Rule 5 Draft Recap: Yankees lose Mike Ford, three others, while not selecting anyone
Yesterday, the Winter Meetings wrapped up, ending with the annual Rule 5 Draft. For those who are unfamiliar with the draft, it is essentially teams selecting a minor league player with four to five years of professional experience that has not yet been added to the 40-man roster of their team. Since the Yankees have such a deep farm system, they were not able to add all the talent that they wanted to their 40-man roster, and lost four players as a result: RHP Anyelo Gomez, LHP Nestor Cortes, 1B Mike Ford, and RHP Jose Mesa.
The 24-year old Gomez was selected by the Braves, and spent time at four different minor league affiliates as a reliever for the Yankees in 2017, with the majority of his time coming for the AA Trenton Thunder. His overall line was impressive, throwing 70.1 innings with a 1.92 ERA, 87 strikeouts, a 1.02 WHIP, and a .199 batting average against.
|Robert M. Pimpsner, RMP Sports Media, Inc.|
Cortes, 23, was selected by the Orioles. He spent 2017 with three different minor league teams, but the majority was split between Trenton (52 IP) and Scranton Wilkes-Barre (48.1 IP). He worked as both a starter and reliever, appearing in 30 games total and starting in 13 of them. His overall line was just as impressive as Gomez’s, throwing 104.2 total innings with a 2.06 ERA, 105 strikeouts, a 1.08 WHIP, and a .211 BAA.
The 25-year old Ford, selected by the Mariners, might be the most well-known of the Yankees’ prospects that were selected, as he put up a very solid season between Trenton and Scranton. He was the subject of many rumors during the summer, when first base was a black hole for the Yankees. Overall, he put up a very solid line of .270/.404/.471 with 20 homers, 86 RBIs, 24 doubles, and a whopping 94 walks to just 72 strikeouts.
Jose Mesa Jr., who was also selected by the Orioles, split time as a reliever and a starter between the Tampa Yankees and the Trenton Thunder in 2017. He was solid with Tampa, putting up a 2.72 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in 21 games (3 starts), but he was lights out when promoted to Trenton, throwing 34.1 innings in 8 games (5 starts), with a 0.79 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP. His overall line of 84 innings, a 1.93 ERA, 101 strikeouts and just a .166 BAA and 0.95 WHIP is remarkable, and it’s easy to see why the O’s selected him even though he spent the majority of the year in High-A ball.
On the other hand, the Yanks did not select anyone for themselves in the draft. This is not very surprising, as they don't normally do so. The last time the Yankees made a draft selection was in 2011, when they selected pitcher Brad Meyers from the Nationals. All in all, the Yanks have only made five Rule 5 Draft selections since the draft was enacted in 1997, drafting Meyers, pitchers Robert Fish (Angels) and Daniel Turpen (Red Sox) in 2010, 1B/C Josh Phelps (Orioles) in 2006, and pitcher Matt Williams (Rays) in 1997.
Article by: Alex Weir