Sporting one of baseball’s top farm systems, the New York Yankees were bound to get hit hard in Thursday’s Rule 5 draft.
That’s exactly what happened.
There were 61 players taken between the major league and Triple-A phases of the Rule 5 draft. Six of them came from the Yankees organization, including a trio of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
Righty reliever Anyelo Gomez, left hander Nestor Cortes, first baseman Mike Ford and right hander Jose Mesa Jr. were selected in the major league phase. Right-handed pitcher Yancarlos Baez and catcher Sharif Othman were taken in the Triple-A phase.
Gomez, Cortes and Ford all finished the season with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
The Yankees did select 20-year-old Cleveland Indians prospect Junior Soto in the first round of the Triple-A phase. The outfielder played in 52 games for Single-A Lake County this past season, sporting a .172 batting average with 19 runs, 14 doubles nine home runs and 17 RBI.
Gomez, Cortes, Ford and Mesa will all be placed on their new club’s 25-man roster, where they will remain for the 2018 season. If their new team wants to remove them at any point during the upcoming season, they will be placed on outright waivers. If they clear waivers, they will be offered back to New York for $50,000. The Yankees have the option to pass and the outrighted player could then be optioned down to the minors.
Gomez was selected seventh overall by the Atlanta Braves. The former RailRiders reliever appeared in four postseason games this past season, registering a 0.00 ERA in 5.1 innings. He struck out six while allowing seven hits.
Cortes, who was set to pitch in Game 5 of the Governors’ Cup Finals if Scranton/Wilkes-Barre won Game 4, was taken ninth by the Baltimore Orioles. The lefty will rejoin Matt Wotherspoon.
Cortes appeared in 11 games for the RailRiders, including six starts, in 2017. He finished the year with a 2-4 record and 1.49 ERA.
Ford, who spent time with both Double-A Trenton and the RailRiders, was taken 11th by the Seattle Mariners. Playing in 25 games for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the first baseman collected a .266 batting average paired with seven home runs and 21 RBI. He spent most of his season with Trenton.
Mesa was taken in the third round by the Orioles. The 24-year-old right hander got as high as Double-A in 2017, where he pitched in eight games, including four starts, and posted a 4-0 record and 0.79 ERA.
Baez was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the first round of the Triple-A phase, while Othman was selected in the second round by the Miami Marlins.
Baez spent 2017 in the Gulf Coast League, appearing in eight games, including five starts, to register a 0-2 record and 3.51 ERA. Othman split time between High-A Tampa and Trenton, playing in 72 games. He had a .223 batting average, paired with seven home runs and 22 RBI.
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