Sneak Peek: Final Draft Preview

We are now one day from the biggest event for the Yankee Farm System all year long. As we we get closer and closer, the picture is now becoming more and more clear of what may occur. Now, let's take a look at the final draft preview before the event is upon us.

There's no way to be certain of whom the Yankees will select with their first round pick in Tuesday's MLB draft. However, from what we've learned from our sources, they have five distinct possibilities. Some of these possibilities are much more possible than others. But, either way, all of the five talented players listed are extremely high on the Yankee draft board. We'll now take a look at what each player has to offer, why the Yankees are interested in them, their availability in the first round, and what each one of them would add to the farm system. They will be listed in the order in which we believe they are listed on the Yankee draft board, not in order of the likelihood they will be selected by the Yankees.

Craig Hansen. How the draft has changed over the years, and that change in draft strategy includes the Yankees. Not too long ago, taking a relief pitcher would be unheard of. That is certainly not the case here. Hansen is a lock for the first round and may not even make it to the Yankees. But, the St. John's ace closer is as good as it gets. With a fastball that tops 95 MPH with ease and a high 80's slider with a wicked break, the tall righty is untouchable out of the bullpen. Although he is not a typical Yankees' pick nor do they have an immediate need for him like others teams may, he is far too good to pass up if he is available and it would be shocking if they did. Not to mention, he'll probably be in the majors before and other draftee.

Availability: As interesting as it may sound, Hansen might be more available than you think. More and more, scouts and experts are beginning to believe that the Mets, still one of the favorites to land Hansen, might take Wichita St. ace, Mike Pelfrey with the ninth overall pick. And, that could possibly hurdle him to the 17th spot where the Yankees would quickly nail him. Many of the teams including picking between the Yankees and Mets, like the White Sox, will not touch a Boras client.

C.J. Henry. If you want to talk about the Yankees' most likely 1st round selection, here is the player your are looking for. Talk about toolsy, Henry has all the tools of a superstar player, drawing comparisons to Alex Rodriguez and Vernon Wells, the Yankees have taken notice. They have scouted this Oklahoma native heavily and they are the favorite to land him in this year's draft. He plays shortstop for now, but as a pro, he profiles more as a right fielder or even a center fielder. He is a star caliber player and it would be difficult to pass him up. Henry is also a star basketball player that is passing up college, most likely, to play baseball as long as he goes in the early rounds. So, his athleticism on the diamond can match anyone's.

Availability: There is probably only one obstacle standing in the way of the Yankees landing the right hand hitting slugger. That obstacle is the Florida Marlins who pick at #16, one slot ahead of the Yankees. They have scouted him heavily as well, but they are believed to be taking top prep righthander, Chris Volstad. So, indications are that Henry will be there for the taking.

Chris Volstad. Here's a guy the Yankees have wanted for a while now, and for a very good reason. He is the top prep righthander in the nation and he has dynamite stuff with great command when he is on. Standing at a lean, 6' 7", Volstad is also just oozing with projectability. His last start of the season was a rough one, one that showed a decrease in velocity, but it really doesn't seem to have hurt his stock. There are some names the Yankees have ahead of him, but they'll still have some decisions to make with a live armed teenager still on the board.

Availability: Chris Volstad and CJ Henry are actually very directly linked. If Volstad is taken by the Marlins, the Yankees will likely have Henry. But, if the Marlins take Henry, the Yankees will probably end up with Volstad. The first of the two appears to be more likely, however.

Brian Bogusevic. The second of two college pitchers that we think will be in the top five on the Yankee draft board. Bogusevic may be one of the best picks for the Yankees out of this whole group, but it seems the Yankees are increasingly moving away from college picks in the first round. However, if they were to take the Tulane ace, they'd have a frontline left handed pitcher with still some projectability yet to be tapped. It seems more unlikely than it did last month that the Yankees will pick him #17 overall, but he is still definitely one of their top options.

Availability: There are two teams before and after the Yankees in the draft order that would love to land Brian Bogusevic. One so the White Sox, who pick 15th overall. Bogusevic is from the Chicago area and he is one of the prime candidates to be their first rounder. And, the Padres, who pick after the Yankees, also would like to add a college lefty to the system. It is doubtful that he'll fall out of the top 20 picks.

Brandon Snyder. One of the best pure bats in the entire draft, Snyder also is a catcher which also adds to the Yankees', along with other teams', intrigue. He is a very advanced, polished righty hitter who has a very dedicated approach to the game. His work ethic is unmatched and he takes batting practice as serious as the game. Snyder, a Virginia native, has also impressed scouts with his intelligent play behind the plate. He also has above average speed for a backstop. He could end up being much higher on this draft board if someone in the Yankee brass steps in with the idea that the Yankee system needs a catcher.

Availability: The bottom line here is, the likelihood of Snyder being available at #17 overall is pretty certain. That isn't the issue for the Yankees. They just seem to have options that they are putting ahead of him for now.

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