Yankees Draft Al Leiter's Elite Prospect Son Despite Likely Decision to Attend Vanderbilt Instead

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - APRIL 06: A New York Yankees hat and glove sit in the dugout before the start of the Yankees and Baltimore Orioles game  at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 06, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles | Rob Carr

Teams heading into the back half of the MLB Draft are left to take flyers on high school players whose futures are up in the air, including those most likely won't sign due to intentions to attend college.

Right-handed pitcher Jack Leiter, the son of former big leaguer Al Leiter, was a surefire first-round pick in terms of talent. But because he's committed to play at Vanderbilt, he fell in the draft. That doesn't mean he wasn't going to get picked at all, which is why the New York Yankees selected him with a 20th-round pick just in case the unforeseen happens and the kid changes his mind.

Money talks, of course, and a 20th-round pick isn't going to get the kind of signing bonus that would keep him from going to college-- especially a talent like Leiter. Notably, the Yankees did use their first round pick on Leiter's high school teammate, Anthony Volpe. Could that sway Leiter in going pro? And we are talking about the Yankees here, one of his dad's former teams. Way, way back in the 20th round, this selection does make sense.

In all likelihood, this pick will produce no tangible value for the Yankees, but there are over 40 rounds in the draft. They certainly won't spend any time regretting this decision.