What if the Yankees drafted Adam Wainwright instead of David Parrish in 2000? What if they took David Wright instead of John-Ford Griffin in 2001? What if they selected one of the five All-Stars taken in the 50 picks after the Yankees drafted Andrew Brackman in 2007?
It was a fun exercise, and since I’m still bored in quarantine, I took a crack at the 2010s. For recent years (really anything after 2015) it’s not fair to say a pick is a lost yet. Heck, even the Yankees’ 2010 1st round pick — which was a bust — is only 27-years old today.
The Rochester native spent nine seasons in the minors with the Yankees and Marlins but never got a shot in the bigs, probably because he was a low-.200s hitter with no power. Culver is now playing in the Independent League.
— Noah Syndergaard (#38 overall)
Toronto took Syndergaard 6 spots after the Yankees took Culver. They had the compensation pick for failure to sign their 2009 pick, James Paxton. The big righty is out for the next season-plus recovering from Tommy John surgery, but every Yankees fan would love to have Thor in the Bronx instead of Queens.
The 2010 draft is famous for Bryce Harper (#1 overall) and Manny Machado (#3 overall). Pittsburgh took Jameson Taillon #2 overall… whoops.
The late rounds have not produced many players of note. The compensation round contained Taijuan Walker and Nicholas Castellanos. Andrelton Simmons was taken in the 2nd round; I’m not a huge fan of him but since the Yankees took a shortstop with their 1st pick, that’s a clear miss. J. T. Realmuto — also drafted as a shortstop — went in the 3rd round.
Yankees 1st pick (#51 overall): Dante Bichette Jr., Third Base
The Yankees didn’t have a pick in the first round as penalty for signing Rafael Soriano, but they took Bichette Jr. in the compensation round. They just wound up with the wrong Bichette offspring.
After bursting on the Rookie Ball scene in 2011, Dante Bichette Jr. struggled. Things were looking up in 2014, and Baseball America had him as high as #6 in the organization, but he fell off once again and has not been with the Yankees since 2017.
*Warning: This one is going to hurt*
— Blake Snell (#52 overall)
Tampa took Snell the very next pick after the Yankees took Bichette Jr. Snell is one of the best starters in the game now and Dante Bichette Jr. is not Bo Bichette, never mind his dad.
Other notables include Josh Bell, Daniel Vogelbach and James McCann (2nd round), and Mookie Betts (5th round).
You’ll also be happy to know that even though the Pirates botched the 2010 draft, they nailed this one by taking Gerrit Cole #1 overall.
Yankees 1st pick (#30 overall): Ty Hensley, Pitcher
Hensley has been through a lot since being drafted. In 2013 he had hip surgery. After the 2014 season he was beaten unconscious at a friend’s home after an argument over signing bonuses (he signed for $1.2M). Hensley made a full recovery but missed the entire 2015 season due to Tommy John surgery. He then had a second Tommy John surgery and was taken in the 2016 Rule V draft by Tampa, but is now pitching in Indy Ball.
This was a solid draft that produced quality major leaguers, but none of these misses make me want to pull my hair out like drafting Bichette Jr. over Snell.
Take your pick from the following:
— Jose Berrios, Mitch Haniger, Joey Gallo, and Lance McCullers Jr. (compensation round)
Other notables: Alex Wood (2nd round), Edwin Diaz (3rd round), Max Muncy (5th round). Josh Hader was taken in the 19th round, but it’s hard to call anything after the first few rounds a “miss.”
Yankees 1st pick (#26 overall): Eric Jagielo, Third Base
You might be asking yourself, “Why do I recognize that name?”
Jagielo was part of the Aroldis Chapman Cincinnati trade, along with Tony Renda, Caleb Cotham and Rookie Davis. Jagielo was eventually flipped to Miami for cash considerations but is now out of the league.
The Yankees also had two picks in Compensation Round A, taking Aaron Judge and Ian Clarkin back-to-back at #32 and #33.
Ryne Stanek was taken a couple slots after Jagielo and Sean Manaea 34th overall. Are those misses? Eh.
— Cody Bellinger (4th round)
I can’t say the Yankees should have drafted him when all teams passed over him a handful of times, but damn do I wish they took a shot on this son-of-a-major-leaguer.
Yankees 1st pick (#55 overall): Jacob Lindgren, Pitcher
The Yankees didn’t have a pick in the first or compensation rounds because they signed Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, and Brian McCann. Gross.
Lindgren was a highly-ranked pitching prospect for the Yankees but dealt with injuries. He signed with Atlanta after the Yanks non-tendered him and is currently in the White Sox organization.
After missing on Lindgren, the Yankees hit on two of their next four picks, drafting Jordan Montgomery in the 4th round and Jonathan holder in the 6th.
The second guess here is signing Ellsbury, Beltran and McCann.
— Jack Flaherty (#34 overall)
St. Louis took Flaherty with the compensation pick they got from the Yankees, and he’s turned into a damn good pitcher.
Two quarterbacks were also taken: Johnny Manziel (28th round) and Patrick Mahomes (38th round).
Yankees 1st pick (#16 overall): James Kaprielian, Pitcher
No. 16 was the highest selection the Yankees had in a long time. Kap was a highly-ranked prospect for them until they sent him to Oakland in a package for Sonny Gray.
Kaprielian, now 26-years old, advanced to Triple-A last season. The talent is there but injuries have delayed his career.
— Walker Buehler (#24 overall)
Crap (not to be confused with Kap).
The Yankees and 22 other teams missed on Walker Buehler big time.
As I said at the top, 2015 and beyond is where re-drafting gets difficult. Was Kapielian a miss? Not entirely. The Sonny Gray trade didn’t work out so Yankees fans probably look at it as a wasted pick, but the reality is they got value out of it.
Rutherford was another top-ranked prospect for the Yanks before they traded him. He was sent to the White Sox at the 2017 trade deadline that brought back David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, and Todd Frazier.
Even though he didn’t materialize into the next Yankees center fielder, the team does not advance deep into the ’17 playoffs without DRob, Kahnle and Frazier.
Schmidt is currently ranked as the Yankees 2nd best prospect and #88 on MLB Pipeline’s top-100. This spring, Schmidt threw 7 innings, allowing 2 runs, and had an outside shot to be the team’s 5th starter had the season started on time.
It’s not fair to second-guess 2017 yet. Atlanta’s Kyle Wright (#5 overall) was the first player to make the majors and there are other highly-touted prospects scattered throughout the draft, but I’m excited for Schmidt.
Yankees 1st pick (#23 overall): Anthony Seigler, Catcher
Siegler drew attention for being a switch-hitting, switch-throwing catcher when the Yankees drafted him. We theorized if the Yankees had plans of using him as a two-way player, but he will be a position player going forward.
MLB Pipeline ranks Siegler as the team’s 15th overall prospect.
Yankees 1st pick (#30 overall): Anthony Volpe, Shortstop
Volpe, only 19-years old, is the Yankees 9th best prospect. He’s an easy guy to root for because he’s a local kid who grew up a Yankees fan.
You kidding me?
We recently had news that MLB is shortening this year’s draft to 5 rounds. It will take place virtually on June 10 and teams will have the ability to sign an unlimited number of undrafted players for $20K. There are many ramifications to this, but overall it saves organizations a lot of signing bonus money and creates difficult decisions for players who might have otherwise been drafted after the 5th round.
Overall the Yankees got much more value out of their 2010s draft picks than 2000s. They have put a greater emphasis on scouting and development, and have also been more mindful (2013/14 offseason notwithstanding) about keeping their high draft picks.