Note: This article is part of a series looking at the 2020 Rule 5 draft and which Yankees minor leaguers it will affect.
In a couple of months, the annual Rule 5 draft will be held and MLB teams will once again have the opportunity to try to find a diamond in the rough from the scores of players that teams will not protect on their 40-man roster. This year things are drastically different, there was no minor league season to evaluate players and in 2021 the minors will be drastically different with the elimination of up to 42 teams including every short season and rookie-level team outside of the complex leagues.
What does this mean for the Rule 5 draft? A lot. Teams have not had time to evaluate players over 140-games, extended spring training, instructional league, and even the Arizona Fall League. So, the chances for a wild card addition to the 40-man roster in November or a lower-level prospect being selected in the Rule 5 draft in the MLB phase will be lower.
The Yankees have several prospects that will be eligible for the first time, but many have not played above Class-A. The biggest name of the list has already been protected and that is Clarke Schmidt. Others include Kyle Holder, Addison Russ, Alexander Vizcaino, Daniel Alvarez, and more.
Last year the Yankees lost right-handed pitcher Rony Garcia in the MLB phase of the draft who was taken with the very first pick by the Detroit Tigers. Garcia stuck with the Tigers during the COVID-19-shortened season and will not be returned. In the minor league phase, they lost another four players in right-handed pitchers Hobie Harris, Will Carter, and Raynel Espinal as well as infielder Wendell Rijo.
While there are many prospects that the Yankees could “hide” on the Triple-A reserve roster for the draft, there are a few that have a legitimate chance of being selected. But the question remains would the Yankees feel the need to protect them in November?
Before we get into which prospects the Yankees may want to consider protecting in the Rule 5 draft let us look at all the players who are eligible to be selected. Below you will find the list of players that are eligible for the Rule 5 draft in 2020 and those who remain from other classes.
[player_list 35433 site_id=”1″]
Note: some players on these lists may have been traded or released.
[player_list 35431 site_id=”1″]
[player_list 30565 site_id=”1″]