John Ryan Murphy

 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

The Yankees can come up with as many blueprints for a successful draft as they want, but drafting baseball players is not an easy science. And they'll have another chance when the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft kicks off tonight.

In recent seasons, their farm system has climbed the rankings among MLB clubs, according to many publications that concentrate on the minor leagues. The improvement is due in part to some mild success the Yankees have had in recent drafts.

But the Yankees have still failed to draft a difference-maker in the first round since Gerrit Cole in 2008 -- except he did not sign -- so, make that since they grabbed Derek Jeter in 1992. The last Yankees first round pick to get even a smattering of big league time was Slade Heathcott (2009), who was unconditionally released a couple of weeks ago. 

Tags: Adam Warren, Austin Romine, Brett Gardner, Dellin Betances, Greg Bird, Jacob Lindgren, John Ryan Murphy, Rob Refsnyder
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