By The Numbers: The Yankees' 2014 Draftees
While we won't begrudge any of those who don't sign for choosing the latter, we can tell you that only 10 of the 42 draft picks from 2013 chose not to become Yankees, and seven of those were high school selections who instead went on to college.
What will happen this year is anyone's guess, but given the sheer amount of collegians drafted, it's likely that Staten Island's opening day roster will look like a major college jamboree of sorts. So who is in that mix? Find out below as we go By The Numbers to profile the 2014 draftees of the New York Yankees.
32: Experience was the name of the game for the Yankees in this draft, as 32 of the 39 players they selected were from the collegiate ranks, starting with their top overall selection of Mississippi State University LHP Jacob Lindgren in the second round.
71: Lindgren's slot, No. 55, was the latest the Yankees had made their top pick since 2002, when they selected a right-handed pitcher from Santa Fe High School in Edmond, Oklahoma named Brandon Weeden at No. 71 overall. You surely know Weeden as the future quarterback of Oklahoma State University and the Cleveland Browns, and you may even remember that Santa Fe High is where the Yanks got their top pick in 2012, RHP Ty Hensley, as well.
2: Lindgren's selection marked the second straight year the Yankees took a collegian with their top pick, following 2013's selection of then-Notre Dame third baseman Eric Jagielo. The selection of Jagielo ended a five-year run of high schoolers at the top, but we'll have to wait another 51 weeks or so to see if Lindgren is the middle of at least a three-year run of higher education candidates.
7: With no first-round or compensation picks, the Yankees had only 39 choices, meaning just seven came from the high school/prep ranks. Interestingly enough, two of those seven - the only two prep schoolers - were teammates: third-round RHP Austin DeCarr and 23rd-round third baseman Will Toffey, who played together at the Salisbury School in upstate Connecticut on a team coached by Will's older brother, John Toffey.
3: DeCarr and Toffey were one of three sets of teammates taken by the Yankees; Lindgren and sixth-round RHP Jonathan Holder both came from Mississippi State, while 19th-round RHP Joe Harvey and 34th-round RHP Matt Wotherspoon both pitched on the Pitt Panthers' staff this spring.
1977: The Yankees have taken two players from Mississippi State once before, back in 1977. One was junior catcher Jack Lozorko, who did not sign after being taken in the "secondary" draft, returned to school, and was drafted in the 11th round of the main draft by the Astros in 1978; the other, however, was a pretty famous name: William Nathaniel "Buck" Showalter, who only reached Triple-A in seven years in the Yankees' system but went on to manage the Bombers from 1992-95.
4: Four of the Yankees' 39 draftees are or were still playing at the time they were drafted. Outfielder Mark Payton (Rd. 7, Texas), first baseman Connor Spencer (Rd. 8, UC-Irvine), and shortstop Vince Conde (Rd. 9, Vanderbilt) will all play in the College World Series, while outfielder Dominic Jose (Rd. 24, Stanford) ended his season in the Super Regionals last weekend against Conde's Commodores.
7/18/96: Want to feel old? July 18, 1996 is the birthdate of the Yankees' youngest pick, 17th-round RHP Garrett Cave. Four of the five true high schoolers taken were born in 1996, but with a July birthday, the South Sumter (FL) HS grad Cave is the only one who is still just 17 years old.
5: Add the aforementioned four to 39th-round first baseman Cameron Warren (whose birthdate is 6/15/95), and you have five high school draft picks who were all born in June 1995 or later - meaning not a single one of them was alive when Derek Jeter made his MLB debut in Seattle on May 29, 1995.
652: There are a lot of legacies drafted every year, but in the 29th round this year, the Yankees snagged bullpen royalty when they selected the first-born son of the greatest closer of al-time, Iona College RHP Mariano Rivera Jr. As a junior, "Little Mo" could choose to return to the Gaels for one last year, but he'll always have a place in a draft that also featured the sons of Cal Ripken, Lenny Dykstra, Bobby Bonilla and Mets CEO Jeff Wilpon, the grandson of Harmon Killebrew, and the brother of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco all get selected.
28: The Yankees have drafted some mammoths in the past, and at a listing of 6-foot-7 and 255 pounds, 28th-round RHP Lee Casas takes this year's size cake. The former USC Trojan isn't truly the "biggest" in either stature - 22nd-round Indiana RHP Jake Kelzer is listed at 6-foot-8, while 13th-round Citadel first baseman Bo Thompson is also 255 pounds - but with a big enough weight discrepancy against Kelzer (255 vs. 230 pounds) and a bit of a height advantage over Thompson (who is listed at 5-foot-11), we'll give the nod to Casas.
3: With our final number, we go back to three to salute The Jordans; they're not a family, but at three, Jordan was the most popular first name among the 39 newest Baby Bombers - and so, we congratulate Misters Montgomery (LHP, Rd. 4, South Carolina), Foley (RHP, Rd. 5, Central Michigan), and Ramsey (RHP, Rd. 32, UNC-Wilmington) for being perhaps the least unique of the bunch. Oddly enough, there were four sets of two, but all were "different" when called, with a Chris and a Christopher, a Will and a William, a Jake and a Jacob, and a Matt and a Matthew.