Profiling a "Drafter's Dozen"

Thirteen notables the Yankees have selected with their top draft choices
06/04/2012 9:44 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

John Elway was drafted by the Yankees in 1981, but left to play in the NFL in 1983 instead.(AP)
The MLB Rule 4 Draft began in 1965. Since then, there have been 53 (and soon to be 54) men who have earned the right to call themselves the Yankees' "No. 1" draft pick, either by virtue of being selected in the first round or simply being their first choice of the draft.

There's only one Derek Jeter, but among that four dozen selections lie men who fit into every range of player; there are a couple all-time greats and a handful of current top prospects, quite a few who had or look to have lengthy major League careers (either in New York or elsewhere), and, of course, some who never made a major impact in (or even reached) "The Show."

From Burbach to Bichette and everyone in between, the 13 men profiled below are perhaps the most notable.

1967 – RON BLOMBERG, 1st overall
The Yankees had the No. 1 overall pick for the first time in 1967, and chose first baseman Ron Blomberg out of Druid Hills High School in suburban Atlanta. Despite having more than 100 scholarship offers to play both football and basketball in college (including one from hoops powerhouse UCLA), Blomberg signed with the Yankees for $75,000.
Notable 1967 First Round Picks: Jon Matlack (4, Mets), John Mayberry, Sr. (6, Astros), Ted Simmons (10, Cardinals), Dave Rader (18, Giants), Bobby Grich (19, Orioles).
Notable Later Round Picks: Vida Blue (Rd. 2, Athletics), Don Baylor (Rd. 2, Orioles), Rick Dempsey (Rd. 15, Twins), Dusty Baker (Rd. 26, Braves), Chris Chambliss (Rd. 31, Reds, did not sign).
Notable Later Yankees Picks: Frank Baker (Rd. 2 of the secondary phase).

1968 – THURMAN MUNSON, 4th overall
With 1968’s No. 4 pick, the Yankees selected Kent State University catcher Thurman Munson, who had just led the Chatham A’s to their first title in the prestigious Cape Cod League the summer before. Munson spent less than one full season in the Minors before making his Yankees debut in 1969.
Notable 1968 First Round Picks: Tim Foli (1, Mets), Bobby Valentine (5, Dodgers), Greg Luzinski (11, Phillies), Gary Matthews, Sr. (17, Giants), Steve Garvey (13 of the secondary phase, Dodgers).
Notable Later Round Picks: Bill Buckner (2, Dodgers), Jim Nettles (brother of Graig, Rd. 4, Twins), Tom Kelly (Rd. 8, Seattle Pilots/Milwaukee Brewers), Doyle Alexander (Rd. 9, Dodgers), Oscar Gamble (Rd. 16, Cubs).
Notable Later Yankees Picks: Wayne Nordhagen (Rd. 7), Duane Kuiper (Rd. 12, did not sign).

1978 – REX HUDLER, 18th overall
The first of the Yankees’ three first-round picks in 1978 was earned as compensation for losing free agent Ron Blomberg. They selected shortstop Rex Hudler out of Bullard High School in Fresno, Calif., and Hudler had a 13-year Major League career after choosing baseball over attending Notre Dame.
Notable 1978 First Round Picks: Bob Horner (1, Braves), Hubie Brooks (3, Mets), Andy Hawkins (5, Padres), Kirk Gibson (12, Tigers), Tom Brunansky (14, Angels).
Notable Later Round Picks: Cal Ripken, Jr. (Rd. 2, Orioles), Steve Sax (Rd. 9, Dodgers), Mark Langston (Rd. 15, Cubs), Kent Hrbek (Rd. 17, Minnesota), Ryne Sandberg (Rd. 20, Phillies).
Notable Later Yankees Picks: Steve Balboni (Rd. 2), Andy McGaffigan (Rd. 6), Howard Johnson (Rd. 20, did not sign).

1981 – JOHN ELWAY, 52nd overall (second round)
The Yankees didn’t have a first-round pick in 1981. With their top overall choice, No. 52 in Round 2, they selected Stanford OF John Elway – who went on instead to play 16 seasons as the quarterback for the Denver Broncos.
Notable 1981 First Round Picks: Joe Carter (2, Cubs), Kevin McReynolds (6, Padres), Bobby Meacham (8, Cardinals), Ron Darling (9, Rangers), Steve Lyons (19, Red Sox).
Notable Later Round Picks: David Cone (Rd. 3, Royals), Tony Gwynn (Rd. 3, Padres), Paul O’Neill (Rd. 4, Reds), John Franco (Rd. 5, Dodgers), Cecil Fielder (Rd. 31, Orioles).
Notable Later Yankees Picks: Scott Bradley (Rd. 3), Eric Plunk (Rd. 4), Mike Pagliarulo (Rd. 6), Fred McGriff (Rd. 9), Bob Tewksbury (Rd. 19).

1990 – CARL EVERETT, 10th overall
A switch-hitting outfielder, Everett was a three-sport star at Tampa’s Hillsborough High School prior to being drafted by the Yankees. He was taken in the 1993 Expansion Draft by the Marlins, and played for eight MLB teams from 1993-2006.
Other Notable 1990 First Round Picks: Chipper Jones (1, Braves), Mike Lieberthal (3, Phillies), Jeromy Burnitz (17, Mets), Mike Mussina (20, Orioles), Steve Karsay (22, Blue Jays).
Notable Later Round Picks: Bob Wickman (Rd. 2, White Sox), Bret Boone (Rd. 5, Mariners), Mike Hampton (Rd. 6, Mariners), Troy Percival (Rd. 6, Angels), Jason Varitek (Rd. 23, Astros, did not sign).
Notable Later Yankees Picks: Sam Militello (Rd. 6), Ricky Ledee (Rd. 16), Andy Pettitte (Rd. 22), Jorge Posada (Rd. 24), Shane Spencer (Rd. 28).

1991 – BRIEN TAYLOR, 1st overall
A left-handed pitcher, Taylor struck out 213 batters in 88 innings in his senior year at East Carteret High School in Beaufort, N.C., in 1991, but suffered a shoulder injury early in his pro career and never reached the Majors before retiring in 2000.
Other Notable 1991 First Round Picks: Dmitri Young (4, Cardinals), Manny Ramirez (13, Indians), Shawn Green (16, Blue Jays), Aaron Sele (23, Red Sox), Scott Hatteberg (43, Red Sox).
Notable Later Round Picks: Nomar Garciaparra (Rd. 5, Milwaukee, did not sign), Derek Lowe (Rd. 8, Mariners), Mike Cameron (Rd. 18, White Sox), Aaron Boone (Rd. 43, Angels, did not sign), Jason Isringhausen (Rd. 44, Mets).
Notable Later Yankees Picks: Lyle Mouton (Rd. 5).

1992 – DEREK JETER, 6th overall
The shortstop from Kalamazoo (MI) Central High School was the consensus 1992 High School Player of the Year, a talent so good that the Houston scout who heavily lobbied the team to select him No. 1 overall quit in protest after the Astros chose Phil Nevin instead.
Other Notable 1992 First Round Picks: Phil Nevin (1, Astros), Preston Wilson (9, Mets), Jason Kendall (23, Pirates), Charles Johnson (28, Marlins), Johnny Damon (35, Royals).
Notable Later Round Picks: Jon Lieber (2, Royals), Jason Giambi (2, Oakland), Darin Erstad (13, Mets, did not sign), Brendan Donnelly (27, White Sox), Raul Ibanez (36, Seattle).
Notable Later Yankees Picks: Mike Buddie (Rd. 4), Mike DeJean (Rd. 24).

1998 – MARK PRIOR, 43rd overall
When the Yankees failed to sign their 1997 top pick, Tyrell Godwin, they received a compensatory pick in 1998. After making OF Andrew Brown their "true" No. 1 with the 24th pick, they used the compensatory 43rd selection to draft RHP Mark Prior out of University High School in San Diego. They also did not come to terms with Prior, who was later drafted by the Cubs No. 2 overall in 2001.
Other Notable 1998 First Round Picks: Pat Burrell (1, Phillies), JD Drew (5, Cardinals), Carlos Pena (10, Rangers), Brad Lidge (17, Astros), CC Sabathia (20, Indians).
Notable Later Round Picks: Adam Dunn (Rd. 2, Reds), Barry Zito (Rd. 3, Rangers, did not sign), Mark Teixeira (Rd. 9, Red Sox, did not sign), Cliff Lee (Rd. 20, Baltimore, did not sign), Mark Buehrle (Rd. 38, White Sox).
Notable Later Yankees Picks: Drew Henson (Rd. 3), Brandon Claussen (Rd. 34), Jeff Nettles (son of Graig, Rd. 47).

2002 – BRANDON WEEDEN, 71st overall (second round)
Again without a first-rounder in 2002, the Yankees drafted right-handed pitcher Weeden out of Santa Fe High School in Edmond, Okla., with their top overall pick. He was sent to Los Angeles in 2003 in the Kevin Brown deal, and after five years in the Minors, Weeden left baseball and enrolled at Oklahoma State – where he became the starting QB and was drafted by the Cleveland Browns this past April.
Notable 2002 First Round Picks: B.J. Upton (2, Devil Rays), Zack Greinke (6, Royals), Prince Fielder (7, Brewers), Nick Swisher (16, Athletics), Cole Hamels (17, Phillies).
Notable Later Round Picks: Joey Votto (Rd. 2, Reds), Jon Lester (Rd. 2, Red Sox), Curtis Granderson (Rd. 3, Tigers), Josh Johnson (Rd. 4, Marlins), Russell Martin (Rd. 17, Dodgers).
Notable Later Yankees Picks: Brad Halsey (Rd. 8), Phil Coke (Rd. 26).

2004 – PHIL HUGHES, 23rd overall
A right-handed pitcher out of Foothill High School in Santa Ana, Calif., Hughes was a compensatory pick for the Yankees when they lost Andy Pettitte to the Houston Astros.
Other Notable 2004 First Round Picks: Justin Verlander (2, Tigers), Jeff Niemann (4, Devil Rays), Jered Weaver (12, Angels), Billy Butler (14, Royals), Huston Street (40, Oakland).
Notable Later Round Picks: Yovani Gallardo (Rd. 2, Brewers), Dustin Pedroia (Rd. 2, Red Sox), Ben Zobrist (Rd. 6, Astros), Cory Wade (Rd. 10, Dodgers), Dallas Braden (Rd. 24, Athletics).
Notable Later Yankees Picks: Jeffrey Marquez (Rd. 1), Mike Dunn (Rd. 33), Chris Davis (Rd. 50, did not sign).

2006 – IAN KENNEDY, 21st overall and JOBA CHAMBERLAIN, 41st overall
The Yankees did not have a “true” first-round pick in 2006, but did earn two compensatory ones for losing Tom Gordon to the Phillies. At No. 21 overall, they chose USC pitcher Kennedy, and Nebraska hurler Chamberlain came 20 spots later.
Other Notable 2006 First Round Picks: Evan Longoria (3, Devil Rays), Clayton Kershaw (7, Dodgers), Tim Lincecum (10, Giants), Daniel Bard (28, Red Sox), Preston Mattingly (31, Dodgers).
Notable Later Round Picks: Trevor Cahill (Rd. 2, Athletics),Jeff Samardzija (Rd. 5, Cubs), Andrew Bailey (Rd. 6, Athletics), David Freese (Rd. 9, Padres), Desmond Jennings (Rd. 10, Tampa Bay).
Notable Later Yankees Picks: Colin Curtis (Rd. 4), Dellin Betances (Rd. 8), Mark Melancon (Rd. 9), David Robertson (Rd. 17), Kevin Russo (Rd. 20).

2008 – GERRIT COLE, 28th overall
Cole, a righty pitcher, was selected but never signed by the Yankees, choosing to attend UCLA instead. After a strong career as a Bruin, Cole was once again drafted in 2011 – this time taken No. 1 overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Other Notable 2008 First Round Picks: Eric Hosmer (3, Royals), Buster Posey (5, Giants), Gordon Beckham (8, White Sox), Justin Smoak (11, Rangers), Ike Davis (18, Mets).
Notable Later Round Picks: Craig Kimbrel (Rd. 3, Braves), Vance Worley (Rd. 3, Phillies), Daniel Hudson (Rd. 5, White Sox), Alex Avila (Rd. 5, Detroit), Cody Eppley (Rd. 43, Rangers).
Notable Later Yankees Picks: David Adams (Rd. 3), Brett Marshall (Rd. 6), D.J. Mitchell (Rd. 10), David Phelps (Rd. 14), Pat Venditte (Rd. 20). comments