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Looking Ahead to the 2019 Rule 5 Draft

The 2019 MLB trade deadline is tomorrow!  This year’s new single deadline means that the Yankees would have to make a lot of moves quickly to both get a starting pitcher, reliever, or just add to their international free agent bonus pool. One way they have been able to pull off such moves was to trade from the tremendous number of minor leaguers that will become eligible for the Ruel 5 draft, thus saving the team from having to find a spot on the 40-man roster.

This year is no different as New York has many players who will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft for the first time this December.  That includes the top three prospects I the system in the persons of right-handed pitchers Deivi Garcia, Luis Gil, and outfielder Estevan Florial.  Add in addition to names like Michael King, Nick Nelson, Miguel Yajure and Ben Ruta who will also become eligible this year there are multitudes of players who were eligible in previous seasons who are eligible.  That includes names like Kyle Holder, Brody Koerner, Dermis Garcia, Chris Gittens, Ryan McBroom, and more.

RHP Deivi Garcia started for the Trenton Thunder in the spring training game. (Robert M. Pimpsner)

Say nothing about the players that will be heading to minor league free agency after this season.  Some notable names from that list include left-handed pitcher Anderson Severino, right-handed pitcher Raynel Espinal, and outfielders Alexander Palma and Rashad Crawford.

Severino, 24, made some headlines this past swing with his solid performances for the Yankees in the grapefruit league.  The Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic-native has only appeared in nine games this season, mostly with the Tampa Tarpons due to injury.  But the big-time fastball and national notoriety he achieved could be enough for the Yankees to take a flyer and protect him.  Or ship him today in a deal.

With no doubt, the Yankees have some interesting names that could be on the move in December if they are not protected in some way, either by being added to the MLB 40-man roster or on the Triple-A reserve roster.

James Reeves is one candidate that could benefit major league teams looking for a near MLB-ready lefty reliever.  With all the arms in the Yankees organization, Reeves has been buried, spending most of the last four seasons in Double-A after being drafted in the 10th round of the 2015 draft.  In 60 Double-A games, he owns an 8-4 record with a 2.25 ERA and 133 strikeouts over 108 innings.

Other potential near MLB-ready prospects includes guys like Adonis Rosa, Daniel Alvarez, Brooks Kriske, Brody Koerner, David Sosebee, and Kyle Holder.  Out of everyone included in that list, only Holder is a position player.  The former first-round pick has long had the MLB-caliber defensive ability but this season he has managed to break out with the bat.  Overcoming a horrible April where he hit .175/.246/.206 in 16 games, he is now hitting .273/.332/.431 for the entire season over 83 games. He has already set a new career-high in home runs (7), triples (3), doubles (22) and is on pace to beat his career-high in RBIs and walks.

If the Yankees do not make a move, you can bet they will project their top three prospects.  Luis Gil, Estevan Florial, and Deivi Garcia all become eligible for the first time this year and are deserving of protection.  Right-hander Michael King is now healthy and pitching and could find himself a candidate for an MLB role in September if need be.  If those four are not traded and they are protected that would leave several other quality arms available for the draft.

Nick Nelson and Miguel Yajure would be the top names to look for in December.  Yajure has quietly had his best season as a professional.  The 21-year old is 6-6 with a 2.20 Era over his first 18 games of the season.  He has thrown a career-high 102 1/3 innings and struck out a career-high of 94 batters.

Many lower-level prospects will also become available this year, including Oswaldo Cabrera, Donny Sands, Wilkerman Garcia, Diego Castillo, and Pablo Olivares.  None of them are likely to be selected in the major league phase of the draft but if left off the Triple-A reserve roster would be a good addition to any other organizations minor league ranks.

There is plenty of talent in the group of players that will be eligible for this year’s Rule 5 draft that the Yankees can trade them for either a pitcher or international free agent cash.

Check out our player database for the rule list of Yankee’s minor leagues who will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft this year.

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