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Yankees to stick with 'simple' plan in Draft

NY has 23rd pick; coverage starts tonight on MLB.com, MLB Network
MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- Despite graduating a strong rookie class to the Majors that has included Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino and Gleyber Torres in recent years, the Yankees continue to boast one of the best -- and arguably the deepest -- farm systems in baseball.

They hope to add to that collection in the near future, with vice president of domestic amateur scouting Damon Oppenheimer and his army of scouts and cross-checkers actively and aggressively scouring the high school and collegiate ranks for the upcoming MLB Draft.

NEW YORK -- Despite graduating a strong rookie class to the Majors that has included Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino and Gleyber Torres in recent years, the Yankees continue to boast one of the best -- and arguably the deepest -- farm systems in baseball.

They hope to add to that collection in the near future, with vice president of domestic amateur scouting Damon Oppenheimer and his army of scouts and cross-checkers actively and aggressively scouring the high school and collegiate ranks for the upcoming MLB Draft.

The 2018 Draft begins tonight with the Draft preview show on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. ET. MLB Network will broadcast the first 43 picks (Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A), while MLB.com will stream all 78 picks on Day 1. MLB.com will also provide live pick-by-pick coverage of Rounds 3-10 on Day 2, with a preview show beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET. Then, Rounds 11-40 can be heard live on MLB.com on Day 3, beginning at noon ET.

:: 2018 Draft coverage ::

Go to mlb.com/draft to see the Top 200 Prospects list, projected top picks from MLB Pipeline analysts Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo, the complete order of selection and more. And follow @MLBDraft on Twitter to see what Draft hopefuls, clubs and experts are saying.

In about 50 words
In both the domestic and amateur markets, general manager Brian Cashman said the Yankees' philosophy "is to take the best player available, simple as that," and strategically place their bets in that fashion. Cashman believes that "pitching is the key to the kingdom," which applies to the team's forward-looking strategy.

The scoop
This will be Oppenheimer's 14th season directing the Yankees' efforts in the Draft, and his fourth with the title of vice president of domestic amateur scouting. Last year, the Yankees jumped on South Carolina right-hander Clarke Schmidt with the 16th overall selection, even though Schmidt would be rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. They could look for similar value this year at No. 23.

Video: Yanks focus on pitching by selecting Schmidt in Draft

First-round buzz
In his most recent mock draft, MLB.com's Jim Callis pegged the Yankees as taking California high school shortstop Brice Turang, calling him "a talented shortstop in a Draft thin at that position." He is the son of former big leaguer Brian Turang, who played 78 games with the Mariners in 1993-94.

Video: Draft Report: Brice Turang, High School shortstop

Callis reports that several high school position players have been connected to the Yankees, including outfielder Jordyn Adams (North Carolina), first baseman Tristan Casas (Florida), shortstop Xavier Edwards (Florida) and outfielder Mike Siani (Pennsylvania).

In another mock draft, MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo had the Yankees selecting Georgia high school right-hander Kumar Rocker, the son of a former NFL lineman who is said to have tremendous arm strength and physicality on the mound, with a premium fastball and a potential plus slider.

Video: Draft Report: Kumar Rocker, High School pitcher

Money matters
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each team has an allotted bonus pool equal to the sum of the values of that club's selections in the first 10 rounds of the Draft. The more picks a team has, and the earlier it picks, the larger the pool. The signing bonuses for a team's selections in the first 10 rounds, plus any bonus greater than $125,000 for a player taken after the 10th round, will apply toward the bonus-pool total.

Any team going up to five percent over its allotted pool will be taxed at a 75 percent rate on the overage. A team that overspends by 5-10 percent gets a 75 percent tax plus the loss of a first-round pick. A team that goes 10-15 percent over its pool amount will be hit with a 100 percent penalty on the overage and the loss of a first- and second-round pick. Any overage of 15 percent or more gets a 100 percent tax plus the loss of first-round picks in the next two Drafts.

This year, the Yankees have a pool of $6,115,100 to spend in the first 10 rounds, including $2,815,900 for their first selection.

Shopping list
Even though the Yankees' farm system was ranked No. 6 overall by MLB.com coming into this season, their depth could improve at the corner-infield spots. Behind Miguel Andujar and Brandon Drury, their top-rated third-base prospect is Dermis Garcia, who is currently with Class A Charleston. High-end pitching is always on the Yankees' wish list, particularly left-handers.

Trend watch
In the past four years, the top of the Yankees' Drafts have skewed heavily toward the collegiate ranks. Of their first five picks in 2014-17, 14 of 20 selections were college players, a group that has included Jordan Montgomery and Jonathan Holder as well as James Kaprielian, who was dealt to the Athletics in the Sonny Gray trade last July. Fourteen of those 20 picks were pitchers.

Rising fast
Trevor Stephan, the Yankees' third-round selection out of the University of Arkansas last June, was recently promoted to Double-A Trenton. The 22-year-old right-hander was 3-1 with a 1.98 ERA in seven starts for Class A Advanced Tampa, with 49 strikeouts against nine walks in 41 innings. His quick jump to the Eastern League suggests the Yankees believe he is capable of handling an aggressive move through the system. He's ranked as the Yanks' No. 14 prospect by MLB Pipeline.

Video: Draft 2017: Yankees draft RHP Trevor Stephan No. 92

Cinderella story
Cody Carroll was a 22nd-round pick in the 2015 Draft, signing for $70,000 as a redshirt junior out of Southern Mississippi. The right-hander injured his elbow as a high school senior and missed his first college season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, but has taken off since being converted into a full-time reliever. The Yanks' No. 16 prospect per MLB Pipeline, Carroll excelled in last year's Arizona Fall League and has carried that over into his 2018 campaign with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

In the show
Nine members of the current 25-man roster were originally Yankees Draft selections: Tyler Austin (2010, 13th round), Dellin Betances ('06, 8th round), Greg Bird ('11, 5th round), Brett Gardner ('05, 3rd round), Holder ('14, 6th round), Judge ('13, 1st round), Tommy Kahnle ('10, 5th round), David Robertson ('06, 17th round) and Austin Romine ('07, 2nd round).

The Yankees' recent top picks
2017: Clarke Schmidt, RHP (has not pitched)
2016: Blake Rutherford, OF (Class A Advanced, White Sox)
2015: Kaprielian, RHP (injured, A's)
2014: Jacob Lindgren, LHP (injured, Braves)
2013: Eric Jagielo, 3B (Double-A, Marlins)

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

New York Yankees