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Yankees Draft Report Card

By Jim Callis

Best Pro Debut: After going 2-11 at Vanderbilt in the spring, LHP Andy Beal (5) went 9-3, 2.34 to lead the short-season New York-Penn League in victories and help Staten Island win the league title. OF Mitch Jones (7), who challenged for the NCAA Division I home run title, topped the NY-P with 28 doubles and 11 homers.

Best Athlete: LHP Danny Borrell (2) reminds the Yankees of Twins lefty Eric Milton, a 1996 Yankees first-rounder. Both were two-way standouts in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Borrell at Wake Forest and Milton at Maryland. Milton was more of a pitcher in college, while Borrell was the No. 3 hitter in his lineup.

Best Hitter: New York still is waiting to see OF Jason Grove’s (3) sweet swing. He was hampered by a broken hamate bone in his wrist this spring at Washington State, then broke a bone in his foot at midseason and never appeared in a pro game. Grove also has an above-average arm and average speed.

Best Raw Power: Jones. The Yankees love the way the ball explodes off his bat and can’t believe they got him in the seventh round.

Fastest Runner: New York didn’t sign anyone with better than average speed. The quickest player is actually RHP Jason Smith (11), who runs a 6.7-second 60-yard dash. He shows a lot of athleticism as an outfielder, but he’s staying on the mound.

Best Defensive Player: The Yankees surprised a lot of teams by taking C David Parrish (1) with their top pick. They’ve liked him since they drafted him in the 10th round out of high school three years ago, and they believe he’ll be a standout offensive and defensive catcher. His arm is quite strong.

Best Fastball: RHP Jason Anderson (10) throws 92-94 mph. RHP Jeremy King (6) is right behind him.

Most Intriguing Background: Parrish resembles his father Lance, a former all-star catcher. OF Tim Nettles (47) is the son of former Yankees all-star Graig Nettles.

Closest To The Majors: Beal’s fastball is less than overpowering, but that’s fine because he has pinpoint control. His 87-17 strikeout-walk ratio was the best in the NY-P.

Best Late-Round Pick: The only thing questioned about Smith was his signability. He’s 6-foot-5 and 205 pounds, has a live, loose arm and throws a projectable 90-91 mph fastball. His slider is another potential plus pitch.

The One Who Got Away: RHP Darric Merrell (20) has an average fastball and plenty of polish. He turned down New York for Cal State Fullerton.

Assessment: Parrish still needs a lot of refinement to prove he wasn’t a first-round reach. Even if he fizzles, the Yankees got a trio of promising lefties in Borrell, Matt Smith (4) and Beal.

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