The 2018 MLB draft is over. For the next few weeks, teams will try to sign their draft picks. Let’s look at who the New York Yankees selected.
Another rule 4 draft is complete. And with it, another group of exciting prospects is poised to join the New York Yankees farm system. Coming into the season, the New York Yankees had one of the top systems in MLB, despite promoting and trading away a ton of talent. Aaron Judge, Jordan Montgomery, and Chad Green all graduated last season.
Miguel Andujar, Gleyber Torres, and Domingo German have all seen time at the major league level this season and will graduate soon. Despite that, this is still an incredibly deep farm system. That means the Yankees had a lot of leeway in developing a strategy for the 2018 MLB draft.
The days of simply throwing money around to get the top talent to fall to the bottom of the first round or the latter rounds are over. That’s thanks to the new CBA. There are ways for teams to game the system a bit, but they are limited which evens the playing field a bit.
The mechanics of the 2018 MLB Draft.
Teams are granted a bonus pool each year based on their position in the draft order and how many picks they make. Each team has at least 40 picks, one in each round. Some teams are also granted competitive balance round picks for being in the 10 worst markets or having one of the 10 lowest revenue pools.
The Yankees qualified for neither. Then there are compensation picks for losing players to free agency after making a qualifying offer to them. All told, the Yankees had the minimum 40 picks and $6,115,100.00 to spend.
This pool is tied to their first ten rounds of picks. Any pick made in rounds 11-40 has a cap of $125K with any overage coming out of the bonus pool from rounds 1-10. The pool from those first ten rounds is contingent upon signing your picks in those slots. If a team fails to sign a pick in the first ten rounds, they lose the slot allotment for that pick.
That means teams will often pick players in the early rounds that can be expected to sign for significantly under slot value. This allows them to pay other players, inside the first ten rounds or out, more than the slot allotment for their pick.
The Yankees had options.
Typically, teams don’t draft for need. For the most part, selections are made with “the best player available” as the driving force. That said, these picks are made with some context in mind. The Red Sox, for example, had a very thin system and needed to take some chances with their picks. They selected a number of high ceiling players that also carried a significant amount of risk.
With such a strong farm system, the Yankees had the option of taking risks on high ceiling players. A lot of the time, this can mean drafting plenty of prep bats and arms. There are certainly high ceiling college players available in every draft, but they tend to go early.
They could also stock up further on draftees with lower ceilings but a better chance to be useful major leaguers. So which path did the Yankees choose? Did they hedge their bets and go with a mix? Let’s dig in and see!