Do you feel a draft?
I may be the only one in Yankee Stadium who isn’t completely engulfed with Jason Giambi’s game-winning home run. That’s because I’ve been on draft duty all day, and I’ll likely be here in the press box long after the last guy blowing garbage around the left-field bleachers has headed home. Day 1 is once a year, but it’s a rough one.
How about that Giambino, limping up there off the bench and belting one into the upper deck in right field? That’s his team-leading 12th homer and the Yankees’ first walkoff homer of the year. I’d be remiss if I didn’t report that I called the shot, also. What can I tell you — sometimes everything just clicks. (But not for Chien-Ming Wang. What’s up?)
The Yankees selected high-school right-hander Gerrit Cole with the 28th overall pick, and he looks like a guy who should have a rise worth watching through the system. Cole isn’t likely to come cheaply – he’s a Scott Boras client – and they’ll need to have patience, seeing as he’s only 17 years old. But the Yankees aren’t shy about forking over the dough to top level talent, and they do appear to have landed one in Cole.
Here is a look at the Yankees’ selections on Day 1 of the First-Year Player Draft:
Round 1: Gerrit Cole, RHP, Orange Lutheran High School, Orange, Calif. — Cole tops out in the high 90s and sits in the mid 90s with his fastball, and could project either as a starter or a reliever when he begins his professional career. He was 8-2 with an 0.46 ERA as a high school senior.
Compensation Round A: Jeremy Bleich, LHP, Stanford University – Bleich was 2-2 with a 1.09 ERA in five for Stanford as a junior. He also played with the USA Junior National team in 2005 and earned Cape Cod League All-Star honors while playing for the Wareham Gatemen in 2006.
Round 2: Scott Bittle, RHP, University of Mississippi – Bittle was 7-1 with a 1.78 ERA and eight saves coming out of the bullpen for Ole Miss in 2008. In 70 2/3 innings, he allowed 35 hits and 15 runs (14 earned), walking 30 and striking out 130. A product of Texarkana, Tex., Bittle also lettered two years at Northeast Texas Community College and was named an All-Conference selection.
Round 3: David Adams, 2B, University of Virginia — Adams is a hard-nosed type who has drawn comparisons to Jeff Kent as an offensive player who is steady defensively. Adams hit .286 (66-for-231)with six home runs and 51 RBIs in 61 games for the Cavaliers in 2008. He was taken by the Detroit Tigers in 2005.
Round 4: Corban Joseph, SS, Franklin (Tenn.) High School - The left-handed hitting Joseph has a slick glove and is a Kentucky signee. He hit .510 this season with 15 home runs and 58 RBIs at Franklin, striking out five times in 135 at-bats.