"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

And Now Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Blog

Hey, yo. Forgive a day of light posting. My Internet connection was on the fritz.

Emma’s Burt Lancaster piece is the first of five we’ll have on Million Dollar Movie this week celebrating the great American star.

More food, music, art and yeah, Yankee Baseball tomorrow…

[Photo Credit: efn.org]

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1 RIYank   ~  Jun 7, 2010 8:55 pm

The Red Sox draft Kolbrin Vitek.
I understand he plays the game the right way.

2 OldYanksFan   ~  Jun 7, 2010 8:59 pm

From SI Vault: h/t to Lohud
Thomas is the baseball coach at Las Vegas High, and the two men were his assistant coaches. The pair had come out in the rain to revisit the spot where, in a game the previous spring, a baseball had made landfall, a dimple in the desert, a tiny crater left in the sand by a home run off the bat of Las Vegas High catcher Bryce Harper, then a 15-year-old freshman.

The lefthanded Harper had hit the ball over the rightfield fence, two trees, another fence, a sidewalk, five lanes of traffic on elevated South Hollywood Boulevard and yet another sidewalk, until it finally landed in the brown, undeveloped desert. It might as well have been a flying saucer, judging by the grin on Thomas's face as he recalls the distance the ball traveled.

"Five-seventeen," it sounds as if Thomas is saying.
Five hundred seventeen feet?!

"No," Thomas says. Of course not. That would be preposterous. No 15-year-old kid could hit a baseball 517 feet.

"Five-seventy," Thomas clarifies.

3 RIYank   ~  Jun 7, 2010 9:02 pm

[2] Yeah, we talked about this last year when that SI article came out. Good article.

4 seamus   ~  Jun 7, 2010 9:22 pm

[2] is it all that excessive black under the eyes?

5 RIYank   ~  Jun 7, 2010 9:51 pm

Mike Axisa appears to be preternaturally well informed about the draft.

6 RIYank   ~  Jun 7, 2010 10:00 pm

Cito Culver, SS, upstate NY high school.
Apparently surprising a lot of people, who have never heard of the kid.
Ranked 168 overall by BA.

Sorry, Diane, no Wojciechowski.

7 Mattpat11   ~  Jun 7, 2010 10:04 pm

[6] MLB.com has him as a RHP

8 RIYank   ~  Jun 7, 2010 10:07 pm

[7] You're right, the Yanks announced him that way.
He plays SS in high school. (Interesting story.)

9 seamus   ~  Jun 7, 2010 10:08 pm

[7] he's both. Lohud has a little up.

10 RIYank   ~  Jun 7, 2010 10:14 pm

From Mike Axisa (don't know where he got it):

Some scouts report seeing him up to 94 mph off the mound, but he has no interest in pitching.

But the Yankees are definitely saying he's a RHP.

11 RIYank   ~  Jun 7, 2010 10:16 pm

Nope, now they're saying he's a SS.

I guess it will be cleared up tomorrow.

12 Mattpat11   ~  Jun 7, 2010 10:28 pm

Is this like the old Braves where the Yankees know something about a guy in their backyard that no one else does?

13 RIYank   ~  Jun 7, 2010 10:30 pm

[12] I think he's a "high ceiling" athlete with a whole lot of question marks because (a) he's in high school and (b) the competition level was not very high there. (He hits .538 and knocked out two grand slams in a game last month.)

Wojciechowski was snatched up by the Blue Jays with what feels like their eleventh pick of the day.

14 cult of basebaal   ~  Jun 7, 2010 10:33 pm
15 Just Fair   ~  Jun 7, 2010 10:57 pm

This dude plays 15 minutes from where I live. I recall an article in the local paper weeks ago but was not expecting this. So long, Terrapins. Well that's what I would say. : )

16 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 7, 2010 11:40 pm

The Yankees actually worked out Culver last June, so they must have liked what they saw.

As much as I enjoy the draft coverage and like the idea of its gaining more attention, so much of it has to be taken with a grain of salt, especially when so many offering opinions have never seen the players involved. Guys like Keith Law who actually have first hand accounts of the players add some value, but otherwise so much of the commentary is regurgitated speculation (usually from the teams themselves).

One thing I think we can take away from the selection is that the Yankees seem to have reversed field from taking college pitchers and shifted toward young, athletic up the middle position players (Culver at SS complements all their catchers and CF’er Heathcott, who was drafted last season). Some have also speculated that the Yankees may tightening their belts a bit. Culver is only 17 and has a Maryland commitment, but he will likely be a cheaper sign than some of the names the Yankees passed on.

The Yankees’ first round track record can’t get much worse, so hopefully Culver winds up contributing down the road.

17 Mattpat11   ~  Jun 8, 2010 1:31 am

[16] The Yankees first round picks look a lot worse when you seem them all together.

18 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 8, 2010 6:13 am

[17] A ran a complete list as well as one ranked by WAR. After Jeter and Munson, well, let's just say Ron Blomberg and Rex Hudler are the next two who had any meaningful tenure with the Yankees.

19 Shaun P.   ~  Jun 8, 2010 7:23 am

[16] [17] Yes, but that is also true of a lot of other teams. The number of first round picks who actually pan out, and have meaningful major league careers, is low.

The real trick is who the Yanks can grab in the later rounds, by offering big bonuses.

20 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 8, 2010 8:43 am

[19] We're not talking pan out...it's more like even make the major leagues. Just about one-third (14 of 41) of the Yankees first rounders (not including 2007-Present) never even played a game in the big leagues. Also, only 12 have posted a WAR above 2 for their careers.

21 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 8, 2010 9:06 am

[19] You do have a valid point though. Although the Yankees MLB conversion rate is toward the bottom of the pack, the strength of the Munson and Jeter selections actually place them in the middle of the pack in terms of performance per selection. It's not fair to throw out the two best picks without doing the same for every team, so you can probably say the Yankees haven't been the worst.

By the way, not including yesterday, 59% of all first rounders have made it to the majors, but that includes recent picks still making their way, so the figure is likely higher.

22 Shaun P.   ~  Jun 8, 2010 2:05 pm

[21] Well sure, but how many actually stayed in the bigs for a while? I recall Dewon Brazelton, the Rays #1 pick back in 2001 (#3 overall) - he made it to the majors, but posted a 6.38 ERA in 271 innings. I'm not sure that's the measuring stick to use.

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