On the eve of unveiling last year’s prize from the 2009 amateur draft, the Nationals are once again projected to get a very special player with the first pick in this year’s draft, which begins tonight at 7:00PM ET. Although not as highly touted as Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper is this year’s wunderkind. Harper, a 17-year old catcher who accelerated his high school graduation so he could enroll at a junior college and hasten his entry into the draft, is universally regarded as not only the best player available, but one of the more advanced hitters at his age in recent memory.
Tempering the Nationals’ good fortune of getting to select two of the most promising number one picks in the history of the draft is the fact that they will once again have to negotiate with Scott Boras, meaning the team can expect to pay somewhere close to fair value. Even more daunting for the Nationals this time around is the leverage possessed by Harper thanks to his young age. Unlike a college player with no leverage, or even a high school player who is already 18, Harper could opt not to sign, play a second year in junior college and still be as young as a high school senior entering the 2011 draft. Sounds like a master plan that only someone like Scott Boras could devise.
With all of that drama as a backdrop for tonight’s draft, which is slowly gaining traction as an attention getting event, the Yankees find themselves once again picking at the end of the first round (a small price to pay for winning the World Series). As always, the Yankees are rumored to be a likely landing spot for several players with signability issues, but at such a late slot in the first round, that’s really nothing more than conjecture. Listed below is a quick summary of the Yankees’ projected pick with the 32nd overall selection, based on the mock drafts of several noted amateur baseball analysts.
|Keith Law, ESPN.com||Tyrell Jenkins, RHP||Henderson HS (Texas)|
|Jim Callis, Baseball America||Christian Yelich, 1B||Westlake HS (CA)|
|Jonathan Mayo, MLB.com||Austin Wates, OF||Virginia Tech|
|John Sickels, minorleagueball.com||Tyrell Jenkins, RHP||Henderson HS (Texas)|
|Kevin Goldstein, Baseball Prospectus||Gary Brown, OF||Cal State Fullerton|
|Frankie Piliere, mlb.fanhouse.com||Jedd Gyorko, SS||West Virginia|
For a complete scouting report on each player, along with video, check out the MLB.com’s Draft Central.