2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft
Rounds 1-5 for the Mets, Phillies and Yankees
NEW YORK YANKEES
1st round/32 overall
Christopher “Cito” Culver, SS, Irondequoit High
Very interesting pick.
In fact, Baseball America went so far as to call it “stunning,” as the widely respected publication and its team of scouts, analysts and amateur baseball veterans had Christopher “Cito” Culver rated No. 168 on its big board.
However, Yankees’ vice president of amateur scouting Damon Oppenheimer essentially called his pick a no-brainer during an interview with Bryan Hoch at mlb/yankees.com.
“We were able to draft a very athletic kid who can play a good shortstop,” Oppenheimer said. “He has a plus arm, is a solid runner, and is an excellent hitter. He’s a player we are happy to have. It was an easy decision for us.”
Culver, at 5-foot-11 and 170 pounds, is a raw athlete and switch-hitter, but there are questions about his effort. Has gap power with above average speed. Had eight errors in 120 total chances (.933 fielding percentage). Is committed to the University of Maryland.
Some feel the Yankees will move Culver to center field in the future, and in another wrinkle the Yankees’ PR staff referred to him as a right-handed pitcher. He did pitch for Irondequoit and flirted with speeds of 94-96 mph on the radar gun while batting .561 with 10 doubles, five triples, nine home runs, 38 RBIs and 20 walks in 22 games as a senior.
The last time the Yankees took a high school shortstop with their first pick overall was in 2005 with the selection of C.J. Henry, who was an unmitigated disaster at No. 17 overall and a signing bonus of $1.6 million. Henry hit just .222 and made 57 errors for the Yanks and Phillies’ organizations before quitting baseball. He now plays guard for the University of Kansas basketball team.
The Yankees dipped into the high school ranks for their first pick for the second straight year.
Oppenheimer went with Texas outfielder Slade Heathcott at No. 29 overall in 2009.
2nd round/82 overall
Angelo Gumbs, SS, Torrance (Ca.) High
Incredibly, the Yankees went with a high school shortstop with their second-round pick (No. 82 overall) when Oppenheimer lifted the veil on Torrance (Ca.) prep star Angelo Gumbs.
Worried about replacing Derek Jeter much?
I mean, wow.
3rd round/112 overall
Robert Segedin, 3B, Tulane University
4th round/145 overall
Mason Williams, CF, West Orange (Fla.) High
5th round/175 overall
Thomas Kahnle, RHP, Lynn University
1st round/27 overall
Jesse Biddle, LHP, Germantown (Pa.) Friends
The Phillies stuck to their draft blueprint and went with a high school kid, this time a local pitcher from nearby Germantown Friends. Biddle, 18, is very athletic at 6-6 and 225 pounds with a low 90s fastball with movement, although there is a report that Biddle reached 96 mph this spring.
Biddle was projected as a second-rounder or as high as a “sandwich pick” on some draft boards, but at No. 27 and with big, strong left-handed pitchers always at a premium, especially in this draft, the pick makes sense as he likely would have been gone by the time the Phils picked again a No. 77.
Was 9-2 with a save and a 1.06 ERA in 2010. Biddle allowed just nine earned runs, 21 hits and 29 walks in 59 1/3 innings with 140 strikeouts. Committed to the University of Oregon.
2nd round/77 overall
Perci Garner, RHP, Ball State
3rd round/108 overall
Cameron Rupp, C, Univ. of Texas
4th round/141 overall
Bryan Morgado, LHP, Univ. of Tennessee
5th round/171 overall
Scott Frazier, RHP, Upland (Ca.) High
NEW YORK METS
Selection: 7th overall
Matt Harvey, RHP, University of North Carolina
Harvey is a big kid (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) with a big fastball (92-97 mph) and a power slider with good control. Projected as a front-of-the-rotation starter in the mold of Mike Pelfrey, who went 9th overall in 2005. Was 7-3 with a 3.10 ERA in 13 starts (90 innings) for the Tarheels. Struck out 93 with 32 walks and six home runs allowed. Strikeout-to-walk ratio of 254 to 121 over his three-year career. Average change-up. Drafted in the third-round by the Angels in 2007, but did not sign as agent Scott Boras advised Harvey to attend UNC instead.
“This pick goes in line with what we feel is important — we talk about pitching, we talk about defense, we talk about speed,” general manager Omar Minaya told The Associated Press. “This pick goes in line with what we’re trying to build here. To be able to bring Matt Harvey aboard is trying to stay on that focus, especially with our ballpark.”
Sign-ability often is an issue with any Boras client, but it is difficult to imagine the Mets, in dire need of more young pitching, going cheap here and letting Harvey get away. It is even harder to imagine Harvey turning down a top-heavy offer from a major market team and rolling the dice by returning to Chapel Hill for his senior season.
3rd round/89 overall
Norman Forsythe, C, Univ. of Tennessee
4th round/122 overall
Cory Vaughn, CF, San Diego State
5th round/152 overall
Matt Den Dekker, CF, Univ. of Florida