The Yankees made some roster moves yesterday in preparation for the Rule 5 Draft, adding 5 guys to the 40-man to protect them: David Phelps, D.J. Mitchell, David Adams, Corban Joseph, and Zoilo Almonte. My quick take- all good moves.
- Phelps and Mitchell are both solid Triple-A starting prospects, just the type of Rule 5 gold that other teams look for. They'll be among the crew of Triple-A arms that could be called on to make spot starts in 2012 or even play bigger roles if the Yankees' offseason plans to beef up the rotation don't pan out. Mitchell is also an intriguing relief possibility.
- Adams, despite missing the better part of the 2010-2011 seasons because of a broken ankle, is still a guy worth keeping around because of his bat. Before he got hurt in 2010, he was hitting .309/.393/.507 with a .403 wOBA in Double-A. That's damn good production at the plate at any level. And at 24, he still has time to re-establish himself. Corban Joseph is cut from a similar cloth and could become a contender for a utility role in the show if he can continue to hit at Triple-A this coming season.
- Almonte is a personal favorite of mine, and with good reason after having a breakout year in 2011. He hit .298/.373/.522 with a .402 wOBA in High-A this season before getting bumped up to Trenton. He's 22 and has already shown an advanced approach and eye at the plate, so it will be interesting to see if he can replicate this year's success at the next level in 2012.
All of these guys would have likely drawn interest from other teams in the draft, so I'm glad the Yankees kept them around. With only 1 open spot on the 40-man roster right now, that could mean we've seen the last of the likes of Kevin Whelan and/or Justin Maxwell. But that's an acceptable loss to keep these 5 in house.