On Monday, November 20 the New York Yankees protected six players from the annual Rule 5 draft when they added them to their 40-man roster. With the deadline to protect prospects now behind them, they are set to lose several prospects at the end of the Winter Meetings. We take a look at seven minor league prospects that the Yankees could lose in the major league phase of the 2017 Rule 5 draft.
Nestor Cortes, 22, pitched at three different levels including the Florida State League, Eastern League and the International League in 2017. He spent most of the season in Double-A with the Thunder where he was 5-0 with a 2.60 ERA over 18 games where he struck out 45 in 52 innings. In Triple-A he went 2-4 with a 1.49 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 48 1/3 innings.
Between all three levels, Cortes ended the season with a 7-4 record and a 2.06 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 104 2/3 innings pitched. This winter he is pitching in the Dominican Republic for Estrellas Orientales. On November 4 he threw six hitless innings and overall has a 2-1 record with a 1.25 ERA in 21 2/3 innings pitched.
Cortes does not throw particularly hard. He has a fastball that is anywhere between the high-80s and low-90s and topping out at 93 miles per hour. He locates his fastball well compliments it with a changeup that sits between 75-70 miles per hour, a curveball in the low-mid-70s and a slider that is in the high-70s. He works mostly down in the zone and moves it well to either side to keep hitters off balance and get outs.
Cale Coshow, 25, has been with the Yankees since the 2013 season when he was drafted in the 13th round of the MLB Draft. Throughout most of his career, he moved between the rotation and the bullpen but moved to the bullpen full-time in 2017 where he served as the Trenton Thunder’s primary closer throughout the season.
With Trenton, Coshow went 2-5 with a 3.81 ERA in 41 games. He struck out a total of 72 batters in 54 1/3 innings. He received a late-season call-up to Triple-A, making his Triple-A debut with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. In four regular-season games with the RailRiders, he was 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA and struck out four batters in 5 2/3 innings of work.
Coshow sat mostly around 95 miles per hour with his fastball as a starter, but since moving to the bullpen, his +velocity has ticked up a bit. He has even hit 100 miles per hour a few times. He compliments it with a cutter in the low-90s as well as a changeup and a slider.
Stephen Tarpley, 24, is the victim of pitching depth the Yankees have in the upper levels and is likely to be left unprotected. After missing the first half of the 2017 season, he came back, this time as a reliever and dominated in 14 games for the Tampa Yankees. In 30 2/3 innings in the Florida State League in 2017, he struck out 36 batters, walked 16 and allowed only four hits and no runs. He went on to make his Double-A debut on August 20, 2017, with two shutout innings.
With the Thunder, Tarpley appeared in four games, striking out 6 in 10 1/3 innings and allowing four runs and two walks in the regular season. He went on to throw just one shutout inning in the playoffs.
Tarpley sits in the low-to-mid-90s with his fastball. He backs it up with a curveball, changeup, and slider. His repertoire allows him to keep hitters guessing what is coming next.
J.P. Feyereisen, 24, has been with the Yankees since they traded Andrew Miller to the Cleveland Indians. This past season he split his time between Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
In 13 games in the Eastern League, he had a 2.70 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 20 innings pitched. After being promoted to Triple-A, he went 2-3 with a 3.53 ERA, and 42 strikeouts in 43 1/3 innings pitched.
Feyereisen has a fastball that is consistently in the upper-90s, usually sitting around 95-96 miles per hour. It is backed up by a slider that is in the mid-80s and a changeup.
Raynel Espinal, 26, started the 2017 season with the Charleston RiverDogs where in 10 games he was 2-1 with a 1.16 ERA over 38 2/3 innings pitched. He struck out 44 batters and walked only 4. On June 26 he was promoted to High-A Tampa, where he went 0-1 with a 1.69 ERA and 21 strikeouts over 16 innings in 8 games, one start. He received his final promotion of the year on July 22 when he joined the Double-A Trenton Thunder.
In his first taste of Double-A baseball, Espinal went 2-0 with a 0.46 ERA in the regular season. He struck out 28 more batters in 19 2/3 innings. During the Eastern League playoffs, Espinal made two relief appearances. He did not allow a run or a walk but allowed two hits in 3 2/3 innings of work while striking out three batters.
Espinal throws a fastball that is usually in the low-90s but is deceptive. He backs it up with average secondary stuff.
Anyelo Gomez, 24, started the 2017 season in the South Atlantic League, he ended it in the International League. The right-hander out of the Dominican Republic struck out 87 batters over 70 1/3 innings in 38 games. His strikeout numbers are good for fourth best out of all Yankees minor league relievers.
Anyelo Gomez pitched just ten games with Charleston where he was 0-0 with a 1.93 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 14 innings. On May 8 he was promoted to Tampa where he appeared in ten games, striking out 19 over 17 2/3 innings. His promotion to Trenton came on June 22, and with the Thunder he had 42 strikeouts over 36 2/3 innings, earning a 1.72 ERA.
He appeared in just one game for Triple-A Scranton in the regular season, striking out 2 in 2 innings. However, in the playoffs, he struck out an additional six batters in 5 1/3 innings over four games for the RailRiders.
Gomez’s fastball is routinely in the upper-90s and has hit triple digits a few time along with a changeup and slider.
Abiatal Avelino, 22, played at three different levels in 2017 including stints at High-A Tampa, Double-A Trenton, and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The versatile infielder played all over the infield with 44 games at second base, 26 at shortstop and 23 at third base. He has the skillset to become a major league utility infielder and could find himself on the bench of another team in 2018.
Avelino played a total of 98 games in 2017 with 69 of them coming with the Trenton Thunder of the Eastern League. With Trenton, he hit .270/.315/.396 in 230 at-bats. He spent 20 games with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders where he hit .213/.284/.262 in 61 at-bats. He played just nine games with the Tampa Yankees. He hit .219/.265/.250 in 32 at-bats there.
Avelino is a solid prospect; he finds himself behind many other talented infielders causing him not to play as much as he should have. He has above-average speed and uses it along with above-average arm strength to be a formable defender on the field.