MLB commissioner Bud Selig speaks during the MLB First Year Player Draft on June 7, 2010 held in Studio 42 at the MLB Network in Secaucus, New Jersey. Selig will again be announcing first-round picks this year. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

2011 MLB Draft: Yankees Emphasize Pitching

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2011 MLB Draft Selections: Yankees Take Dante Bichette Jr. With 51st Pick

The New York Yankees had to wait nearly four hours to make a selection Monday night on Day 1 of the 2011 MLB Draft. When they did, 51st overall, they used the selection on Dante Bichette, a right-handed hitting third baseman from Orangewood Christian High School in Florida.

John Sickels of Minor League Ball recently had Bichette ranked 71st among prospects on his draft board.

Sickels had this to say about Bichette:

University of Georgia commitment. Power hitter, reminds scouts of his dad at the same age. Might not hit for a great average at higher levels, but power should push him forward. Good throwing arm, not a bad third baseman right now though some project him as a right fielder. Would be a first rounder in some drafts but more likely a supplemental or second round guy this year.

Yes, the name should be familiar to you. Date Bichette Sr. was a slugging outfielder who had a 14-year career with a number of big-league teams. He hit 274 home runs in his career, including a high of 40 with Colorado in 1995, and finished with a career batting average of .299.

Here is a little more on Bichette from MLB Draft Guide:

One of the top prep power hitters in the country. He is a pull hitter with excellent bat speed. Some adjustments to his swing may have to be made, including cutting down on lifting his front foot while hitting.

Bichette has played shortstop in high school, but projects to third at the next level. He has a strong, accurate arm and good hands.

Sounds like the Yankees, who need some power bats in their minor-league system, have followed their usual style of taking a risk that they could sign a player others might have shied away from. If he can hit like his dad, it might be a risk worth taking.


Gerrit Cole Taken First By Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011 MLB Draft

Well, the New York Yankees were right about Gerrit Cole. Unfortunately, that has been proven by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Pirates chose Cole, the UCLA right-handed starting pitcher, No. 1 overall in the 2011 MLB Draft on Monday night. The Yankees, of course, took Cole in the first round of the 2008 MLB Draft despite signability concerns. Cole refused to negotiate with the Yankees and went to college, as many teams had anticipated.

Here is a scouting report:

Cole features nasty heat that sits in the mid- to high 90s and sometimes touches 99 and even 100. He complements his high-heat with one of the drafts best sliders, a truly devastating pitch … The 6-foot-4, 220 pound Cole also offers true inning-eating capability. He’s a horse on the mound, and when he’s on his game there’s nobody better in all of college ball.

The Yankees do not have a first-round pick., They will pick 51st overall, a supplemental pick gained when Florida signed Javier Vazquez.

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