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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

How The Yankees Landed Aaron Judge In The 2013 Draft

An oral history of a draft pick that has paid off big time:

Tim McIntosh, Yankees area scout (2001-03, ‘10-12): My ex-wife grew up in Linden. Everybody knows everybody. Somebody said, “There’s a big kid playing and you’ve got go look at him.” My cousin coached [Judge] in basketball and said, “He’s kind of passive; he’s soft. He’s the kind of guy that if he knocks you over, he’d let the play go down the court and help the guy up.”
.  .  .
Don Lyle, Indians: My mind was already set that this guy was going to be special, but trying to sell it to the industry was mighty hard. This was before Statcast™, so we weren’t measuring stuff the way we can now. A lot of people were at the Fresno-Reno game to see [Braden] Shipley, but I was there to see Aaron. He hit a ball past third base that was only two feet off the ground, and it didn’t bounce until it was past the bag. I turned to the other scouts and said, “That is the hardest ball I’ve ever seen hit in my life.” I couldn’t put the numbers on it, but if you have never seen a tornado before and you drive through it, the next time you see a tornado, you’ll know what it looks like. That’s how I felt with Aaron. I couldn’t tell you what 119 mph looked like off the bat back then, but I knew it was the hardest ball I’d ever seen hit.
.  .  .
Brad Grant, Indians: Our picks didn’t line up. And the Yankees actually had our [No. 32] pick, which they got [as compensation] for [when we signed] Nick Swisher.

Nick Swisher was a nice player for the Yankees, but the best thing he did for the franchise was to sign with the Indians. Since becoming a starter in 2017, Judge has hit .284/.421/.612, 170 OPS, in 910 PAs. Much more at link.

The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 30, 2018 at 08:19 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: aaron judge, cape cod league, college baseball, draft, draft prospects, new york yankees, scouting

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   1. Rally Posted: May 30, 2018 at 09:56 AM (#5682081)
Nice trade, similar to the one where the Yankees surrendered a draft pick to sign Mark Teixiera, a pick that became Mike Trout.

Even without that deal, Angels might have taken Trout off the board first, selecting him instead of Randal Grichuk with the pick they got from the Mets for K-Rod.

Angels took Trout as the 2nd of back to backs in order to keep his bonus demands down, or something like that as the story goes. I've always been a bit skeptical on that, as it smells of CYA and revisionist history. Angels were certainly extremely lucky to get Trout, but more than that I think they are guilty of passing on the best player in the multiverse just as much as the other 21 teams that passed.
   2. Stormy JE Posted: May 30, 2018 at 01:48 PM (#5682351)
Even without that deal, Angels might have taken Trout off the board first,
I recall the Halos had made clear that the club would have selected Trout regardless.
   3. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: May 30, 2018 at 02:10 PM (#5682382)
I remember reading that the Angels had Trout ranked first on their draft board when the first of their two picks came up, but who knows.

Drafting Judge was a great victory for the Yankee scouting and player development. What a turnaround the organization had made in player assessment and drafting.
   4. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 30, 2018 at 02:18 PM (#5682395)
Kendall Carter, Yankees: I don't want to say he was uncoordinated, but [in high school] he was almost like a newborn giraffe. The difference between his senior year in high school and his freshman year of college was a huge jump in the way he moved around.

Scouts will probably be looking closely at the relatively few kids built like NFL tight ends playing baseball to figure out if any could be late bloomers who might eventually put it all together. Are they as rare as it seems, since most gravitate to football, or is it that teams aren't patient enough?
   5. Rally Posted: May 30, 2018 at 02:27 PM (#5682405)
I recall the Halos had made clear that the club would have selected Trout regardless.

Did they make that clear before or after Trout showed up to rookie ball?
   6. Stormy JE Posted: May 30, 2018 at 02:53 PM (#5682435)
I couldn't find the exact quote but did track down this Robothal piece from '12:
The Angels in ‘09 forfeited their first-round pick, No. 32 overall, after signing free-agent reliever Brian Fuentes. But they gained back-to-back first-rounders, Nos. 24 and 25, for losing free-agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez and first baseman Mark Teixeira.

San Diego State right-hander Stephen Strasburg was No. 1 on virtually every team’s draft board.

The Angels had Trout second.
So did the Yankees.

The signing of Teixeira had cost the Yankees the 25th pick. But they were selecting at No. 29 as compensation for failing to sign their 2008 first-rounder, pitcher Gerrit Cole — yes, the same Gerrit Cole who went to the Pirates with the No. 1 overall selection last year.

In any case, Bane wasn’t worried about the Yankees grabbing Trout — they were picking behind him. No, Bane was worried about all those teams ahead of the Angels. The Nationals and Diamondbacks both would select twice before the Angels made their first pick.
Emphasis mine.

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