Draft Notes: Manaea, Kaminsky, Crawford, And McKinney

We're just a little bit more than a week away from draft day and the Yankees still haven't spilled the beans. This is pretty standard for the organization, but while the news continues to come in about the Astros and Cubs meeting with projected top picks, the Yankees are remaining completely quiet. Most of what we've gathered about the Yankees' draft is speculation, but there is a consensus around several mock drafts. In my last draft post, I had a ton of links to rankings, scouting reports, and mock drafts. In most of them, the Yankees were heavily favored to take high school players, LHP Rob Kaminsky and C Jon Denney. College SS Tim Anderson has shown up in quite a few mocks as well, though the last time the Yankees took a college bat in the first round was 2001. HS OF Ryan Boldt was also named quite a few times as a possible high-risk pick for the team, as Boldt's stock has fallen dramatically due to injury issues. Let's get caught up on some of the latest mock drafts and news.

  • On Manaea: Another player with his stock dropping is LHP Sean Manaea. The southpaw was originally projected to go in the first 10 picks, and some even believed, earlier in the year, that he had the potential to go in the first few picks of the draft. Out of Indiana State, the Junior sported a mid 90's fastball with a plus slider, but hip and shoulder problems brought his fastball down to the low 90's this year. At 6"5' and 235 lbs, the lefty should be bringing more velocity than that, but the injuries could now be a major question mark, and after failing to make his last couple of starts this season, teams may not want this type of risk in their early picks. The Yankees are slowly becoming a favorite to take a chance on him with one of their three first round picks.
  • On Kaminsky: Meanwhile, Rob Kaminsky, the lefty that the Yankees have been expected to take, has seen a boost in his rankings. After regularly showing up in the middle of top 100 lists, Kaminsky seems to be getting more and more coverage. It seems like a possibility that the New Jersey native might not fall to the Yankees.

Baseball America released their top-500 list, and the rankings are free to view, but the scouting reports are for subscribers only. Manaea has fallen from his April 4th ranking of 6th overall to 18th overall. Kamisnky, who was 26th in April, is now 21st. Boldt, was was 22nd, has fallen all the way down to 58th. Denney has fallen from 14th overall to 25th.

  • On McGuire: Speaking of Denney, the Yankees obviously like their young catchers, and there is another young backstop on the board before Denney. Reese McGuire, who is ranked 10th overall by Baseball America, is considered the top catcher in the draft. In an interview with Doug Miller of MLB.com, McGuire and his mother talked about the experience of the draft, and hinted at possibly choosing college over the minor leagues. This is my own speculation, but it might be enough to scare some teams into thinking he wants a hefty signing bonus or might not even consider signing with certain teams. It's not a particularly likely possibility, but if McGuire fell to the Yankees, you'd have to think they'd take him. He's young, a left-handed hitter, and extremely athletic for a catcher. If anyone can take a risk on someone looking for money in this draft, it would be the Yankees with their three picks.

New Mock Draft (Baseball America): Finally, we have two mock drafts to add to last week's list. Jim Callis released his Mock Draft 2.0, and he has the Yankees taking LHP Rob Kaminsky (26th), LHP Sean Manaea (32nd), and C Job Denney (33rd). That would be quite the haul.

New Mock Draft (Scout.com): Kiley McDaniel of Scout.com also has a Mock Draft 2.0, but with the Yankees taking LHP Rob Kaminsky (26th), CF Billy McKinney (32nd), and RHP Jonathon Crawford (33rd). McKinney, an outfielder, is considered one of the best high school left-handed hitters in the draft, and according to McDaniel, the Yankees have been linked to him for quite some time. Meanwhile, Crawford is a hard throwing college arm that the Yankees have been scouting. Crawford has been expected to go before the Yankees' picks, but if he does fall, his mid 90's fastball and plus slider is something to get excited about. With that said, his delivery is far from routine, he needs a lot of work with his control, and scouts hate the release point.