MLB Draft Results: New York Yankees Draft Picks That Could Be Fast Risers
Photo courtesy of Scott Kurtz/ESPNHS
The New York Yankees used the 2012 MLB Draft to re-stock their farm system and build for the future, but there are some picks the Bombers made that could help them out sooner rather than later.
Judging from their pitching problems and a few question marks in the field moving forward, the Yanks could look to plug some of those holes with the very players they chose earlier this week.
Here are some of the picks that will impact the Yankees right away.
First Round, 30th Overall: Ty Hensley, RHP, Santa Fe HS (Okla.)
Photo courtesy of MLB.com
First, here's a look at Hensley's scouting report, per Dave Perkins of SI.com:
Tall and projectable, Hensley fires a glove-popping low 90's fastball which peaks at 94 mph. He gets excellent two plane movement on his overhand curveball, but struggles to command that pitch. Hensley's arm works well, but he will need to achieve fuller extension and correct a habit of pulling his front side open too quickly in his delivery to the plate.
Based on that analysis, it would appear that despite having a major-league pitcher's form of 6'4" and 220 pounds, Hensley will need to develop his command to further his ability.
Combined with coming out of high school, Hensley wouldn't seem like a candidate to be a fast riser, but according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, the Yanks' No. 1 pick is looking to join the big-league club as soon as possible.
Hensley, who said he models himself after Roger Clemens and Roy Halladay, said his intention is to be Bronx-bound within three seasons. “My goal is to definitely be there by the time I’m 21 years old, which would have been my junior year in college,” Hensley said. “I think it’s realistic. I know I have a long way to go but I’m definitely not going to stop working until I get there—and after that.”
Sometimes determination can be a great thing for a young player and it seems Hensley has no shortage of such a trait.
He already has the necessary velocity to make it in the bigs and Hensley's body-type is of the variety you'd like to see from a pitcher, so in that respect Hensley is already part of the way there. It just remains to be seen how long it will take him to develop his other pitches, but he could certainly do so in three years' time.
Most likely it'll be in the bullpen, but look for Hensley to be involved in some way, shape or form on his new team not too far down the road.
Second Round, 94th Overall: Peter O'Brien, C, University of Miami
Photo courtesy of MLB.com
New York's current catcher, Russell Martin, has done a decent job with the pitching staff, but when you combine that with his nightmare year at the plate, he doesn't look so desirable anymore.
The Yanks could look to make a change soon, and made a smart choice taking O'Brien as a potential solution behind the plate.
Here is O'Brien's scouting report from MLB.com's staff:
This is a bit of a do-over for O'Brien, who entered the 2011 season as a strong catching prospect at Bethune-Cookman, but he decided not to sign after being drafted in the third round by the Rockies, instead transferring to Miami for his senior season. He's been more consistent with the Hurricanes, showing the kind of offensive ability most thought they'd see when 2011 began. He drives the ball to all fields and has above-average to plus raw power. He's not a bad runner for the position. His arm has always been a plus and he's shown some improvement behind the plate as well with decent hands and agility for someone his size. College catchers, especially with this kind of offensive potential, often do well on Draft day and it seems that O'Brien's decision to spend one more year in college may work to his advantage.
O'Brien's decision to stay in school is always a huge plus in the experience department for a draft pick. Clearly, a few years or more of college baseball under a young player's belt will make him more ready than a high schooler.
The former Hurricanes' catcher can handle the bat pretty well based on the analysis above, but what stands out most is his above-average arm and already solid defensive capabilities.
That means O'Brien could get a chance much earlier as a backup catcher, thanks to his advanced abilities behind the plate. As a backup his bat won't matter, and O'Brien could get an early opportunity at big-league experience with little pressure to hit.
With Martin's struggles, Austin Romine's injuries and Francisco Cervelli's demotion, the Bombers' catching picture could soon change drastically and that stands to benefit some of the younger catchers in the Yanks' system.
Fourth Round, 157th Overall: Corey Black, RHP, Faulkner Univ., Montgomery (Ala.)
Photo courtesy of Ryan Bartels/Faulkner University
Another draft pick, another arm to help shore up the Yanks' pitching issues.
Black was the Bombers' fourth-round pick. Here's the right-hander's scouting report from MLB.com's staff:
Black has a good fastball that has good movement and can get into the upper 90s. Black also has relatively good secondary stuff and dominated the NAIA. A lot is still unknown about the righty from a small school in Alabama, but he could end up being a steal in the Draft.
The right-hander already sounds like he could make a dent in a big-league ball club with a lively fastball that he can follow-up with other effective pitches.
It's certainly a lot easier to break through as a reliever and convert to a starter, as opposed to breaking into the bigs in the starting five.
Black already has plenty of experience under his belt coming out of college and will be turning 21 in August. It won't be long before the Yanks tap their fourth-round pick to help out at the major-league level.
Fifth Round, 187th Overall: Robert Refsnyder, 2B, University of Arizona
Photo courtesy of ArizonaWildcats.com
Granted, the Yankees are set at second base for a long time (Robinson Cano), but it still won't hurt the hopes that Refsnyder can make an impact on the big-league club in the not-so-distant future.
Here's the word on the Yanks' fifth round pick from Andy Lopez, a coach with Refsnyder's college team the Arizona Wildcats, per Anthony Gimino of TusconCitizen.com.
Refsnyder, the Cats’ cleanup hitter, is batting .353 with team highs of six home runs and 61 RBIs.
“Just the aptitude to hit,” Lopez said on what scouts like about Refsnyder. “He has good bat speed; he’s just a good hitter.”
And a pro team will find some place to play him if not the outfield.
“They are thinking of making him a second baseman, which he can do,” Lopez said. “He played 10 games as a freshman at second. He has worked out at second for some scouts in the past couple of weeks.”
Refsnyder is a versatile player who isn't too shabby with the bat, either. MLB.com provides a scouting video of the Yanks' fifth round pick, and that page lists Refsnyder as an outfielder.
However, as stated by Refsnyder's former coach above, the 21-year-old is learning to play the infield as well.
That type of flexibility defensively could help Refsnyder become a utility player, a role that has given players like Eduardo Nunez and Ramiro Pena a chance to break into the big leagues. Not to mention, the Yanks have got to love the experience he gained at a top collegiate baseball program.
These factors could very well be Refsnyder's ticket to the bigs in the near future if he can continue to develop his all-around skills in the field.
Sixth Round, 217th Overall: Nick Goody, RHP, Louisiana State University
Photo courtesy of CollegeBaseball360.com
Goody chose LSU over the Yankees after the first time they drafted him, but this time around it looks like the Bombers will be priority No. 1 for the sixth-round pick.
Gary Laney of ESPN.com helps break down the type of pitcher Goody is:
He struck out the side in the 10th inning in Sunday's 6-5, 10-inning win over Oregon State for his 11th save of the season, setting up the Beavers hitters with hard fastballs, then finishing them off with nasty sliders on all three third strikes.
In the same report, LSU coach Paul Mainieri described the velocity with which Goody throws.
"Goody looked like he was throwing 100 mph to that first batter (Ryan Barnes)," LSU coach Paul Mainieri said.
Goody's got the kind of velocity that can't be taught and has swing-and-miss stuff. It also doesn't hurt that he pitched for a college baseball program with the prestige of LSU.
He has "reliever" written all over him and could easily become a major player in the Yanks' bullpen real soon.
It won't be long before Mariano Rivera retires and Rafael Soriano's contract runs out. When that happens, it'll be a scramble to replace the two big arms lost. That would be the perfect chance for Goody to get his shot to take the ball on a big-league mound.