Friday, December 4, 2015

Possible Yankees Losses in the Rule 5 Draft

As we inch closer and closer to the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee we also inch closer and closer to some actual activity in the baseball community. We have seen a few trades get pulled off, a few free agents overpaid (totally not looking at you Cliff Pennington), a few starting pitchers get paid (and I am totally looking at you Jordan Zimmerman) and a whole lot of talk. That talk equates to moves at the Winter Meetings and it also means the Rule 5 Draft comes leaving us with the answers to the “will he stay or will he go?” questions. We know who is staying for New York but looking at the roster the Yankees may see more than a few go as well this December.

Mark Montgomery was once thought to be the heir-apparent to Mariano Rivera after being drafted in the 11th round of the 2011 MLB Draft but a lot has happened since a shoulder injury dampened his 2013 season. Montgomery had a nice 2014 season and basically repeated the solid season in 2015 between Double-A and Triple-A posting a 4-4 record with a 2.66 ERA and 17 saves with 53 strikeouts in 50.2 innings. Montgomery was especially good in Triple-A posting a 1.17 ERA and 0.391 WHIP in just 7.2 innings leaving many to wonder if he couldn’t stick as a long man on a MLB roster. I certainly think he could, and will, as he is much better in my opinion than Tommy Kahnle who the Colorado Rockies hid on their roster two years ago after taking him from New York in the draft.

Taylor Dugas and Jake Cave fit a similar mold not only in the draft but inside the Yankees system. New York has so many left-handed defensive first outfielders in their system, Mason Williams, recently protected Ben Gamel and Slade Heathcott immediately come to mind, that it may not be the worst thing to see one or both picked. For their sake, not the team’s sake. Dugas and Cave can play all three outfield positions, have high on-base percentages and have hit for average at every minor league stop they’ve made. Neither have large sample sizes above Double-A to base their picks on but could easily be hidden as a fourth or even fifth outfielder on a MLB roster this season.

Tony Renda is a second baseman that lost out to the versatility “metta” currently going on in Major League Baseball. Renda plays second base well but the problem is that’s the only position he can play. In a world where every team wants their own shiny Ben Zobrist type player Renda was made available in the draft. His bat is average and he hasn’t had much time above Double-A so he’s unlikely to be selected, but he could be and that’s enough at this point.

Finally we finish with a prospect we did one of our “Weekly Check In” posts with multiple times this season, left-handed starter Miguel Sulbaran. Sulbaran was acquired from the Minnesota Twins in the Eduardo Nunez trade from a couple years back and made it all the way to Double-A with the Trenton Thunder before the 2015 season came to a close. Sulbaran is not a sexy name and probably not a common household name for many despite being in his age 21 season but was solid this season and is left-handed, that’s intriguing to some teams in itself.

Just as a reminder there are three phases to the Rule 5 Draft, the Major League portion being the most popular. If a player is taken in the Major League portion a $50,000 fee is charged to the team selecting the player and the team must keep the player on their 25-man roster for the entire 2015 season. If they do not they must offer the player back to his original team with a $25,000 price tag attached to him before he is eligible to sign elsewhere.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)