Today was the annual Rule 5 Draft. I say annual although for the last two seasons (2020 pandemic, 2021 lock out) this draft did not take place. The Rule 5 Draft is somehow both extremely important and pretty inconsequential. The draft has been around longer than the World Series has been played. Each year it gives a new wave of minor leaguers an opportunity to latch on with another team. Historically not many stars have emerged. In most cases, the players selected are eventually formally traded and sent to the minors or returned back to the original club. Recently, Whitlock on the Red Sox stands out as the best to emerge from this draft. Historically, stars like Roberto Clemente and Johan Santana were able to get their initial chance because of this draft. So let’s take a look and see how the 2022 draft went.
The first thing that stands out to me, is that six of the fifteen players to be drafted were part of the Red Sox or Dodgers organizations. To me, it shows how deep the Dodgers are but when it comes to the Red Sox, they may have made some questionable decisions on who to protect and who to leave vulnerable. The Yankees did a good job at protecting the right players in a deep system and only lost two players, RHPs Zach Greene and Wilking Rodriguez.
Greene, 25 years old, is not a top prospect but had decent results at AAA in 2022. A 3.42 ERA looks a lot better than his 4.20 FIP and when you have as many bullpen depth arms as the Yankees, this is hardly a loss we will remember. Rodriguez, 32 years old, was a part of the Devil Rays (yes, he was part of their system when they still had the devil in them) and Royals organizations before coming to the Yankees. He had a great season at AAA posting a 1.69 ERA to go with a tidy 1.56 FIP. At 32 years old, maybe he finally figured something out but at the end of the day, Cashman does a great job at finding these types of relievers.
Overall the draft results look underwhelming. But you can never fully tell how this draft ended up until a few months into the season. Overall, it looks like the Yankees avoided any Garrett Whitlocks.