Friday, August 26, 2016

The Yankees & The 2017 Rule 5 Draft

The New York Yankees youth movement is in full effect and with the excitement of seeing the likes of Tyler Austin, Gary Sanchez, Aaron Judge and others comes the tough decisions that come along with stockpiling talent down in the minor leagues. The toughest decision of all tends to always come down to who should you protect and who should you leave unprotected from the Rule 5 Draft every winter. The Yankees have quite a few notable prospects that could be up for grabs this winter so here is who they are and who I think the Yankees will and should protect. If you disagree or if I miss anyone please leave it below in the comments section. 

The list of Rule 5 Draft eligible players this winter include Miguel Andujar, Jorge Mateo, Jake Cave, Kyle Higashioka, Dietrich Enns, Gio Gallegos, Brady Lail, Tyler Webb, Dante Bichette Jr., Rashad Crawford, Cale Coshow, Cito Culver, Ty Hensley, Mark Montgomery and Luis Torrens. It’s also worth mentioning that both Higashioka and Culver are set to become minor league free agents at the end of the season as well so the Yankees are at risk of losing them all together if they are not Rule 5 protected. So who gets protected and who doesn’t? 

You have to think that both Andujar and Mateo are givens to be protected. I highly doubt either are technically MLB ready but they are also loaded with talents and I could see a team sacrificing their development for a year to keep them on the bench as a pinch hitter, pinch runner or defensive replacement just to keep them within their organization. Those are the easy ones. The list of players I don’t believe will be protected due to being at low risk of being taken are Bichette, Crawford, Coshow, Culver, Hensley and Montgomery. Those also seems close to being locks for me. Now for the hard part, the players stuck in the middle. 

Cave was left unprotected last year and was taken by the Cincinnati Reds only to be handed back after spring training and with the absolute log jam in the Yankees outfield right now (barring an offseason trade) I can see him being left unprotected once again this offseason, and taken once again this offseason. Dietrich Enns, Gio Gallegos and Brady Lail remind me a lot of Rookie Davis who was protected last year and then traded. They aren’t blowing competitors away and knocking on the door in Triple-A but they are some of the best pitching prospects the Yankees have so any of the three could be protected, or maybe they won’t. I believe the toughest decision though will come down to the two Yankees catchers Luis Torrens and Kyle Higashioka. 

Higashioka seems to be a late bloomer and has become a legitimate prospect for the Yankees while Torrens remains one of, if not the, top Yankees catching prospect in all of the farm affiliates. The problem with Torrens is that he is a good two or three years away from the Major Leagues. The talent is there, see what I said above about Andujar and Mateo, so he could be protected but I just can’t see it. I would personally protect Torrens and try to work out something on the side with Higashioka, see Mason Williams and Slade Heathcott for recent examples of this type of “release” then re-sign tactic the Yankees have employed to circumvent the 40 man roster, if at all possible. If not I think Higashioka will be protected and Torrens will be left out there for anyone to snatch up.


  1. I agree with all of this except for one statement. Dietrich Enns and Gio Gallegos are absolutely dominating at the AAA level.

    1. I need to fact check myself. Gallegos tore up AAA, and in true Yankee fashion, got demoted to AA. But he is dominating AA. Definitely needs to be protected.

  2. I would like to keep Cale Coshow for a few reasons; he holds his power fastball numbers into the later innings and has three workable pitches.
    His fastball has movement and he can pitch inside with it. If he were to be one of the staters at the #6-7-8 spot not making the starting 5 he would be great as a Set-up for Dellin or part of a two headed monster with Dellin.
    If the Yankees could trade McCann, Romine we could keep both Kyle Higashioka, and Luis Torrens...that won't happen, so I agree on Higashioka.


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