What can the Yankees do with the Rule 5 draft? November 24, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Chris Lubanski, Dan Smith, Eric Duncan, Frankie Cervelli, Jeff Marquez, Marcos Vechionacci, Michael Gardner, PJ Piliterre, Rule 5 Draft, Steven Jackson.
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So here is the second in a series of segments on MLB and Yankees questions:
What can the Yankees do with the Rule 5 draft?
Well, to begin, Rule 5 eligibility is when a player that was signed or drafted at 18 or younger did so 5 years ago, or when a player that was signed or drafted did so 4 years ago, and is not on the 40 man roster. The Yankees have several players eligible–Francisco Cervelli, Jeff Marquez, Steven White, PJ Piliterre, Eric Duncan, Marcos Vechionacci, Steven Jackson, and Michael Gardner. The first three were protected on the 40-man roster, and the deadline to set the roster was midnight on Tuesday. That means that Piliterre, Duncan, Vechionacci, Jackson, and Gardner are eligible. Piliterre projects best as a Brad Ausmus-type–that is, a low-batting average, great defensive catcher. At worst, he can be a Wil Nieves type. If he is taken, there is no real loss there. Duncan, thus far, is a 1st round bust from 2003, but he is young for his level (AAA) and should have been protected, as the kid has potential to be a solid ML-first basebman. However, due to the time he takes to adjust to a new level, he likely won’t make it through 2008 on another team. He will likely be taken and returned, so no biggie there. “Nacci” is a raw player with an amazing glove but developing bat. He has yet to be consistently above HiA, so he won’t hit much if he is selected. However, he could always be selected in the AAA or AA phases. Jackson struggled largely in his transition from sinkerballer to power pitcher, but did better in AA and could eventually be a decent middle reliever. However, there are other, better prospects who can do the same thing better. Gardner is just an older, non-prospect, organizational player. No loss here.
On the other hand, talking of the protected guys, Cervelli, who has only played as high as HiA Tampa, was protected mainly because the Nationals selected Jesus Flores, also a catcher, from the Mets system, and he did well for the Nats. Besides, he is ready enough to be the 3rd catcher on the 40-man roster, anyway. Marquez is probably on the 40-man to be able to serve as a replacement-level starter for 2008, or to be traded for a heating-up Johan Santana deal. White, once the best pitching prospect in the system, has had an injury-ravaged minor-league career and has struggled while adjusting to new levels. However, he is able to help out the Yankees in the bullpen next year, a weak spot in the bigs.
Now, Mike over at River Ave. Blues has a great post at who the Yankees can take in the Rule 5 draft. None of the lower-profile guys intrigued me more than a fairly young lefty named Dan Smith, from the Braves. This is what he had to say on Smith:
He backs his low-90’s heat with a great changeup, although he struggles to spin his breaking ball consistently. He comes over-the-top and uses a huge downhill plane, which makes him tough to hit (7.00 Hper9 career) and is the main reason he’s given up only 18 homers in 338 career innings.
Smith’s biggest pitfall is that his command comes and goes, as he’ll rack up big walk totals (4.36 BBper9) to go along with big strikeout totals (9.74 Kper9).
Not bad, and the Yankees can fix him out. At least he will cost less and his peripherals are more honest than those of 36-year-old Ron Mahay, whom the Yankees are reportedly pursuing.
Of the high profile players–well, of the only one, really, it would also be nice if the Yankees can get the #5 overall pick from 2003, Chris Lubanski, from the Royals.
Val Majewski, the prospect/suspect of the Baltimore Orioles, is also eligible. I’d take a pass.
Yankees Top 30 Coming Soon October 23, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Alberto Gonzales, Chase Weems, Cody Ehlers, Damon Sublett, Steven Jackson, Tim Battle.
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And this time I mean it! A friend and I are ranking prospects, 1-30, in the Yankees’ organization. However, I would like your input on border-liners like Tim Battle, Alberto Gonzales, Steven Jackson, Cody Ehlers, Chase Weems, and Damon Sublett. Currently they are out of my list.