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Grading the 'First 100 Days'

A look at the top performers from the Yankees Draft Class of 2012
09/10/2012 10:37 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Saxon Butler began the year in Staten Island but finished it in Charleston.(silive.com)
Political pundits often analyze a President’s “First 100 Days,” evaluating a new Commander-in-Chief’s first few months in office by comparing his accomplishments to those of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. If you could evaluate baseball talent against that same measuring stick, then now would be the time to do so for the men selected in the 2012 Draft, as this week marks the end of their “First 100 Days” in the Yankees system.

Of the 41 men selected by the Bombers in the first week of June, 26 of them played in the organization this summer. Some did well, some struggled, and some surely earned themselves a “new deal” with their potential – so we decided to take a look at the newest Baby Bombers through a Presidential microscope and hand out some awards based on their First 100 Days.

MVP/“Rookie” of the Year: OF Taylor Dugas and 1B Saxon Butler (tie)
The Yankees used just 20 of their 41 picks on position players, but none of them worked out as well (at least so far) as Dugas and Butler.

Dugas, a 22-year-old outfielder selected in the eighth round out of Alabama, played 59 games for the Staten Island Yankees, hitting .306 with a home run, 15 RBI, and an .838 OPS in 209 at-bats.

Butler, a 22-year-old lefty first baseman chosen from Samford in the 33rd round, was with Dugas for the first part of the summer, hitting .296 with 10 homers and 36 RBI in 36 games before being promoted to Class-A Charleston on August 2 – where he hit .235 with three homers and nine RBI in 20 games.

Cy Young Award Winner: RHP Corey Black
The Yankees’ fourth-round pick out of Faulkner University, Black spent the summer in three different locales.

The first was Tampa, as he made one start for the GCL Yankees on July 2 and allowed a run on two hits over 1.1 innings in his pro debut. Black moved up to Staten Island later that week, and was dominant for the SI Yanks; in six starts between July 9 and August 3, Black recorded no decisions but pitched to a 2.28 ERA, striking out 21 against just eight walks in 27.2 innings.

Just days after turning 21 on August 4, Black got a belated birthday gift in the form of a promotion to Charleston, where he went 2-2 with a 3.80 ERA in five starts and fanned 29 (with just five free passes issued) in 23.2 IP. Overall, that stint with the RiverDogs brought him to a final line of 2-2 with a 3.08 ERA and 50 K/15 BB in 52.2 IP over 12 starts.

Fireman of the Year: RHP Nick Goody
Goody could also win a “high riser” of the year award, as he’s the only 2012 draftee that reached as high as Class-A Advanced Tampa – and with good reason.

The 21-year-old righty was the team’s sixth round pick out of LSU, and his transition from the SEC to MiLB was no sweat. He started at Staten Island, where he pitched 3.1 scoreless innings and recorded one save in three appearances in late June. He then moved up to Charleston, where he went 1-2 with a 1.09 ERA and six saves in 17 games, striking out a whopping 40 batters and issuing just seven walks in 24.2 innings.

That line earned him the promotion to Tampa in late-August, and Goody didn’t disappoint; in three outings, he allowed just one earned run in four innings (a 2.25 ERA) while striking out seven and walking just one in those frames – totals that brought his final season line to 1-2 with a 1.12 ERA, .908 WHIP, seven saves and 52 K/7 BB in 32 innings.

Clearly, the Yankees saw something in Goody, and it paid off; after all, just a year before being the No. 217 overall selection, the righty had been taken in the 22nd round of the 2011 draft…by the Yankees.

Valedictorian: RHP Ty Hensley
Hensley, an 18-year-old righty out of Edmond (OK) Santa Fe High School – the same school that produced 2002 top pick and current Cleveland Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden – was the team’s top choice, going No. 30 overall.

He didn’t sign until July 13, however, and managed just five appearances (four starts) starts with the GCL Yankees, going 1-2 with a 3.00 ERA and 14 strikeouts against seven walks in 12 innings pitched. Hensley will likely begin 2013 in Extended Spring Training awaiting assignment to the GCL or Staten Island, but should go into his first full calendar year as a Bomber healthy and ready to go.

Best “Baby Baby Bomber” Award: SS Austin Aune and LHP Caleb Frare (tie)
The Yankees selected just 14 high school players with their 41 picks and signed only eight…but since it’s hard to distinguish between pitchers and position players in terms of awards, both Aune and Frare earn a share of the Best “Baby Baby Bomber” Award. Aune, who just turned 19 on September 6, was selected in the second round out of Argyle (TX) High School and converted from an outfielder to a shortstop. That conversion took place in the GCL, where Aune hit .273 with one home run, 20 RBI, six steals and a .768 OPS in 139 at-bats. He did struggle a bit in the field, however, making 15 errors in 139 chances for a .887 fielding percentage.

As for Frare, the 19-year-old lefty who was the team’s 11th-round pick out of Custer County (MT) High School also spent his summer with the GCL Yankees. He pitched in 11 games (starting two), and notched a 2-1 record with a 2.74 ERA, 1.043 WHIP, and 23 strikeouts against seven walks in 23 innings.

”Chip Off The Old Block” Award: 1B Matthew Snyder
And finally, we hand out the “Chip Off The Old Block” Award to the best “second-generation” player drafted in 2012. The Yankees selected a handful – including pitcher Jose Mesa Jr. – but the cream of the legacy crop was first baseman Matthew Snyder, whose dad (former Cardinals pitcher Brian) and brother (Rangers outfielder Brandon) have both seen tours of duty in “The Show.”

The Yankees took Snyder in the tenth round out of Ole Miss, and in 52 games at Staten Island, he hit .299 with three homers, 34 RBI, 13 doubles and an .813 OPS in 187 at-bats – all after hitting .332-12-63 with a .952 OPS for the Rebels in the spring.

Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES

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