06/09/10 6:47 PM ET
Pitching a popular pick for Yanks in Draft
As Day 3 wraps up, club finishes with 28 arms after 50 rounds
By Tim Britton / MLB.com
The Yankees made pitching a priority from the start of Day 3, taking hurlers with their first five picks on Wednesday. Four of the five were college pitchers and, like the day before, the organization did not shy from selecting players from smaller and junior colleges.
Kramer Sneed, Michael Hachadorian and William Oliver -- the team's picks in rounds 32, 33 and 35, respectively -- all hail from smaller schools. Sneed played for Barton College in North Carolina, Hachadorian for San Diego Mesa College and Oliver for Palomar College. That said, Hachadorian had committed to continue his career at San Diego State -- the former stomping ground, of course, of Stephen Strasburg.
Yankees vice president of scouting Darren Oppenheimer said the team isn't deterred by where a guy plays. It all comes down to how he plays.
The Yankees' first pick of the day, right-hander Mike Gipson, does come from a more recognizable name in the college baseball landscape. Gipson was the ace for Florida Atlantic University, which won the Sun Belt Conference and advanced to the finals of the Gainesville Regional in the NCAA Tournament before falling to host Florida. Gipson led the Owls with an 8-2 record and a 3.70 ERA in 16 starts.
In all, New York selected 28 pitchers in the Draft's 50 rounds.
"We're still looking for big leaguers," Oppenheimer said late Tuesday night. "We're ... trying to figure out if there's some signable big leaguers up there or if we're going to take some guys we get a chance to follow and watch and see if they progress over the summer."
With that goal in mind, the Yankees didn't limit their Day 3 purview just to the mound. After those first few rounds on Wednesday, they shifted their focus, taking outfielders with five consecutive picks from the 38th round through the 42nd. Four of those outfielders are high schoolers, headlined by James Ramsay out of Brandon High School in Florida.
Ramsay missed most of his junior season in high school with a torn ACL. He returned as a senior and showcased most of the athleticism that made him a five-tool prospect and a prized recruit at the University of South Florida.
He's also the type of athlete Oppenheimer and the Yankees made a priority heading into the Draft. The Yankees took a slew of athletic outfielders on Day 2 -- led by second-round pick Angelo Gumbs -- and Day 3 was no different.
Tym Pearson, selected in the 41st round, was an all-state quarterback in Oregon who originally committed to play football at Portland State under former NFL head coach Jerry Glanville. He opted instead to go with baseball, playing last season for Columbia Basin Community College after not reaching an agreement with the Rockies, who drafted him in the 35th round a year ago.
Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.