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Yankees lose six players to the Rule-5 draft, acquire one

The Yankees’ minor league systems is deep even beyond the flashy prospects, and as a result, they had six players they chose not to protect on the 40-man roster selected by other clubs in the Rule-5 draft. Only one of the six Yankees, RHP Nick Green, was selected in the Major League phase, while five players were selected in the Triple-A phase. The Yankees chose one player of their own in the Triple-A phase in RHP Adonis De la Cruz. A friendly reminder for those who are not familiar with the Rule-5 draft, the teams who select these players must keep them on their active roster of either the Major League or Triple-A team, depending on the phase of selection, or be offered back to their former club. Here is a breakdown of Cruz and who the Yankees lost:

Prospect Spotlight: Billy McKinney

When the Yankees decided to sell and traded Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs, the biggest name everyone liked to talk about in the return was Gleyber Torres. While his name is definitely worth mentioning as the headliner, another name worth digging into from the trade is outfielder Billy McKinney.
Photo Credit: Martin Griff | Pinstriped Prospects

McKinney, a Texas native, was the 24th overall pick by the Oakland Athletics in the 2013 draft, but was included with Addison Russell in the Jason Hammel/Jeff Samardzija trade during the 2014 season. McKinney has been ranked as high as 83rd on Baseball America’s prospect list. 

In 35 games since coming over in the trade, McKinney batted .234 with three home runs and 13 RBIs with the Trenton Thunder. Between the Cubs and Yankees minor league systems in 2016, McKinney batted .246 with four home runs and 44 RBIs in 123 games across AA. Across four minor league seasons, McKinney is a career .277 hitter with 25 home runs and 203 RBIs, as well as 18 stolen bases across 410 games and 1710 plate appearances.

McKinney has some upside, but his best path to the major leagues might as a fourth outfielder type. While McKinney doesn’t have much speed or incredible power, he can hit for some decent average and can draw the occasional walk. McKinney was pretty much the third piece in the four player package received for Chapman, but McKinney has the ability to be a very useful major league piece.

Article by: Julian Bussells

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