Thursday, August 21, 2008

SS Garrison Lassiter, West Forsyth High School (830th Overall)

SS Garrison Lassiter, New York YankeesGarrison Lassiter, SS
West Forsyth L/R, 6-2, 187
Hometown: Clemmons, NC

STATUS: Signed - $675,000 signing bonus

Unable to reign in two of their top three 2008 draft choices, the New York Yankees opened the checkbook to ink 27th-round draft pick Garrison Lassiter. According to Baseball America, Lassiter signed for $675,000, the equivalent of second-round money.

The North Carolina high school shortstop had committed to the University of North Carolina but will begin his pro career in the Yankees system. fter a stint with the USA Junior National baseball team last summer, many draft experts projected him being taken in the early rounds. But his commitment to UNC caused him to drop to the Yankees in the 27th round.

In 2007, he hit .413 with five home runs and was named to the North Carolina Impact Dream Team.

He is a strong defender, with great instincts and a power arm. Lassiter has above-average defensive instincts and runs well. The Yankees plan to keep him at shortstop for now but some scouts believe due to his size (6-3. 195), he’s better suited for third base. He generates excellent bat speed with an easy swing from the left side.

“He’s very humble, low keyed, he does what he’s supposed to and just gets after it,” Lassiter’s high school coach, Randy Pope, told Scout.com’s Tyler Brooks. “He’s a quiet leader.”

Lassiter is expected to join the Gulf Coast Yankees (splitting shortstop reps with Jose Pirela) for the remainder of the year then stay in Tampa to play in the Fall Instructional League. He may see action in the Dominican Republic’s Winter League this November. Look for him to start 2009 at Class-A Staten Island.

Lassiter told the Winston-Salem Journal that playing professionally has been a life-long dream.

“I’ve known since I was eight years old that I wanted to play in the major leagues. It just feels great that all the hard work I’ve put in is paying off … I’ll go to the Instructional League and do my best and see how fast I can move up.”

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