Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Draft Update: Yanks Take Dante Bichette Jr. With 1st Pick

Here is the press release from the Yankees:
The Yankees were drawn to a big league pedigree as they considered their first choice in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, using it to select third baseman Dante Bichette Jr. with the 51st overall pick.

The son of the former four-time All-Star of the same name, Bichette Jr. has some impressive credentials of his own. The Orangewood Christian (Fla.) High School standout is a two-time All-Central Florida Player of the Year.

"Dante is one of the guys in this Draft we thought had an impact bat and the potential to hit for big power in the middle of the order," said Damon Oppenheimer, the Yankees' vice president of amateur scouting. "He's someone with an advanced makeup and work ethic who possesses the desire and drive to be a special Major Leaguer."

Listed at 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds, Bichette Jr. batted a team-high .640 (55-for-86) with 58 runs, 14 doubles, 10 home runs and 40 RBIs in 30 games as a senior in 2011, as Orangewood Christian fell in the Florida Class-2A state finals.

The 18-year-old has already committed to the University of Georgia, where he would be in line to be the team's starting third baseman. However, the Yankees may have a leg up in convincing him to sign a professional contract instead.
Quotes from the experts:

John Manuel: "Big-time raw righthanded power for Bichette Jr"

Baseball America: "Dante Bichette, 3b, FL HS – A lot of movement in his swing but has toned it down, still producing big power; plenty of bat speed."

Frankie Piliere: “a little unorthodox at the plate” but “this kid can really hit.”

Here's an article on Bichette Jr. from Maxpreps.

And finally, some highlights of the kid and the MLB.com video of the pick and analysis:

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