall) by the Commissioners office, good for him. JR Murphy received a 1.25 million bonus, his slot money is about $478,000, Bud Selig can’t be happy with this. Anyway, now that Heathcott and Murphy have officially joined the Yankees, I’m sure you are wondering when they will play. Well, according to Lane Meyer Slade Heathcott is currently in the Gulf Coast League with the Yankees affiliate and he hopes to play in a game tomorrow. And according to a blog from JR Murphy’s high school will also be playing immediately in the GCL. You can learn more about Slade Heathcott here.

Johnny Damon wants to stay, Yankees to comply?

We all know that Johnny Damon ,who is a free agent after the year, wants to remain a Yankee. And according to Tyler Kepner, the Yankees are willing to resign him.

Before the season, there was a sense that the Yankees would allow Damon to move on and turn over his left-field spot to a prospect like Austin Jackson or a younger free agent like Matt Holliday. But Yankees officials seem to understand Damon’s value on the field and in the clubhouse, and now they would like him to return. When the Yankees want to keep a player and the player wants to stay, that is usually what happens.

“I don’t know where else I would want to go to,” Damon said. “Obviously, that’s not the right thing to say when you’re about ready to approach free agency, but I’m very happy with playing in New York, and my family’s happy I play for New York. There’s no bigger place to go. If you play well here, you’re going to get paid. New York has the resources.

“But we also have the chance to win every year. I don’t want to attempt to go make more money elsewhere, for more years, with a chance to be out of the race by the first of June.”

If Damon will sign a cheaper contract than the one he currently has, I think he might be the best option for the Yankees going into next year. While his defense has deteriorated, his offense and his clubhouse influence remain strong, and he would much cheaper than other options such as Matt Holliday (who I think is probably overrated), Jason Bay (who the Red Sox will want to resign), and Carl Crawford (who the Rays have an option to keep him).

Is this possible?

If you haven’t realized the type of season Joe Mauer is having, you must live under a rock. He is hitting an astonishing .383 with 25 home runs and 77 RBI’s (all this on a not so great team!). The way he is hitting right now puts him up there statistic-wise with Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and other world class hitters. Lately there has been a lot of talk about how Mauer and Teixeira are the top two candidates for MVP, if you ask me, I don’t even think it is close. With all respect to Mark Teixeira, I think if Joe Mauer doesn’t win the MVP something is seriously wrong, who cares that he is not on a great team, what control does he have over that? Just look at these two stats…Joe Mauer’s batting average is .383 as a mentioned before, that is higher than Mark Teixeira’s OBP! That means Mauer gets a hit (not a walk or anything, just a hit) more often than Teixeira gets on base (including hits, walks, and everything)! That is just amazing. The other stat I’d like to point out is WAR (wins above replacement, basically how many wins a player was able to add to his team). Mark Teixeira’s WAR for the season is 3.8, which is very good. Joe Mauer’s WAR is 6.5! Oh, and he is a catcher, and a pretty good one. Enough said.

Look at that beautiful swing.

Look at that beautiful swing.

The real deal?

You may or may not know that the Yankees have a ambidextrous pitcher named Pat Venditte down in the minors. It is not clear whether he should be considered a real time prospect or just a novelty, but anyway here is a great video about Venditte:

Melky

Sorry Melky, I had to show this.

No comment. I'll take the high road.

No comment. I'll take the high road.

Slade Heathcott

Last night the Yankees selected Slade Heathcott in the first round of the 2009 amateur draft. Today, I plan on giving you a little bio on him.

slade

Background

Heathcott is 6’1″ and 196 lbs. He was born on September 28 of 1990. He bats and throws with his left hand, and he is an outfielder. There is some concern about his character off the field, his father is in prison and his mother is out of his life. These are some issues, but there have never really been any reports on Slade himself doing anything horribly wrong. Look at Joba’s mother, she is a mess, and Joba did get that DUI, but overall he’s not a terrible person or anything. I’m confident that the Yankees will make sure Slade stays on the right path and they will continue to monitor him closely. Heathcott unfortunately was a Red Sox fan, but now he says he has changed his ways. “I’m a Yankees fan now. I actually was a Red Sox fan. I’ve always been a Red Sox fan since I was little and I just kept with it.” When asked if he was surprised about how the draft turned out, Slade said, “I was pretty surprised. It’s indescribable.” Heathcott also said, “I had (talked to the Yankees) quite a bit. I think it’ll be an excellent fit.” He is an aggressive player, he plays with a lot of passion and heart.

Scouting Report

Heathcott is a real athlete. He is a true physical player. He is a plus hitter who can hit for average, but he also has power to all fields which is great. In the field Slade has very good instincts which allow him to play all three outfield positions very well. He also has an above average arm because he used to be a pitcher. On the base paths Heathcott is a speedy guy. Even with ACL reconstruction surgery in November Slade continues to run exceptionally well. He has been running with a knee brace just to be safe, so you have to imagine he’ll show even more speed once that comes off. He has plus tools in every category and has the chance to develop them into 5 above-average tools at the major league level. One thing that makes him who he is, is his intesity. He plays the game with a fire.

Signability

The general thought is that he wants to play pro ball, and is signable. The Yankees will have to do all they can to sign him because after failing to sign Geritt Cole last year, they received a compensation pick which as we see turned out to be used on Heathcott. This year if they fail to sign Heathcott they will not receive a compensation pick, making it critical to sign Slade.

My Thoughts

I like the pick very much. He could turn out to be a very good player. His ceiling is something of a player like Nate McClouth with a few differences. However, he is also a risky player. All draft picks are, you just never know how they will turn out. So just remember don’t get too excited, if we ever see in in the big leagues it won’t be anytime soon because high school players typically take a long time to develop.

In the second round of the draft the Yankees selected John Murphy (76th overall). He’s a convert catcher. Very athletic. I like the pick, but I really would have liked the Yankees to pick David Renfroe (who the Red Sox ended up picking up later, 107th overall). Oh well.

2009 Amateur Draft

Here we go, remember you can watch this on MLB Network.

First Round Selections

  1. Nationals -
  2. Stephen Strasburg SP. Big shocker. How long till he’s in the majors? If they can sign him.

  3. Mariners -
  4. Dustin Ackley OF. Has a good bat. Nice pick. He’s fast too.

  5. Padres -
  6. Donavan Tate OF. He’s a very good player, but he has signability issues. I thought he would fall lower in the draft. Well, if the Pads think he’s signable, go for it.

  7. Pirates -
  8. Jorge Sanchez C. I honestly don’t know much about him. He seems signable and he projects well.

  9. Orioles -
  10. Matthew Hobgood RHP. Big pitcher. He went a little early in the draft, I thought he’d drop more. Anyway, he is talented and durable.

  11. Giants -
  12. Zack Wheeler RHP. Good arm strength. Projectable. Inconsistent at times.

  13. Braves -
  14. Michael Minor LHP. His stuff doesn’t jump out at you, but he can really throw strikes. He’s a real pitcher.

  15. Reds -
  16. Michael Leake LHP. Not very big a 6′, but he can command 4 pitches.

  17. Tigers -
  18. Jacob Turner RHP. Big, strong, projectable. Good arm, a little wild.

  19. Nationals -
  20. Drew Storen RHP. Not too great control. Nice fastball and curveball. He’s a reliever.

  21. Rockies -
  22. Tyler Matzek LHP. He shouldn’t have fallen this far, must be signability. Very talented. They just interview him, he looked very nervous.

  23. Royals -
  24. Aaron Crow RHP. He’s great, that’s a very good pick for the Royals. He’s better than some of the guys already selected.

  25. A’s -
  26. Grant Green SS. Has the 5 tools. Scouts are bothered by his lack of energy at times. That’s weird.

  27. Rangers -
  28. Matthe Purke LHP. Great pitcher, skinny but very good mechanics. I was hoping he’d fall to the Yanks because he wants lots of money.

  29. Indians -
  30. Alex White RHP. Very good arm, but control problems.

  31. Diamondbacks -
  32. Bobby Borchering 3B. Tall, great bat, questions on defense. Compared to Chipper Jones, I don’t know yet, ha!

  33. Diamondbacks -
  34. AJ Pollock CF. He went earlier than expected.

  35. Marlins -
  36. Chad James LHP. Wiry, good projection. 6’4 190lbs.

  37. Cardinals -
  38. Shelby Miller RHP. Flamethrower (96 mph), nice short delivery. Very nice pick. He’s got a curve and a change.

  39. Blue Jays -
  40. Chad Jenkins RHP. Big, strong, durable. Power sink and slider. Tough guy, good makeup.

  41. Astros -
  42. Jiovanny Mier SS. Could be a good bat, athletic in the field. Pretty nice pick.

  43. Twins -
  44. Kyle Gibson RHP. Has a forearm injury, risky move. We will see how this turns out. He was linked to the Yankees. If not for the injury he should have gone in top 5.

  45. White Sox -
  46. Jared Mitchell OF. Two sport athlete, football and baseball. Pure athlete, probably a little raw.

  47. Angels -
  48. Randal Grichuk OF. Good hitter. Good fielder. Good runner. Solid overall. Angel type player.

  49. Angels -
  50. Michael Trout OF. He’s there in person, pretty cool. Compared to Biggio. Interview now. He’s excited! Nervous. Family is with him. That’s the way to do it.

  51. Brewers -
  52. Eric Arnett RHP. Big guy. Good delivery. 6’5.

  53. Mariners -
    Nicholas Franklin SS. Good bat. Decent Power. Overall good baseball player.
  54. Red Sox -
    Reymond Fuentes CF. Nephew of Carlos Beltran, hmm.
  55. Yankees -
    Slade Heathcott OF. He’s a center fielder out of high school. I like the pick very much. He is extremely talented, he just needs to get it all together. Some say he has off the field issues, but supposedly that’s not really true. Speedy. Hits for average. Hits for power. Good arm in the outfield. Good base stealer. Good defender. Plus you got to love the name.
  56. Rays -
    LeVon Washington 2B. I hope this move is not a response to the Akinora injury. Thats not a good way to draft. I honestly don’t know a thing about him.
  57. Cubs -
    Brett Jackson OF. Linked to the Yankees. Runs well. Decent hitter. He actually is a mix of Brett Gardner and Austin Jackson, ironic right?
  58. Rockies -
    Tim Wheeler OF. Contact hitter, not much power. Good base stealer. Has the tools to be good.

Check back tomorrow for a lengthy post on Slade Heathcott.

Game 58: Yankees at Red Sox

Tonight at 7:05 p.m., Josh Beckett will throw the first pitch of this three game series against the rival Red Sox that the Yankee are about to embark on. It should be an interesting series, some say that the Yankees “must win’ at least 2 out of 3 of these games. I do not feel that way, while I do recognize that these games are going to be played with added pressure, I understand that a win against the Washington Nationals counts just as much as a win against the Boston Red Sox. Anyway, when Josh Beckett goes tonight for the Sox he will have to face a pretty good lineup that the Yankees will be throwing out tonight. It is basically their “A” lineup, except for the fact that Brett Gardner is in there instead of Hideki Matsui. Well, here is that lineup via PeteAbe:

SS Derek Sanderson Jeter

LF Johnny David Damon

1B Mark Charles Teixeira

3B Alex Emmanuel Rodriguez

2B Robinson Jose Cano

C Jorge Rafael Posada

LF Nick Thompson Swisher

RF Melky Astacio Cabrera

CF Brett M. Gardner

And on the hill, Allan James Burnett

Burnett

Draft Night

Tonight is the first night of the amateur draft. You can catch it live on MLB Network at 6:00 p.m. It should be pretty interesting. I plan on keeping you guys updated on that as the draft goes on (I will have a post up later tonight listing all the first round draft picks and my thoughts on some of them, and then from there on just the Yankees picks).

Mark Teixeira leads the way…

On to the All Star Game. He has passed Kevin Youkillis for first place in votes for the AL first baseman. Teix has 833,960 votes while Youk has 832,751 votes.

Remember come back later for the 2009 amateur draft coverage.

Game 57: Rays at Yankees

Here is tonight’s starting lineup via PeteAbe for the Yankees:

SS Derek Jeter

LF Johnny Damon

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

2B Robinson Cano

C Jorge Posada

DH Hideki Matsui

RF Nick Swisher

CF Melky Cabrera

And on the hill, the old Texan, Andy Pettitte

The Stare

The Stare

Notes

  • Hopefully Andy’s back is OK
  • Tomorrow is day 1 of the amateur draft. Check out this article I wrote earlier about it.
  • Mo was ill on Saturday. Here’s more on the story.

Quick Reminder: The draft is tomorrow

Tomorrow, June 9th is the first day of the amateur draft. You can watch the draft on MLB Network starting a 6:00 pm (eastern time). It should be fun to watch the first few rounds, but after that I for one will probably get bored. Stephen Strasburg is highly expected to be the number 1 overall pick by the Nats, but there are many questions after that about who will pick who. The Yankees have the 29th overall pick, one pick behind the Red Sox. Who the Yanks will pick remains to been seen but they have been linked to numerous names including Matt Purke, David Renfroe, Brett Jackson, Slade Heathcott, and more. All we can do is wait and see, but you have understand not only the first few picks can turn out to be stars. For example, Don Mattingly was picked in in the 19th round, 493rd overall.