New York Yankees
Needs: C, CF, SP, RP
Like a number of other teams, New York has to start thinking about their future catching situation. They have a solid backstop right now in Darren Green, but like many of this league's front line catchers, he is aging. Dick Easley will rise to become a solid defensive replacement, but he can't carry the full load, and there is nobody else in the system capable of making an impact at the ML level. In the rest of the infield I don't presume to understand who acesspade has playing where and why, but he does have all the pieces necessary to fill out a pretty capable infield. New York's biggest problem in the outfield is in CF. The two corner positions can be adequately covered by existing players, but Kevin Grahe is marginal at best and needs to be replaced. On the mound, acesspade has a lot of marginal ML talent, but not many soilidly reliable ML pitchers. He needs to spend the next few drafts shoring up this area.
Draft Expectations: Moderate
Two 1st round picks, including number 4 overall, and 6 picks in the first 5 rounds. With those numbers, acesspade should be able to pick up at least 3 rock solid future big league players.
acesspade's current payroll runs right about mid-pack. Obviously he likes his draftees young as he has sacrificed the college players, and has evenly distributed his funding to the high school and international scouts. He has also maxed out his prospect budget to ensure he can sign some high-end talent this year.
Round 1 Pick 4 SP/RP Calvin Curtis
Definitely a stretch at number 4 overall. Curtis is a solid pitcher who will have a long ML career, but he isn't even close to being a future ML star, which ideally is what you want from your 4th overall pick. He will probably end up in a long relief role as his stamina is way too low to be a starter, especially in the bigs. He will give a solid 2-4 innings of work whenever he is called upon, and if surrounded by good talent could be a vital lynchpin in the bullpen for a team trying to get to the top. But he is a role player, not a core player.
ML Projection: 90-110 IP/6-8 W/5 SV/.230 OAV/2.75 ERA
Round 1 Supp Pick 34 2B/CF Duane Andrews
I know, I know, he really is a natural 2B, and a good one, but because he would still do just as good, or better, than Kevin Grahe at CF, I had to slip that in. To be completely honest, he will probably have twice the impact that Curtis has, even though he was selected 30 picks later. Defensively, he is a stud at 2B, and would be adequate at CF. He has great speed, but the coaches will have to keep a tight reign on him as he doesn't always make the best decisions while running the bases. He is a good hitter with little power, but those swift legs will come in handy as they allow him to pick up countless infield hits.
ML Projection: 5-10 HR/.290-.300 BA/25-30 SB
Round 2 Pick 73 SS Miguel Maduro
A very nice pickup at 73rd overall. His outstanding defensive ability is only slightly hampered by below average range. Outstanding speed, and decent baserunning ability, makes him a legitimate basestealing threat. Offensively, he will add some runs from the bottom of the order, but because of his limited durability, he will have to share SS duties with another player.
ML Projection: 120 G/15 HR/.250-.260 BA/35 SB
Round 3 Pick 93 LF/CF Clarence Strange
His range and glove make it possible for Strange to play both LF and CF. He is a deceptively effective player, and it would not be surprising to see him hold down the 4th outfield position for just about any team.
ML Projection: 5-10 HR/.250 BA/5 SB as utility outfielder
Round 4 Pick 125 RP Chris Stuart
Stuart is a bit of an enigma in that his talent ratings are loaded with extremes, both good and bad. He can pitch a ton of innings for you - good. His lack of control is scary - bad. He can be effective against righthanders - good. Don't let him pitch against lefties - bad. He has a phenomenal groundball/flyball ratio - good. Opposing hitters would actually have to swing the bat to produce groundballs - bad. In the end, I just don't see any big league managers signing up for the carnival ride that is Chris Stuart.
Round 5 Pick 157 C Paul Thornton
Signability issues have prevented the Yankees from making Thornton another viable option at C for them in the future. Although he would be a marginal C at best, he would still give them a player to fill in at that position, which New York has precious few of.
ML Profection: emergency replacement (if signed)
Hidden Gems: none foreseeable
Overall Grade: C+
Full marks to acesspade for identifying his team's weaknesses, and actively trying to fill those holes in the draft. After a very shaky start with the 4th overall pick, he recovered well to pick up some good prospects in later rounds.