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Jorge Guzman was impressive yet again, hitting 102 MPH and consistently hitting 101 throughout the game. (Robert M. Pimpsner)


Where they Would Have Ranked: Trades & Rule 5

This offseason the Yankees had eight players that would have initially ranked in our Top 75 Prospect list either traded or selected in the annual Rule 5 draft.  Five of the eight were pitchers, with the most significant name being right-handed pitcher Jorge Guzman who along with Jose Devers was traded to the Marlins for Giancarlo Stanton.

Guzman, 22, spent the entire 2017 season with the Staten Island Yankees where he made tremendous strides in his development.  In 13 games he had a 5-3 record with a 2.30 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings.  Coming into this season, we had him ranked as the fifth-best prospect in Yankees organization before the trade.

Jose Devers (Bryan Green)

Shortstop Jose Devers, 18, would have been in our top 30 before the trade as we had him ranked as the 26th best prospect in the organization.  He was one of our sleeper prospects picks to watch in 2018 with the Yankees.  He demonstrated solid athleticism and above-average speed in 2017.

Thunder pitcher Jose Mesa Jr. works in relief against the Altoona Curve during game one of the Eastern League Championship Series in Trenton, NJ on September 12, 2017. (Martin Griff)

Right-handed pitcher Jose Mesa Jr, 24, was selected by the Orioles in the annual Rule 5 draft and was ranked as the #39 prospect in the system before he was picked by Baltimore.  Since he was selected in the major league phase, there is still a chance that he could be back with the Yankees before the end of the season if he does not stick on the roster.

New York Yankee’s Garrett Cooper (rehabing with the Trenton Thunder) in the dugout during game one of the Eastern Division Championship Series against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in Binghamton, NY on September 6, 2017. (Martin Griff)

Initially at #42 on our Top 75 Yankees Prospect list was first baseman, Garrett Cooper.  The Yankees initially acquired Cooper in a trade with the Brewers that saw left-handed pitcher Tyler Webb go to Milwaukee.  After making his MLB debut with the Yankees in 2017, he was traded in November along with Caleb Smith for right-handed pitcher Michael King and international free agent bonus cap space.

Trenton Thunder’s Nestor Cortes works against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats on July 23, 2017. (Martin Griff)

Left-handed pitcher Nestor Cortes was also selected by Baltimore in the major league phase of the 2017 Rule 5 draft.  The former 36th round draft pick out of Hialeah, Florida would have been ranked as the 48th best prospect with the Yankees had he not been selected.  Like Jose Mesa Jr, Cortes could return to the Yankees if he does not stay on the Orioles 25-man roster for the entire season.

Trenton Thunder’s Mike Ford on deck against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies in Trenton on Wednesday, May 31, 2017. (Martin Griff)

Another Rule 5 pick, first baseman Mike Ford, would have ranked as the 57th prospect on our list.  The former non-drafted free agent had one of his best seasons in 2017 with the Trenton Thunder and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, hitting 20 home runs between the two.  Before 2017 he had 30 home runs in four seasons.  This past December he was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the Rule 5 draft and is likely to return to the Yankees at some point in 2018.

Feature Sized- Trenton Thunder starting pitcher Ronald Herrera works against the Reading Fightin Phils in Trenton on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. (Martin Griff)

Right-handed pitcher Ronald Herrera made his major league debut in 2017 with the Yankees.  Before joining the Yankees, he saw time in both the Athletics and the Padres systems.  He was traded to the Yankees in 2015 in exchange for Jose Pirela.  This past offseason the Yankees traded him to the Texas Rangers in exchange for minor league left-handed pitcher Reiver Sanmartin.  Before the trade, we listed him as the 62nd prospect on our Top 75 list.

Trenton Thunder’s Anyelo Gomez works against the Reading Fightin Phils in Trenton on Thursday, July 6, 2017. (Martin Griff)

The final ranked prospect that is no longer with the Yankees is right-handed pitcher Anyelo Gomez who before being selected by the Atlanta Braves in the major league phase of the Rule 5 draft was ranked as the 65th best prospect in the Yankees system.  Like the other players selected in the Rule 5 draft, he could find his way back to the Yankees.


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