Interview w/Jay Yencich [Segment 2]


SoDo Mojo: Seeing as the M’s are to get the 43rd pick in the 2010 MLB draft, is there anyone in particular you’d advocate for the M’s to get their hands on at that point?

Jay Yencich: Talking about the draft at this stage is a pain, particularly because the M’s aren’t going to be selecting until the middle of the supplemental round. One year of a track record for McNamara is not enough to figure things out on, and the M’s could easily bust slot for their pick if someone good slips, and someone always does. You hardly ever know who it will be.

Some people have been asking me if there are any catchers beyond Harper, but there aren’t too many, and none are likely to slip to where it would be a good idea for us to pick them, to say nothing of the fact that drafting for need, particularly drafting a catcher for need, is an awful idea in baseball. Ideally, we should pair Moore with a better gloveman in the future and wait for him to get better, but that’s me getting sidetracked there.

If the left-handed and baseball rat trends are ones that you expect to continue, Garin Cecchini might be a name at third among the prep prospects. One concern though is that he tore his ACL in the spring and I don’t know how Mac feels about drafting recently injured prospect versus how Fontaine felt.

Alternatively, we might see some outfield bat slip to us. No, that’s probably not going to be Josh Sale, but Drew Vettleson, also known as the state’s switch-pitcher, might be another possibility for a local guy. More likely, I’d expect them to look into college guys, but I don’t know that Brandon Bentz sounds like their type of hitter because he’s a bit too streaky, and with regard to priorities, I don’t know how they’d feel about picking up another Kyle Parker, this one being a bit more football oriented than the first. The draft is stronger on CF, but I don’t know that it’s what makes sense for us.

I kind of feel like I want a pitcher in there though, so I’d also consider southpaws like James Paxton of the famous NCAA disputes, if he’s looking all right in the indy leagues, or Sammy Solis, who fits the good guy, hard worker profile, and may fit better in a program with a heightened emphasis on conditioning. The ranks are loaded with right-handed pitchers too, so you might see someone like a Peter Tago, Asher Wojciechowski (may be more of a Fontaine guy, may not drop that far), or Brett Eibner as a two-way if he slips.

As you can see, this isn’t nearly as easy to talk about as it was last year.

SoDo Mojo: Do you see Mauricio Robles sticking in the rotation for the long haul or ultimately becoming a reliever?

Jay Yencich: One thing people should never lose sight of when looking at Robles is that he had pitched all of three hundred innings, ever, coming into this season. He wasn’t even a pitcher when the Tigers signed him, just some strong-armed outfielder that they threw the dice on off the mound and came up looking pretty good.

I don’t think that making judgments on his endurance is something that we can easily do yet because he’s worked up slowly, from sixty-nine, to ninety-one, to 123.2 last year. We’ll see where he ends up after this year in that regard.

Command is going to be the big thing for him to get on track, or get back on track rather. He walked eight in April and is already up to fourteen in May. It’s enough to keep a little gunshy on him for the moment. The other thing is that he needs to get to the point where his change-up is more of a weapon against right-handers. But mostly, it’s the command that’s going to make or break him. A few weeks ago, I would have said he was going to make it, but now I’m not so sure after the last couple of outings.