Yankees 2007 Draft Preview

LaPorta could be a possiblity for the Yankees

Decisions, decisions. With the 30th overall pick in the draft, the Yankees will certainly have plenty of decisions to make come Thursday. Picking so late in the first round, it's pretty near impossible to project who they will be in line to select, but here is a preview of what Yankee fans should keep an eye out for on draft day.

Year in and year out, the New York Yankees seem to get as much speculative attention on their first pick in the draft as the team who picks number one overall. Why? Well, it seems that the masses are always expecting the Yankees to make a splash.

After looking at their past few drafts, however, it may be a mistake to think they will make that sort of move with their first round pick.

Yes, they have made their share of "splash" moves, such as with Dellin Betances in the 8th round of the 2006 draft, and Austin Jackson in 2005, also in the 8th round.

In the first rounds of those drafts, however, they went with more traditional picks like C.J. Henry and Ian Kennedy. So, perhaps it wouldn't be wise to expect a high priced, "splash" maneuver in the first round - but with the Yankees you just never know.

With that in mind, here are some players to look for as potential Yankee picks in the 2007 draft:

Devin Mesoraco - This right-handed hitting catcher out of Punxsutawney High School is perhaps the fastest rising player in the 2007 draft class. Considered to be a third round or later caliber pick entering the spring, Mesoraco's impressive toolset and skills behind the plate have catapulted him into a near first round lock. Things will need to fall just right for the Yankees' to have a shot at him, but word is that he is the player they covet most in this draft.

Kevin Ahrens - A switch-hitting third baseman from Memorial High School in Texas, Ahrens has drawn a great deal of draft attention this spring from teams picking as early as the middle of the first round. On the other hand, teams seem to be split on their opinions of Ahrens, who has drawn comparisons to Atlanta Braves' star, Chipper Jones. While some teams consider Ahrens to be a legit middle of the first round talent, others feel his bat is not yet a finished product and that he is more of a supplemental round pick.

Mike Moustakas - If you are the Yankee fan who is looking for them to make a splash, then here is your potential splash. Moustakas, a left-handed swinging shortstop [he will likely move to third base or catcher as a pro] has broken every home run record in the book this spring in California, blasting an incredible 24 home runs in a single season. Moustakas, while considered a likely top six or seven talent, has a very significant chance of slipping due to reported large bonus demands and his advisor, Scott Boras. His bat is as good as you'll find from a high schooler. If he drops to 30, and that is probably a big "if", the Yankees will have an instant elite hitting prospect on their hands.

Casey Crosby - Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and to some teams Casey Crosby is pure beauty and warrants a first round selection. The 6-foot-5, hard-throwing lefty out of Kaneland High School in Illinois is a newcomer to all the top prospect lists, but reports say there are a handful of teams in the back of the first round, including the Yankees, who may look to make a him a first round selection. He has a live arm, sitting 91-94 MPH with his fastball, with a good curveball and a developing changeup.

Jake Arrieta - The Ian Kennedy selection in 2006 was not a popular one among Yankee fans and this pick would likely be received the same way. The fact is, however, according to several scouts, the Yankees are taking a very long, hard look at the right-hander out of Texas Christian University. Like Kennedy, he has followed an outstanding sophomore year with a rather mediocre junior season. His college polish and stuff still make a him valuable commodity though.

Matt LaPorta - This senior slugger out of the University of Florida has come back with avengeance after a disappointing junior year, and has reemerged as a first round hopeful. The right-handed power hitter doesn't fit the Yankee mold of their picks in the past few years and but his big-time bat [.402, 20 HRs, 52 RBI] and big league readiness may make him difficult to pass up if he is available.

Aaron Poreda - A tall, hard-throwing lefty out of the University of San Francisco, Poreda is one of the biggest sleepers in this draft. He sits in the mid-90's with his fastball but his decent changeup and developing curveball need some work. Left-handed power arms don't come around everyday and they are something the Yankees desperately could use in their farm system. They won't draft on need, but sources say the Yankees will give Poreda serious consideration with the 30th overall pick if he is available.

So, what may go down on draft day? The fact is no one really knows, sometimes not even the scouting directors who run the draft. And considering the Yankees have the last pick in the first round, it makes things all the more unpredictable for them.

But, if they were to have a year where they make their first pick that late, this draft - which appears to be loaded with talent - is the year to have it.

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