How Bad Is It?

Tonight marks the start of the MLB Draft and a look back at the Yankees performance in the first round is not a very encouraging experience. For the purposes of this exercise, I started in 2000 and ended in 2009 as I think it is too early to judge the 2010-present drafts. Plus, that gives us a ten-year period to examine. Let’s take a look at the picks with their major league totals. (Not necessarily with the Yankees)

2000- Dave Parrish- never made the majors

2001- John Ford Griffin, Bronson Sardhina, Jon Skags (2 supplemental picks and a 1st rounder) 32 MLB AB’s and 2 HR’s between them.

2002- no pick

2003- Eric Duncan- never made the majors

2004- Phil Hughes, Jon Poterson and Jeff Marquez Hughes is 54-40 with a 4.48 ERA in his career. Marquez pitched in 4 ML games

2005- CJ Henry- never made the majors

2006- Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy That’s 70 wins in the majors with a sub-4 ERA between the two of them.

2007- Andrew Brackman 3 games in the majors

2008- Jeremy Bleich and Gerrit Cole Bleich is in AA after blowing out his arm. Cole didn’t sign, went to college and was the #1 pick of the 2012 draft.

2009- Slade Heathcott Finally had a good year last year in A-ball, struggling in AA, still only 22.

Let’s use WAR (Wins Above Replacement) as a way to quantify it and adding it all up the Yankees have produced a WAR of 24.6 from all of those draft picks. That’s a tiny bit less than Jason Giambi produced in his entire Yankees’ career.

Now the problem with comparing drafts is that the Yankees pick towards the back of the pack every year. They simply don’t have a shot at guys like Harper or Trout or Strasburg. So let’s compare them to some teams that also picked towards the back.

The Red Sox certainly did for the second-half of this study. From 2003-2007 their picks produced a WAR of 56.1. Now granted, slightly more than half of that is from Buchholz and Ellsbury, but both of those guys were picked in 2005 AFTER the Yankees selected CJ Henry.

The Braves also did for a lot of the time period and they produce a WAR of 57.2. Unfortunately for them, almost half of that figure comes from Adam Wainwright, whom they traded in 2003.

Now WAR isn’t a perfect stat, but I think you get the idea. The Yankees are at a disadvantage with their draft spot, but they haven’t helped themselves with their picks. The Red Sox and Braves have certainly had their misses, but in the 10 years from 2000-2009 the Yankees had 15 picks and only 4 of them can be considered even serviceable players or better (I am including Cole in that figure because he looks like a good one.) That’s not a good figure and something the Yankees have to improve on if they are going to compete in a more fiscally-prudent manner.