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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:

2018 Pinstripe Preview: Justus Sheffield

In this addition of the Bronx Bomber Ball’s 2018 Pinstripe Preview, we will focus on lefty sensation Justus Sheffield. Sheffield was acquired by the Yankees in 2016 in a package with the Cleveland Indians for Andrew Miller. Recently rated as the Yankees number four prospect and the number seven left-handed pitching prospect, there is a lot of hype build around the young man.

Photo Credit: Mark J Rebilas -USA TODAY Sports

2017 Review

Sheffield is coming off of a solid year where he went 7-6 with a 3.18 ERA in 17 starts for the Trenton Thunder, the Yankees Double-A affiliate. He only gave up 94 hits over 93 1/3 innings and struck out 82, while walking only 33. Much of this stat line was abbreviated due to his time on the disabled list with an oblique injury, but even while his year may have been shortened, the Yankees (and MLB scouts for that matter) saw the talent that was there.

He was able to get back into action for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Fall League, and in 22 1/3 innings, he posted a 2-2 record with a 3.10 ERA, along with 22 strikeouts, three walks and only 14 hits.

2018 Preview

The 21-year-old looks to build off his impressive 2017 with likely a start in either Double-A with a quick call up to Triple-A or perhaps an early promotion and begin the year in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with the Yankees Triple-A affiliate.

While his name has become a more popular one when talking about the future Yankees, he does still have some work to do before he makes an appearance in the Bronx. He will need to work on his changeup to go alongside his fastball and wipe out slider, as well as perhaps making an adjustment to his more violent delivery (for added durability). He will need to take a page out of Luis Severino’s book and minimize the arm whip after delivery to take some stress off the forearm and avoid potential dangers down the road, while still keeping his deception.

With all that being said, Sheffield’s future is just about as bright as any in the Yankees farm system, and with the plethora of riches in that farm system, Sheffield can take his time to hone his craft. 

Article by: AJ Welch