Thursday, December 10 marked the final day of the 2020 MLB Winter Meetings and along with it this year’s Rule 5 Draft.
The Yankees ultimately made two selections and had seven prospects get selected by other teams across the league across both phases of the draft.
Not all of the players selected are guaranteed to remain with their new organizations, however.
Players taken in the MLB phase must stay on the team’s active roster for the entirety of the 2021 season or will be offered back to the Yankees for half the price of the original draft selection of $100,000 as the Rule 5 Draft rules specify (more information here).
In the first round of the MLB phase of Thursday’s draft three Yankees prospects were selected: right-hander Garrett Whitlock (Red Sox), infielder Kyle Holder (Phillies) and right-hander Trevor Stephan (Indians). All three reached the Double-A level but had yet to break into Triple-A prior to the 2020 season.
Whitlock, 24, has spent three seasons in the Yankees minor leagues, posting a career record of 12-8 with an ERA of 2.41 since being drafted out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2017. The 6-foot-5 righty underwent Tommy John surgery back in 2019 but is on track to be ready for Spring Training when he joins the Red Sox next season.
Holder, 26, has been lauded for his defensive skills during his time in the Yankees organization since being drafted in the first round back in 2015. Over 408 career games at all minor-league levels, Holder owns a slash line of .264/.317/.350.
Stephan, 25, was ranked by MLB.com as the No. 24 prospect in the Yankees system entering 2021, and projects as a potential impact reliever with a strong fastball-slider combination.
In the Triple-A phase, the Yankees made two selections: left-hander Matt Krook (Rays) and right-hander Reggie McClain (Phillies).
Krook, 26, made his way to the Rays organization as part of the deal the Giants made for Evan Longoria in December 2017. The left-hander has had control issues in the past but has allowed only 12 home runs through 107 career games in the minor leagues.
McClain, 28, has 19 games of MLB experience with the Mariners and Phillies over the last two seasons. The righty showed strong stuff in 2019 in the minor leagues posting a 2.23 ERA across multiple levels and possesses a nasty two-seam fastball in his arsenal.
Four Yankees prospects were also taken in the Triple-A phase: right-hander Matt Wivinis (Rangers), right-hander Kaleb Ort (Red Sox), catcher Gustavo Campero (Angels) and outfielder Ben Ruta (Padres).
Wivinis, 27, had a strong showing in 2019 with Trenton and Tampa posting a 2.86 ERA with 55 strikeouts over 50 1/3 innings. Primarily a starter during his NCAA days, Wivinis was converted into a reliever after joining the Yankees organization prior to the 2017 season.
Ort, 28, has substantial physical tools at 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, and went 4-0 with a 4.05 ERA in his 2019 stint with the Triple-A RailRiders. Ort has notched 17 saves during his minor league career and has averaged an impressive 12.7 K/9 rate during that time.
Campero, 23, may stand just 5-foot-6 but the switch-hitting backstop has shown some promising hitting abilities in rookie ball (.296/.407/.472) over his last three years in the Yankees organization.
Ruta, 26, spent his 2019 season with the Double-A Trenton Thunder where he slashed .260/.330/.396 with 26 doubles, eight homers and 55 RBI over 117 games. The New Jersey native heads to a Padres organization that was ranked third-best in baseball by MLB.com last season.
For more updates on the Yankees offseason moves be sure to tune in to the latest edition of Yankees Hot Stove airing Thursday night at 7 PM.