Yankees preparing to make Draft selections

The Yankees’ braintrust is huddled in their conference room in Tampa, Fla., preparing to send a set of names to representatives Willie Randolph and Andy Cannizaro at the MLB Draft in Secaucus, N.J. that they hope will develop into legitimate big league talent down the line.

With the Draft underway, the Yankees are looking ahead to their first pick at No. 26, and will also have compensation picks at No. 32 and No. 33 before making a second-round pick at No. 66.

It’s always a challenge picking later in the first round, and the Yankees believe this Draft tilts a bit toward the pitching side, but there is talent to be found that can eventually contribute in the Majors.

Here’s a look at the best 26th, 32nd and 33rd picks in Draft history, based on WAR:

Best 26th picks: Alan Trammell, 1976 Tigers; Dave Henderson, 1977 Mariners; Dan Plesac, 1983 Brewers; Brent Gates, 1991 A’s; Jeremy Bonderman, 2001 A’s, Kelly Wunsch, 1993 Brewers.

Best 32nd picks: Dave Magadan, 1983 Mets; Lee Lacy, 1969 Dodgers; Justin Thompson, 1991 Tigers; Roger Pavlik, 1986 Rangers; Dave Valle, 1981 Mariners.

Best 33rd picks: Mike Gallego, 1981 A’s; Dave Burba, 1987 Mariners; Milt Wilcox, 1968 Reds; Brad Wilkerson, 1998 Expos; Floyd Youmans, 1982 Mets.

Best 66th picks: Ryan Dempster, 1995 Rangers; Chase Headley, 2005 Padres; Trevor Cahill, 2006 A’s; Ken Boswell, 1965 Mets; Fred Lewis, 2002 Giants; Dave Engle, 1978 Angels.

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