Multiple reports indicated earlier in the week that the Yankees and their 2016 first-round draft pick, Blake Rutherford, were making progress on a deal. Rutherford and the Yankees took the final steps today and made the deal official earlier this morning.
The Yankees and the California product agreed to a deal worth $3,282,000 according to MLB Pipeline Writer, Jim Callis. As Callis noted, the deal is worth approximately $800,000 above slot. The Yankees also announced that Rutherford would begin his professional career in the Golf Coast League.
— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) June 29, 2016
Rutherford, 19, is an outfielder out of Chaminade High School in West Hills, CA. He stands at 6’2” and 180 lbs. Heading into the 2016 draft, MLB.com ranked Rutherford as the 8th overall prospect in the draft. The Yankees took a bit of a risk drafting Rutherford with the 16th overall pick because he had committed to UCLA and teams were turned off by his reported asking price. However, the Yankees were willing to take this risk, not only because they believed they had the resources to sign him, but also because a top-ten talent had fallen to them at 16th.
Rutherford had a spectacular senior year, batting .577 with a .676 on-base percentage in twenty-seven games. Although these numbers speak for themselves, he really became a household name when he dominated at the plate for the USA 18U team last summer.
With his stock already on the rise, his senior year campaign only helped solidify Rutherford as a top prospect in the 2016 MLB Draft. He is incredibly athletic and has the potential to become a five-tool player.
The Yankees have now signed each of their top 10 picks from the 2016 draft and certainly hope that Rutherford can lead this class and help bolster their already on-the-rise farm system.