Now that the draft positions have been set we can now look at some strategies that the Yankees might use in the draft. When MLB and the MLBPA agreed to the last collective bargaining agreement (CBA) they agreed to slotting which made each pick a given amount. This made teams know how much they could spend but allowed them to take a penalty if they wanted. What this new CBA did was make talent come off the board in a certain order as you saw less guys with a number that had to be met. While this made some draft strategies less important there are still some that teams use.
Strategy that most teams use is Best Player Available(BPA). This is you take the guy who was next on your board when you pick. Position, level, none of that matters. You think of everything as talent and take the most talented player regardless of any other attribute. Now some teams will always do this while others will modify it slightly Some times will grade each player and bunch players in groups. They will then pick a player from the highest group but could go with a pitcher over a position player if their farm system is stacked with position players. You will see lots of draft people talk about BPA and how you should always do this especially in the first few rounds. A notable example of the Yankees not doing this was with Dante Bichette.
Another strategy is to take an injured player who was a higher talent that falls. This strategy has been used effectively by Washington over the past two draft classes while the Blue Jays used it last year also. Washington did it with Lucas Giolito and Erick Fredde both who got hurt before the draft and needed Tommy John surgery. But while they both got hurt before the draft they were also considered top 10 picks in each of their draft class with Giolito being in conversations for the top pick in his draft year. The Blue Jays did the same thing with Jeff Hoffman who by some was the best college pitcher in the draft before being hurt. This strategy seems to be taken by teams that tend to not pick in the top 10 to 15 picks but have a pitcher fall to them. The Yankees have dabbled with this type of pick before when they drafted Andrew Brackman. This is a strategy the Yankees should exploit if given the opportunity.
Black Swan is a strategy that Kiley McDaniels has discussed. The strategy goes as the following. If you have a guy who you have as a potential big league player and another player who has the same profile but does it in a way that is unconventional you should take the unconventional guy. The thought is a guy who is doing it unconventional has had to overcome so much already to be at that spot that he is going to make the adjustments regardless of what happens. Examples of this type of strategy are Tim Lincencum, Sonny Gray, Dustin Pedroria and Hunter Pence. All do things uniquely and don’t look like “normal” baseball players.
Final Strategy is the throw all of the money as one guy. This was a strategy that Washington used in tandem with the picking of an injured player when they drafted Giolito. Most draft people thought it was a horrible strategy that Washington used. Now Giolito has come back to form from Tommy John surgery and by most publications is a top 10 prospect with true number 1 upside. Now the Yankees this year have too much money and there isn’t a type of talent that would warrant dropping a good amount of their 8 million on. But this is a strategy the Yankees should use if given the chance in the future.