David Robertson proved to be Mr. Consistency for nine seasons in the Yankees bullpen. (AP)
While most of the top-end talent in the MLB draft is found in the early rounds, teams can often discover solid Major League players in the later rounds. The first 10 rounds of this year's MLB Draft took place Monday and Tuesday, with Rounds 11-40 set for Day 3 on Wednesday. The Yankees have been able to find their fair share of valuable Major Leaguers in the late rounds recently, including these 10 players.
Phil Coke, 2002 (Round 26)
The Yankees selected Coke in the 26th round in 2002 out of San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, California. Coke had a strong nine-year career in the Majors, including two stints with the Yankees. The lefty contributed to New York's 2009 World Series squad with 72 regular season appearances and six more appearances as a specialist during the playoff run. He spent most of his career with Detroit but returned to the Yankees in 2016 before stints in the Independent Leagues, Japan and Mexico.
Jeff Karstens, 2003 (Round 19)
A former 19th round pick out of Texas Tech, the Yankees used Karstens as a trade chip in 2008 to acquire Damaso Marte and Xavier Nady from the Pirates. After making appearances for the Yankees in 2006 and 2007, he worked mostly as a starter for five seasons in Pittsburgh. Over seven MLB seasons, Karstens went 26-40 with a 4.44 ERA in 592 1/3 innings.
Mike Dunn, 2004 (Round 33)
Dunn emerged from Las Vegas before it was the baseball hotbed that produced Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant and Joey Gallo. The College of Southern Nevada alum is still going strong in his 11th Major League season as a reliever. He made only four appearances with the Yankees in 2009 before getting traded to Atlanta in a deal that netted Javier Vazquez and Boone Logan. Currently a member of the Rockies bullpen, Dunn has a career 3.93 ERA and 9.8 K/9 rate.
David Robertson, 2006 (Round 17)
Arguably the Yankees' best late-round success story in recent years, Robertson has been a dominant reliever for most of his 12 MLB seasons. The right-hander was taken in the 17th round out of Alabama in 2006 and now has 137 career saves and a 2.90 ERA with a dominant 11.9 K/9 rate. He's pitched most of his career with the Yankees but signed a two-year contract with the Phillies in the offseason.
David Phelps, 2008 (Round 14)
Phelps has shown great versatility during his MLB career, making 64 starts and 164 relief appearances in six seasons. The Yankees drafted Phelps out of Note Dame in the 14th round after a sub-par junior season, but he soon emerged as an outstanding pitching prospect with a 2.53 ERA in 523 Minor League innings. Phelps had a valuable role as a swingman in New York for three seasons from 2012-2014 but was traded to the Marlins along with Martin Prado for Nathan Eovaldi, Domingo German and Garrett Jones. Following some time with the Mariners, Phelps signed a contract with the Blue Jays this offseason and is expected to return from Tommy John surgery next month.
Shane Greene, 2009 (Round 15)
Greene was a 15th round pick out of junior college in 2009 and spent most of his Minor League career as a starting pitcher. He surprised to post a 3.78 ERA in 78 2/3 innings largely as a starter for the Yanks in 2014 before getting traded to Detroit in a three-way deal that brought Didi Gregorius to the Bronx. He struggled as a starter with the Tigers, but Greene has done well for himself recently as a closer. He had 32 saves last year and looks like a potential All-Star this season with a 1.13 ERA and AL-leading 18 saves in 24 appearances.
Tyler Austin, 2010 (Round 13)
A 13th round pick by the Yankees out of high school in 2010, Austin spent parts of three seasons as a fill-in mostly at first base beginning in 2016. In total, he hit 15 home runs and 43 RBI in 268 plate appearances for the Yankees before he was traded with prospect Luis Rijo to the Twins last year for Lance Lynn. Austin has since been moved to San Francisco, where he's serving as a platoon power bat vs. lefties.
John Brebbia, 2011 (Round 30)
Brebbia is a great baseball story, with a professional tale that started with the Yankees. The Elon alum only made it to High-A ball before the Yankees released him in 2013. After two seasons as a reliever in Independent Ball, Brebbia was back with a Major League affiliate when the D-backs signed him in 2015. Less than three months later, the Cardinals selected Brebbia in the Rule 5 draft, and he's been a useful member of the St. Louis bullpen since 2017 with a 2.67 ERA and 10.0 K/9 rate in 121 appearances.
Caleb Smith, 2013 (Round 14)
Smith showed inconsistent control at Sam Houston State, but the lefty was able to fix that issue after the Yankees drafted him in the 14th round in 2013. After a relatively smooth trek up the Yankees farm system, Smith appeared in nine Major League games for New York in 2017. He was traded to the Marlins after that season along with Garrett Cooper for solid pitching prospect Mike King and international bonus money, and has since been a regular member of the Marlins starting rotation. With the help of his outstanding slider, Smith is 3-3 with a 3.10 ERA and 11.8 K/9 in 11 starts for Miami this season.
Nestor Cortes Jr., 2013 (Round 36)
Cortes served out of the Yankees bullpen in May, making four appearances, and could be a valuable innings eater this season. The former 36th round pick out of Hialeah High School in Florida has produced excellent Minor League results due to his control and advanced feel for pitching, despite a fastball that doesn't even average 90 mph. The Orioles appreciated Cortes' talent enough to take him in the Rule 5 draft prior to last season, but he was returned to the Yankees after making four appearances.