With the Rule 5 Draft coming up next month during the winter meetings, the Yankees are planning to add Bryan Mitchell and Shane Greene to their 40-man roster. Minor leaguers who were drafted out of high school in 2009 or out of college in 2010 are eligible for the draft, but placing them on the roster will protect them.
Right-handed pitcher Bryan Mitchell, 22, was drafted out of high school in 2009 as the Yankees' 16th round pick. He has been one of the Yankees' top prospects for a few years now, though his performance has yet to match his potential. In 2013, he had a terrible 5.12 ERA and a high walk rate (3.77), but he did manage a decent strikeout rate (7.39) for a 3.47 FIP in High-A. He made it to Double-A and pitched to a great 1.93 ERA and 2.45 FIP in three starts. The Yankees were impressed by him in the instructional league, where he was reportedly hitting 98 mph.
Right-handed pitcher Shane Greene, 25, was drafted out of community college in 2009 as the Yankees' 15th round pick. He hasn't had a great career over five seasons now (5.15 ERA and 4.92 FIP), but his 2013, split between High-A and Double-A, was pretty promising. In 154.1 innings, Greene pitched to a 3.39 ERA and 3.03 FIP with good peripherals (1.7 BB/9 and 7.9 K/9). While he has been a starter, the Yankees see his strong fastball/slider combination playing up in the bullpen as a seventh-inning reliever-type.
The Yankees have until Wednesday to finalize their 40-man roster for the draft. By adding these two, the 40-man roster will go from 34 to 36, giving the Yankees four more roster spots to use. Slade Heathcott, drafted out of high school in 2009, and Gary Sanchez, an international signing, are just some of the other prospects who need protecting.