Draft Hot Stove: 5/25 - The Drew Factor

Stephen Drew was arguably the best position player in the draft last year. And, the high profile shortstop could be the most talented player in the draft again this year. But, this time, he is drawing the most interest from a new and high profile suitor, the New York Yankees.

For those not already aware, Stephen Drew was perhaps the most talented and sought after player in the 2004 draft. It was even predicted at one point that he would be the number overall pick by the San Diego Padres. Needless to say, no one doubted his talent. But, how could a player as good as Drew fall all the way down to the 15th slot, to the Diamondbacks? To put it as briefly as possible, his agent, Scott Boras put a price tag that was apparently far too large for the Diamondbacks to meet at this point in time. Arizona and their scouting director, Mike Rizzo, still have an offer on the table, but it appears unlikely that they will come to an agreement.

With all that in mind, Stephen Drew plans on reentering this year's MLB Amateur draft. But, since he no longer plays for Florida State, he needed a place to showcase his skills for yet another draft. Where did he turn? The Atlantic League. On April 20th, the star shortstop joined the Camden Riversharks and entered the starting lineup. And, so far, he has faired extremely well. Thus far, J.D. Drew's little brother is batting .386 with 2 home runs and 9 RBI in 13 games with Camden.

So, why does any of this matter? Well, as we've learned from last year, not too many teams can afford the price tag of Stephen Drew considering the demand for a Major League contract and 5 million dollars. And, the way he is playing, the price is not likely to decrease. With that in mind, the hottest rumor of the draft so far has been Stephen Drew becoming the Yankees 1st round pick at #17 overall. At first it was considered only a rumor, but last week, two Yankee scouts were sighted at a Camden Riversharks game, scouting the talented shortstop. It is a fact now that the Yankee interest is legitimate, and it is highly unlikely that they will pass him if he is still on the board at #17. In fact, it appears more likely than ever that the Yankees may try to work out a pre-draft deal with Drew in order to avoid another drawn out negotiation process.

A lot can still happen between now and the day of the draft, but if there ever was a frontrunner to land Stephen Drew, it is the New York Yankees. Drew wants the money and the Yankees have the money. The Yankees need a large dose of talent in their farm system and Drew would provide that as well. Yankee scouts will continue to attend these Camden Riversharks games and for all we know, a pre-draft deal could be worked out and the Yankees could have a new top prospect on draft day. This is a story we will continue to follow very closely, and any news on the Yankees' interest in Drew will be reported in another edition of Draft Hot Stove.

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