The MLB First Year Player Draft is three days long and each day has a different theme.
The first day has all the pomp and circumstance of the elite players being selected, and the following day features a lot of players who will need to make a tough decision about whether to sign with the team that drafted them. The third and final day is by far the busiest, with 30 of the 40 rounds taking place.
In 2016, UConn had three players selected on the third day of the draft. In 2017, after John Russell was selected in the 16th round, the Huskies had two of players selected within two rounds of each other.
Junior third baseman Willy Yahn got the call in the 25th round from the Baltimore Orioles as the 758th overall pick. He has been one of UConn’s steadiest hitters from the time he stepped in Storrs and has provided strong defense and clutch hits throughout his three years playing for the Huskies.
He can return to play his senior year should he decide to not sign by the Aug. 15 deadline and while he has given UConn baseball more than enough to justify beginning his professional career, it’s possible he can improve his situation by playing out his senior year.
Each pick in the top 10 rounds has a value assigned to it that makes up a team’s bonus pool. Seniors often sign below value because they have no other option, whereas high schoolers and underclassmen can return to school if they don’t like their pick. A versatile infielder who can hit for average and has a little speed is a candidate to be picked with one of those picks and get a nice bonus.
Yahn also had some extenuating circumstances which may have suppressed his value. He broke his left hand six days before the season started and missed 10 games, which is around three weeks. He likely played through a decent amount of pain for a while, and that could have hurt his hitting numbers.
Additionally, UConn missing the NCAA Tournament might have hurt his value. This robbed Yahn of the opportunity to play in front of the many scouts who would have been there to further his value.
If Yahn does decide to leave, he would likely head to Aberdeen of the New York-Penn League.
Senior left hander Doug Domnarski was also selected in the 27th round, going 809th overall to the Miami Marlins.
Domnarski had a rough statistical season, allowing batters to hit .325 against him with a 8.24 ERA, but he led the Huskies in appearances in 2016 as a left-handed specialist and will likely be a reliever for the Marlins.
Should he sign, Domnarski would likely go to their Gulf Coast League team or the Short Season Single-A Batavia Muckdogs of the New York-Penn League.