The Yankees have rediscovered the First-Year Player Draft as a vital system pipeline in recent years, with general manager Brian Cashman and his staff emphasizing its importance in helping the club find young and cost-effective talent to stock the big league club.
While the Yankees have a reputation for being perennial players on the free-agent front, the Draft is viewed as one more weapon in their tool belt. The Yanks do not have a selection this year until the second round, choosing 55th overall due to Draft compensation, but there is optimism within the organization that the club will be able to pluck players capable of helping at the big league level in the future.
The 2014 Draft will take place on June 5-7, beginning with the Draft preview show on MLB.com and MLB Network on Thursday, June 5, at 6 p.m. ET. Live Draft coverage from MLB Network's Studio 42 begins at 7 p.m., with the top 74 picks being streamed on MLB.com and broadcast on MLB Network. MLB.com's exclusive coverage of the second and third days will begin with a live Draft show at 12:30 p.m. ET on June 6.
MLB.com's coverage includes Draft Central, the Top 100 Draft Prospects list and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of Draft-eligible players. Every selection will be tweeted live from @MLBDraftTracker, and you can also keep up to date by following @MLBDraft. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
Here is a breakdown by round of the Yankees' best historical selections in the Draft.
Round 1: Derek Jeter, 1992
You know the story by now: Jeter was the sixth overall selection in 1992, as the Astros, Indians, Expos, Orioles and Reds all passed on the promising shortstop from Kalamazoo, Mich. Houston scout Hal Newhouser, a Hall of Famer from his pitching days, was so distressed that his repeated recommendations to select Jeter were ignored that he quit his job. Five World Series championships, 13 All-Star selections and more than 3,000 hits later, the Yankees are still thankful that those five clubs passed on Jeter.
A very honorable mention goes to catcher Thurman Munson, who was selected fourth overall in the 1968 Draft. Other notable big leaguers selected by the Yankees in the first round include: outfielder Carl Everett (1990), left-hander Scott McGregor (1972), left-hander Eric Milton (1996), right-hander Mark Prior (1998, did not sign), right-hander Ian Kennedy (2006), right-hander Phil Hughes (2004), right-hander Joba Chamberlain (2006) and infielder Rex Hudler (1978).
Round 2: Al Leiter, 1984
The bulk of his career was spent with other organizations, but Leiter was picked by the Yankees out of their own backyard in Toms River, N.J., and made his big league debut three years later. His Yanks story carries a tinge of "What if?" Manager Dallas Green left Leiter out to throw 162 pitches on a cold spring evening in 1989, which may have led to the arm troubles that derailed his career for the next three years. Leiter enjoyed years of excellence with the Blue Jays, Marlins and Mets, finishing his career with the Yankees in 2005. He is currently an analyst for the team's YES Network.
Round 3: Ron Guidry, 1971
"Louisiana Lightning" played his entire 14-year career with the Yankees from 1975-88, compiling a lifetime record of 170-91 with a 3.29 ERA and earning honors as the 1978 American League Cy Young Award winner. His 18-strikeout game against the Angels that June is arguably his most memorable performance. Guidry won five Gold Glove Awards, appeared in four All-Star Games and had his uniform No. 49 retired by the club in 2003, then later served as the club's pitching coach.
Round 4: Stan Bahnsen, 1965
A right-hander from the University of Nebraska, Bahnsen broke in with the Yankees and earned honors as the 1968 AL Rookie of the Year by going 17-12 with a 2.05 ERA. He pitched for the Yanks through 1971, going 55-52 with a 3.10 ERA in 153 games, before being traded to the White Sox. Bahnsen also played for the A's, Expos, Angels and Phillies in a 16-year big league career.
Round 5: Greg Gagne, 1979
Gagne signed with the Yankees after being drafted out of high school in Somerset, Mass., and played in their farm system until 1982, when he was traded with Ron Davis and Paul Boris to the Twins for Roy Smalley. An infielder, Gagne compiled a lifetime .254 average over a 15-year career with Minnesota, the Royals and Dodgers from 1983-97. The Yanks drafted B.J. Surhoff (34.3 career WAR) in the fifth round in 1982, but he did not sign.
Round 6: Mike Pagliarulo, 1981
"Pags" signed with the Yankees out of the University of Miami and manned third base for the club from 1984-89, slugging 134 homers over those six seasons. His best year was '87, when he batted .234 with 32 homers and 87 RBIs. Pagliarulo also played with the Padres, Twins, Orioles and Rangers in an 11-year career. The Yanks selected current Nationals right-hander Doug Fister in the sixth round of the 2005 Draft, but he did not sign.
Round 7: Steve Kline, 1966
Kline, a right-handed pitcher, played 4 1/2 seasons with the Yankees from 1970-74, ranking eighth in the AL with a 2.40 ERA in 1972. Kline was part of a big 1974 trade that sent Chris Chambliss and Dick Tidrow to the Bronx. He posted a career 3.26 ERA in six big league seasons with the Yanks, Indians and Braves.
Round 8: Austin Jackson, 2005
The Yankees selected Jackson, a right-handed-hitting outfielder with speed and some power, out of high school in Denton, Texas. One of the Yanks' higher-rated prospects, Jackson was traded to the Tigers in a December 2009 three-way deal that brought Curtis Granderson to the Bronx.
Round 9: Fred McGriff, 1981
The "Crime Dog" was destined to slug 493 career home runs, and he was originally property of the Yankees, selected out of high school in Tampa, Fla. The future five-time All-Star and three-time Silver Slugger was dealt by Yanks GM Bill Bergesch to the Blue Jays on Dec. 9, 1982, packaged with Dave Collins, Mike Morgan and cash in exchange for Tom Dodd and Dale Murray. Oops.
Round 10: T.J. Beam, 2003
To date, the Yankees have received their most substantial big league contributions in the 10th round from Beam, a right-hander taken out of high school in Scottsdale, Ariz. Beam made 20 appearances with the 2006 Yanks, going 2-0 with an 8.50 ERA in 20 games, and he also made 32 appearances for the '08 Pirates.
Round 11: Darrell Einertson, 1995
Only three of the Yankees' 11th-round picks have had time in the big leagues. Of the trio, the right-hander Einertson made the most appearances, getting into 11 games and posting a 3.55 ERA with the 2000 Yanks before injuries cut his career short.
Round 12: Andy Stankiewicz, 1986
An infielder, Stankiewicz was selected by the Yankees out of Pepperdine University. He made his big league debut with the Yanks in 1992, batting .268 in 116 games, and he spent big league time with the Astros, Expos and D-backs in a seven-year big league career. The Yankees selected infielder Duane Kuiper (4.2 career WAR) in 1968, but he did not sign.
Round 13: Dan McCutchen, 2006
A right-hander, McCutchen was twice taken by the Yankees; he also had his name called in 2003, but he did not sign. Now with the Rangers after spending four seasons with the Pirates, McCutchen was traded by New York to Pittsburgh in July 2008 with Jeff Karstens, Ross Ohlendorf and Jose Tabata for Damaso Marte and Xavier Nady.
Round 14: Scott Kamieniecki, 1986
Kamieniecki was taken by the Yankees out of the University of Michigan and debuted with New York in 1991. He was 36-39 with a 4.33 ERA in 113 games (94 starts) for the Yanks from 1991-96, and also spent big league time with the Orioles, Indians and Braves.
Round 15: Steve Frey, 1983
A right-handed reliever, Frey was selected out of Bucks County Community College in Lewisburg, Pa. He was traded by the Yankees to the Mets in a rare 1987 crosstown deal that brought Rafael Santana to the Bronx; in '89, the Mets dealt Frey to the Expos, where he made his big league debut. He had a career 3.76 ERA in eight seasons with Montreal, the Angels, Giants, Mariners and Phillies.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.