When will Yankees fans be rooting for the next wave of "Bombers"?
Day One of the 2013 MLB Draft saw the New York Yankees select four players to don the pinstripes.
The first pick for the "Bombers" may one day cause long-time fans to resurrect memories of Graig Nettles or Mike Pagliarulo.
At the 26th pick in the first round, the Yankees took this year's Big East Player of the Year Eric Jagielo out of Notre Dame. The left-handed hitter has displayed good power (ranked second in the Cape Cod League with 13 home runs) and has a cannon for an arm (if third base doesn't work out, a spot in the outfield is likely).
Jagielo is ranked as the 37th best player by MLB.com.
Given the recent turnstile the Yankees have had at the "hot corner", it wouldn't be a stretch to see the young third baseman on the fast track in the minor league system.
Look for him to begin making appearances at the big league level by 2016 (depending upon his development, of course). That season would be one year away from the end of Alex Rodriguez's contract as well as the first year that David Adams (the current heir to third base) becomes arbitration eligible.
Unless Adams improves at the plate (his average sits at .231 through 18 games with the Yankees) the door could be wide open for Jagielo to assume the role of starting third baseman for the New York Yankees.
The Yankees received back-to-back compensatory picks in the first round and the first of those came with the 32nd pick. With that pick the Yankees selected Fresno State's Aaron Judge.
Judge is an outfielder (currently playing center field) with tremendous raw talent. Blessed with size (he's 6'7", 255 lbs), power (he won last year's College Baseball Home Run Derby) and decent speed, he is ranked as the 24th best player in the draft by MLB.com.
Bleacher Report's Adam Wells projects Judge to be an "...Average hitter with 30-plus homers per season. First-division right fielder.".
An issue will be the outfielder's plate discipline and the development of his power (he has yet to hit more than nine home runs in a season in spite of winning the HR derby).
Should the Yankees manage to sign the college senior (he just completed his junior year), he will require time to tap into his potential. Given that the organization's current top two prospects as ranked by Baseball America are outfielders (Mason Williams and Slade Heathcott), don't expect to see Judge in the big leagues until at least 2017.
The left-handed pitcher is already committed to San Diego and as Wells writes:
It will be interesting to see what kind of bonus he wants, especially considering how the regulations for signing draftees has changed. It is still hard to see any high draft pick passing on the chance to get into pro ball early, but it does happen.
The prospect already has shown the ability to showcase three pitches in his arsenal and MLB.com ranked him as the 18th best player in the draft.
If the Yankees can sign him, he most certainly will be given plenty of time to develop. He will gradually work his way through their system and it is likely that he'll reach the major leagues by his 23rd birthday (2018). The potential to be a front-end starter is there. It will just be a matter of nurturing his talent with patience.
The Yankees final pick of the first day came in the second round with the selection of Gosuke Katoh, a second baseman from Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego.
Given that current team superstar (and MVP candidate) Robinson Cano occupies second base for the team, and Angelo Gumbs (second baseman) is ranked as the seventh best prospect in the organization by Baseball America, the opportunities for Katoh may be limited.
Should the club sign the youngster, he probably won't see major league play until at least 2018.