This past week found fans, media and bloggers alike debating the merits of who the Yankees should leave unprotected in preparation for this year’s Rule 5 Draft. The topic is always emotionally charged as people hold out hope to see their team’s own prospects make it to the show while others are looking for diamonds in the rough. Although, there have been Rule 5 success stories such as Johan Santana and Josh Hamilton, the reality is most never become more than minor league roster depth. In this article, we’ll look at who the Yankees have gained and lost during the process.
Robert Fish – Drafted from the Angels in 2010, Fish was waived during March of 2011.
Daniel Turpen – Selected in 2010, he failed to impress in Spring Training and was returned to the Red Sox during Spring Training.
Brad Meyers – Chosen by the Yankees in 2011, they cut ties and returned him to the Nationals.
Since 2009 the Yankees, have lost the following nine players in the Rule 5 Draft:
Tommy Kahnle – In hindsight he was probably a choice that the Yankees would like to do over. Plucked from the team by Colorado in 2013, Kahnle stuck in the Rockies bullpen for the entire 2014 season. His rookie season was solid as he pitched to a solid 4.19 ERA with 63 strikeouts in 68.2 innings.
Kelvin Castro – The former infielder turned pitcher was picked up by the Marlins during the Double-A portion of the draft in 2013. His luck wasn’t any better in their organization as he was released during the 2014 season.
Ravel Santana – A devastating ankle injury has ruined the once promising career of Ravel Santana. The Yankees exposed him to the draft after the 2013 season. Chosen by the Astros, he was sent to the Short-Season Tri-City Valley Cats where he was unable to get going and found himself released in July.
Michael O’Brien – The former eighth round draft pick was taken by the Reds, where he couldn’t get out of Double-A during this season. After being declared a minor league free agent, he signed a MILB deal with the Orioles this month.
Felipe Gonzalez – The 23-year old former international free agent signing spent most of 2014 in West Virginia, the Pirates Class-A affiliate.
Lance Pendleton – Selected by the Astros in 2010, he was returned back to the Yankees in March of 2011. Pendleton is not currently active.
George Kontos – Was drafted by the Padres in 2010, but was returned shortly thereafter. Kontos was later included in the trade that brought Chris Stewart to the Bronx.
Kanekoa Texeira – Brought to the Yankees as part of the Nick Swisher trade, Texeira was selected by the Mariners in 2009. He has since bounced around the majors and minors since.
Zach Kroenke – Kroenke was exposed to the Rule 5 twice by the Yankees. He was first selected and returned by the Marlins in 2008 and then by Diamondbacks in 2009, where by rule he was granted free agency.
Although it’s fun debating those that are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft with fans and fellow writers, recent history shows that it’s rare for the Yankees to lose or gain a player of importance. During the past five years, the only player of significance was Tommy Kahnle, who was replacement level this season. Maybe a gem will be found someday, but odds aren’t in favor of that result.