This year’s draft is over and done with. You can see who the Yankees selected here. Of note: first round pick Spencer Jones, an outfielder who stands at a towering six-foot-seven with big power projection. Sound familiar? Fair or not, he’s already had a left-handed Aaron Judge comp thrown around. That sure would be a fun outcome, wouldn’t it?
Like I did last year, it’s time for a retrospective of the Yankees’ draft from five years ago. Here’s the 2016 piece I penned. Let’s dive right into the facts of the club’s 2017 selections:
- Signed: 23/40
- Made the majors: 7
- Still in the organization: 8
- WAR for Yankees: 0.7
- Total WAR: 4.7
*Baseball Reference WAR.
Those are by far better results in terms of WAR than the ’16 draft, though the bar was very low to clear. The likes of Nick Nelson and Brooks Kriske really put a drag on the ’16 class. Granted, the Yankees made some trades out of that crop that significantly benefited the major league roster (the David Robertson, Tommy Kahnle, and Todd Frazier trade).
Like the draft haul from a year prior, the Yankees didn’t hesitate to trade away some pieces from the ’17 class. In turn, they acquired the following players:
- Jameson Taillon: +3.1 WAR
- Joey Gallo: +0.5 WAR
- Joely Rodríguez: +0.3 WAR, who turned into Miguel Castro (-0.3 WAR)
- Andrew Heaney: 0.0 WAR
Now, there were non-’17 draft class players included in the trades for Taillon, Gallo, and Rodríguez, so their contributions to the major league team don’t totally stem from the prospects drafted and traded. Still, it’s worth mentioning how the Yankees improved the team via the draft, even if indirectly.
Now, let’s get into the players selected in greater detail: