After a truncated 2020 MLB Draft in which they were limited to only three selections, the Yankees have great anticipation for the '21 MLB Draft, providing an opportunity to pump fresh talent into the organization's player development pipeline.
Damon Oppenheimer, the Yankees' vice president and director of amateur scouting, is hard at work with his staff preparing their board. Brian Cashman will also be watching closely; the veteran general manager believes that the Draft's conclusion could spell an opening of floodgates for the big league trade market.
"You're used to things not really happening until after the Draft in years gone by," Cashman said. "But that was when the Draft was in June. This year, there's the curiosity of, does that push things back? The closer you get to the Draft, the less likely people will be engaged during that time frame, because they're really going to be focused on nailing the Draft."
Day 1 of the 2021 Draft will take place live from Denver's Bellco Theatre on Sunday. It will feature the first 36 picks and will air on MLB Network and ESPN at 7 p.m. ET. Day 2, which will span rounds 2-10, begins at 1 p.m. ET on Monday. The Draft will conclude with rounds 11-20 on Tuesday, starting at 12 p.m. ET. MLB.com will simulcast MLB Network's broadcast and provide live coverage on all three days.
The Yankees hold the 20th overall selection, then will pick 55th (second round) and 92nd (third round). Their bonus pool, allotted for use in the first 10 rounds, is $6,943,700. The slot value for the 20th selection is $3,242,900; the slot value for the 55th selection is $1,307,000; and the 92nd pick is $637,600.
In 2020, the Yankees selected catcher Austin Wells 28th overall from the University of Arizona. They used the 99th overall selection on second baseman Trevor Hauver from Arizona State University in the third round, then tabbed right-hander Beck Way 129th overall from Northwest Florida State JC.
King of swing
Luke Voit's slumbering bat caught fire somewhere between New York and Seattle. The first baseman collected seven hits in 10 at-bats through the first two games of the Bombers' series with the Mariners, collecting four RBIs. Voit was slashing .198/.270/.341 in 24 games entering the set.
"I think he's just been a little more consciously using the entire field," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "I think he was probably getting a little pull-happy. We've seen him go the other way a handful of times already in this series, and I think that's a key for him. He's a guy that can drive the ball to all fields, he can hit the ball out to all fields."
Green, who logged his third save of the year and the seventh of his career, said that he and his teammates continue to consider Chapman the Yankees' closer. Over his last 10 games, Chapman has given up 15 runs on 15 hits and 11 walks in 6 2/3 innings.
"I think we're just there for him; we're just trying to be good teammates," Green said. "We've all been through similar situations, and honestly, they're different for everybody. If you play this game long enough, I think those situations are going to happen. You just try to be there for him, just try to talk to him, if he wants to."
Tim Locastro boasts the second-highest sprint speed in the Majors at 30.7 feet per second, behind only the Padres' Jorge Mateo (30.8 feet per second). The recently acquired outfielder showcased that in the second inning on Wednesday, turning what appeared to be a routine single to left field into a double.
"When I saw it get by the infield, I was thinking two," Locastro said. "It worked out for us."
In that inning, DJ LeMahieu lifted a deep fly ball to center field that allowed Locastro to tag up to third base. He was then 90 feet away when Aaron Judge blasted a 429-foot homer to the upper deck in left field, giving the Yanks a 5-1 lead at the time.
"You saw it off the bat and I should have probably went back and tagged, but I was sort of enjoying it a little bit," Locastro said. "It was an absolute bomb. It was fun to watch that go out of the stadium."
This date in Yankees history
July 8, 2000: The Yankees and Mets played the first two-stadium split doubleheader in nearly 100 years, with the Yankees sweeping both games by the score of 4-2. Game 1 took place at Shea Stadium, followed by Game 2 that night at Yankee Stadium. It marked the first day-night doubleheader to take place in different venues since Sept. 7, 1903 (New York Giants vs. Brooklyn Superbas).