As the end of the season draws closer, the 2017 New York Yankees’ draft picks have had some time to make their professional debuts. Here are updates on the top 20 draft picks and what they have done so far since they began their professional careers.
Top draft-pick Clarke Schmidt was drafted first, despite being in the early process of nursing a torn ulnar collateral ligament. The South Carolina righty had Tommy John Surgery in May of this year and will not pitch until 2018.
Second rounder Matt Sauer made his professional debut with the Gulf Coast League Yankees West on July 19. He’s made three appearances total for GCL striking out eight in five innings, and giving up four runs (all in his second game).
The Yankees’ third-rounder Trevor Stephan made his professional debut on June 28th with the GCL Yankees East, he threw two perfect innings and was then shipped to the Staten Island Yankees. He’s now pitched 21 2/3 innings with Staten Island where he currently has a 2.08 ERA. Stephan has recorded 27 strikeouts and six walks in his 21+ innings. His strongest outing was on July 23rd where he threw four perfect innings and struck out seven batters against the Lowell Spinners.
Fourth round pick Canaan Smith is a highly-coveted 18-year-old outfielder, he made his professional debut on June 26 and had shown how good his bat could be. He is hitting for a .375 average in his last 10 games with nine walks and seven RBIs. His average is up to .262 on the season, he has two home-runs and continues to show off what his plate discipline could be in the future striking out 34 times, but drawing 30 walks as well.
In the fifth round, the Yankees drafted 6’5 240-pound Glenn Otto from Rice. He made his debut with the GCL Yankees East on July 12, throwing two innings and striking out three. He is now in Staten Island and carries a 1.46 ERA on the season after 12 1/3 innings pitched. In those 12+ innings, he has struck out 21 batters and given up just two earned runs.
The Yankees continued their gathering of pitchers in the sixth round with Dalton Lehnen. He made his debut June 27 with the GCL Yankees West, and after one game was sent to Pulaski where he has started seven games. After 19 2/3 innings, Lehnen holds a 5.03 ERA, has struck out 28 batters in his seven starts.
Dalton Higgins, a righty form Dallas Baptist was the Yankees pick in the seventh round. He made his debut on July 8 with the GCL Yankees East and had made seven appearances on the season for them. He has pitched 12 2/3 innings, giving up just two runs and striking out 11. His 1.42 ERA is matched with a 1.11 WHIP and .224 opponent average.
Next, Kyle Zurak, another right-handed pitcher, was drafted in the eighth round and made his debut with GCL Yankees East on July 7. He pitched six innings between GCL East and West and struck out eight in the process. Since then he has pitched 10 1/3 innings in Pulaski but has given up six runs and two home-runs in the process. He has 19 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings total this season, and his ERA stands at 3.31.
In the ninth round, the Yankees drafted Austin Gardner, another Texas-native right-handed pitcher. Gardner made his debut for GCL Yankees West on July 1 and had made 11 appearances for them this season. His 2.70 ERA is followed with 14 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings pitched, two of his four earned runs have come off of home-runs, having his WHIP at 0.98.
The Yankees’ first 10 picks were topped with their eighth right-handed pitcher at that point, Chad Whitmer. The Illinois-native made his professional debut on June 30 and had pitched in nine games total. He pitched two innings in his debut and struck out all six batters. Since then he has struggled a bit but has shown he has solid finishing pitches. In his 13 1/3 innings, he has struck out 19 batters and given up two home-runs.
Shawn Semple was drafted in the 11th round, a right-handed pitcher from New Orleans. He made his debut with the GCL Yankees East and has pitched eight games this season. He holds a 2.08 ERA in 8 2/3 innings pitched, striking out nine batters and not giving up a single walk thus far.
In the 12th round, the Yankees took their second position player in Steven Sensley, an outfielder from Louisiana. Sensley made his debut on June 26 for the GCL Yankees East and has already found himself in Low-A Charleston. Sensley hit .316 in Pulaski, totaling nine home-runs in 27 games and supplying 23 home-runs. He was then promoted directly to Charleston and has continued his hot-hitting and solid defense. He is slashing .283/.309/.528 in 12 games with the RiverDogs and has given them three home-runs with 15 RBIs.
The Yankees’ first infielder came in the 13th round, taking Eric Wagaman, a 19-year-old first baseman. Wagaman has been with Pulaski since June 22nd and is hitting .276 with five home-runs and 12 doubles. He has 42 strikeouts in his 43 games and 15 walks.
Harold Cortijo was taken in the 14th round by the Yankees. He is with the GCL Yankees East, making his debut June 29 and pitching in seven games this season. He has given up 10 earned runs in 14 2/3 innings but has struck out 17 batters.
In the 15th round, the Yankees took pitcher Aaron McGarity from Virginia Tech. McGarity is with the GCL Yankees East and has made six appearances since his debut on June 27, one of them a start. He has struck out at least three batters in every game since his debut and has now totaled 27 Ks in 20 2/3 innings pitched. He carries a 2.18 ERA with a WHIP of 1.02 and has only walked two batters.
The Yankees took a shortstop in the 16th round, Ricky Surum from Mount Olive. Surum made his debut on June 27 with the GCL Yankees East and was then moved to Pulaski. Surum is hitting .198 as a collective this season eight walks and 20 strikeouts.
Chris Hess, the second baseman from Rhode Island, was drafted in the 17th round. He made his debut with the Staten Island Yankees on June 22nd. After being promoted to Charleston and hitting .140, he is now with the GCL Yankees West. He has three doubles and three triples so far in his minor league career.
Garrett Whitlock, another right-handed pitcher, was drafted in the 18th round. He just recently made his professional debut with the GCL Yankees West on August 8 and had pitched in two games so far this season. Between those two games, he has thrown five innings and struck out eight batters, while giving up just one run.
With the 19th pick, the Yankees selected Ron Marinaccio, the last of 13 right-handed pitches taken by them in the first 20 rounds. Marinaccio made his debut for the GCL Yankees East on June 29, throwing two innings and giving up just one hit. In total he has pitched 8 1/3 innings, striking out nine and giving up just one run, giving him a 1.08 ERA thus far into his career.
Topping off the first 20 rounds in the Yankees’ 2017 draft, they took catcher Ryan Lidge (cousin of Brad Lidge). Lidge made his debut in Pulaski on June 24th and has been between Pulaski and Charleston since. He has a .244 average between the two and has drawn ten walks, giving him an OBP of .404.