Kanekoa Texeira, Zach Kroenke Taken from Yankees in Rule 5 Draft

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Kanekoa Texeira, Zach Kroenke Taken from Yankees in Rule 5 Draft
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The Rule 5 Draft has come and gone, with the Yankees adding Jamie Hoffmann and losing two relievers in the process.

The first pitcher taken was Zach Kroenke by the Diamondbacks, a left-handed reliever who spent the entire 2009 season in Triple-A and pitched well there. He was actually taken by the Marlins in last season's Rule 5 draft as well.

Kroenke has gotten good results in the upper minors over the past few seasons despite his fringy stuff. 

He is especially tough against lefties and profiles as more of a LOOGY than anything. If the D-Backs were looking for someone to replace Daniel Schlereth in their bullpen, Kroenke is not the guy.

There were rumors that the Yankees would actually have the Nationals choose Kroenke so they could keep him after they dealt fellow lefty reliever Phil Coke, but clearly those didn't come to fruition. With Coke gone, Kroenke probably could have been useful to the team, but all in all he's a fringy prospect.

Kroenke is likely to stick with the D-Backs since he's a polished Triple-A pitcher, but he isn't someone who the Yankees will miss. 

If Kroenke doesn't stick with the Diamondbacks, he actually will not be offered back to the Yankees. He could actually choose to become a free agent instead, an option that he would definitely pursue.

The second pitcher the Yankees lost in the draft was Kanekoa Texeira, a right-handed, sinker-throwing reliever who was acquired from the White Sox in the Nick Swisher trade. The Seattle Mariners took Texeira, which has me thinking that the Yankees maybe should have held on to him. I find Jack Zduriencik to be one of the best general managers around, so the Yankees may regret leaving Texeira unprotected. 

Texeira pitched well for Trenton in 2009 in a variety of roles. He was used as a spot starter when needed and is especially effective with a good slider. He's not as likely to stick as Kroenke but definitely has a higher ceiling.

Down the road, I could see Texeira becoming a setup guy. Right now though, it will be difficult for Seattle to hide him in their bullpen all season.

The fact that the Yankees had two pitchers taken is just further testament to the job Brian Cashman has done in assembling arms for the team. He continues to provide an ample number of relief candidates, giving the team added flexibility in that regard.

Last season, all of the players that were taken from the Yankees in the draft were sent back to them. This season, Kroenke won't be coming back to the Yankees, but I think there's a pretty solid chance that Texeira will.

Neither of these guys made my top 30 prospects because they don't profile as much more than decent relievers, so this really isn't too big of a loss for the Yanks.

 

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