Thursday, June 12, 2008

LHP Jeremy Bleich, Stanford University (44th Overall)

LHP Jeremy Bleich - Yankees Supplemental Draft ChoiceJeremy Bleich, LHP
Stanford L-L, 6-2, 190
Hometown: Metairie, La.

STATUS: Signed - $863,000 signing bonus
Damon Oppenheimer told the
NY Times Bleich would be an easy sign.

The Yankees supplemental draft choice, Jeremy Bleich missed much of the Pac-10 season (March 28 and May 19) with tendinitis in his elbow. With the system devoid of young lefthanded pitching, the Oppenheimer regime once again overlooked injury issues to select who they consider to be the top talent available - think 2007 first round draft pick Andrew Brackman or ninth-rounder Mark Melancon.

A Scott Boras client, Bleich is an intelligent but not overpowering lefty with the stuff to have a solid career.

During his injury-shortened regular seasoon Bleich made six starts (eight total appearances) posting a 2-2 record, 1.09 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 33.0 innings pitched. He limited opponents to a .197 batting average against him.

Bleich pitched in the Cape Cod League last summer, going 1-1, 2.09 with 31 strikeouts in 43 innings in the regular season. His best performance was a playoff start against Cotuit when he blanked the league’s best-hitting team for seven innings in a 1-0 win.

The Yankees received the supplemental selection as compensation for the loss of Luis Vizcaino as a free agent. Once signed, he will instantly become the Yankees best left-handed pitching prospect.

What the Experts Say
From Baseball America:
"Bleich, a Louisiana native, returned from his elbow strain in late May and could move into the first five rounds with a strong NCAA postseason. At his best, he sits in the 88-91 mph range with his fastball that has natural lefty movement, complemented by a solid curveball and a plus straight change."

John Manual on the BA podcast:
"At 44, Jeremy Bleich. I love this pic for the New York Yankees. They need left-handed pitching. Jermey Bleich has first-round talent. He was inured this year; elbow strain. He has come back. He's pitched four very good innings in the Regional ... the Yankees had an extra pick and they spent it on a high-ceiling lefthander, something they really don't have in their farm system."

Jim Callis (Ask BA):
"Some media outlets have described Bleich going in the supplemental first round as a reach, perhaps because he didn't make our our overall Top 200 Prospects list. But last summer, I ranked him as the second-best 2008 draft-eligible lefthander in the Cape Cod League, trailing only Christian Friedrich, who went in the first round to the Rockies.

"I don't think Bleich would have been an early first-rounder had he been healthy all season, but he could have been regarded as a consensus sandwich-rounder. He's a lefty who knows how to pitch with an 88-91 mph fastball, a curveball and changeup, and his changeup grades as his best pitch. I wouldn't call him a steal in the supplemental first round, but he wasn't a reach either."


Anonymous said...

a lefthanded Ian Kennedy... best case scenario

Anonymous said...

i hated this pick when i first heard it. thought it was a big overdraft. but the more i hear, the more i like it. im on the Jeremy Bleich bandwagon.