The Yankees’ Deadline Day didn’t end with giving first-round pick Andrew Brackman a $3.35 million bonus as part of a $4.55 million guarantee big league deal that could be worth a staggering $13 million.
New York was just getting started. The Yankees announced the signings of five more picks in the first 10 rounds, for a combined total of $3.5 million.
The players and their scouting reports from Baseball America’s Draft Preview:
â€¢Â California high school catcher Austin Romine, second round ($500,000).
Romine’s brother Andrew is Arizona State’s starting shortstop, and his dad Kevin played there before his brief big league career. Austin also has committed to the Sun Devils, but the consensus in Southern California is he’ll never make it to Tempe. That’s despite a left hand injury that has plagued him all season. In May, he reaggravated what was diagnosed as a torn ligament in his thumb and had surgery. Rather than sit out the rest of the season, he focused on being El Toro’s closer. His arm is his best tool, among the most powerful in a strong draft crop of catchers. Romine’s pop times to second base have ranged from 1.78 to 1.85 seconds, putting him near an 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale. Romine’s receiving is less advanced, but he’s no slouch there and has the athletic ability to improve his deficient footwork. Offensively, Romine has gap power and makes consistent contact, and he’s got enough strength to project to hit for average home run power down the road.
â€¢Â Texas third baseman Brad Suttle, fourth round ($1,300,000). His bonus isÂ a record for the fourth round.
There’s a debate among scouts about who’s better, Suttle or his Longhorns teammate, Kyle Russell. Suttle doesn’t have Russell’s power ceiling, but he’s a better bet to hit in the major leagues. He’s a pure hitter and switch-hitter to boot, with scouts preferring his stroke from the left side. He has a strong 6-foot-2, 213-pound frame, though his inside-out swing doesn’t have much lift and somewhat limits his power. He drives more balls into the gaps than over the fence. The biggest knocks on Suttle are his heavy legs and lack of speed. That limits his range at third base, though he has a strong arm (clocked up to 92 mph when he was a high school pitcher) and soft hands. Some teams may be wary of him because he’s a Type 1 diabetic, but he hasn’t let if affect his career. The Hendricks brothers, his advisers, have put a $1 million price tag on Suttle, and he does have extra leverage as a draft-eligible sophomore. But clubs expect he’ll sign if he’s taken in the upper half of the sandwich round.
â€¢Â Georgia high school catcher Chase Weems, sixth round ($450,000).
Weems could be the Thomas Hickman of this year’s Georgia draft class. Hickman remained tucked away in the hills of north Georgia last year until his stock soared in the weeks before the draft and he was taken by the Marlins in the second round. Weems’ Columbus High made a late surge into the 3-A semifinals, and he was the Hornets’ catalyst. He has athleticism and a sound swing from the left side, but his best tool is his arm strength, which grades as a 65 on the 20-80 scale. His footwork is fine behind the plate, but he has stiff hands and he’s not an adept receiver, leading to questions about his ability to stay behind the plate. He’s committed to Alabama, and it could take second-round money to get him signed.
â€¢Â Texas high school outfielder Taylor Grote, eighth round ($250,000).
Taylor Grote’s stock has slipped a little, as scouts say he doesn’t get the barrel of his bat on the ball consistently. He’ll have to make adjustments to his stroke, adding more lift and reducing a bat wrap that makes his swing too long. Grote is athletic, but he may not have the speed to play center field or the true power to play on an outfield corner. He makes plays on defense, though more on instincts than pure range or arm strength. He has kept his college options open by committing to both San Jacinto (Texas) Junior College and Texas.
â€¢Â Louisiana high school shortstop Carmen Angelini, 10th round ($1,000,000).
Angelini played third base as a high school junior in deference to Josh Prince (now starting at the University of Texas), and he’ll face tough competition with Texas high schooler Rick Hague for Rice’s shortstop job next spring if he attends college. Scouts have no question that Angelini can handle the position, as he has a plus arm and solid range. He has no glaring weakness in his game. He’s more ready than Hague to contribute offensively at the college level, with superior speed and raw power. As much as scouts like Angelini, some question whether he’s going to be more than just a good college player–though that seems to be selling him short. He’s not considered as tough to sign as Hague, but it will be difficult to lure Angelini away from the Owls.
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