Don’t get too excited: even though the Yankees did indeed draft Jack Leiter in the 20th round this afternoon, it would be a stunner to see him sign with the club. Expect him to head to Vanderbilt.
It’s quite common for teams to use one or two late round selections on friends or family of someone with ties to the organization. Yes, Leiter is a big prospect in this instance, but this selection screams courtesy more than anything. Remember when the Yankees took Mariano Rivera’s son 29th round of 2014? He didn’t sign, and the Nationals wound up taking him in the fourth round in 2015.
Unless Leiter suddenly wants to accept a steep discount (perhaps Anthony Volpe too), there’s no way the team can meet his demands in order to convince him to sign. They could go way over their draft pool and forfeit next year’s first round pick if they wanted, but that really only makes sense if you go way, way over. The Yankees have taken a ton of college kids with little leverage, so yeah, that strategy isn’t happening.
Anyway, the draft is near complete, but I had no plans of listing all picks 11 through 40 because that would just be silly. So, just go check out MLB.com’s draft tracker instead. The rest of our draft coverage can be found here. As a reminder, we’ll profile the picks in the coming weeks.