@keewart Congrats to your son's buddy, it's a dubious honor being picked in the rule 5 and an amazing opportunity. Dubious because the player is not valued enough to be protected, honor because another team thinks that player is MLB ready. For those not familiar with the rule 5 draft here's a semi-abbreviated description:
- Any player with 4 or more years of minor league tenure (contract time, not playing time) who's not on the teams 40 man MLB roster is considered unprotected and eligible to be rule 5 drafted. When the player is selected in the rule 5 draft, the selecting organization pays the player's current organization $50K and the player is immediately put on the selecting organizations MLB 26 man roster. The player will head into spring training with a chance to break camp on the new teams 26 man roster.
- If the player stays on the new teams 26 man active roster for the entire year, then he remains the property of the new team until free agency, he's traded or is released/DFA'd. If the new team is not willing to keep the rule 5 drafted player the entire year, they are offered back to original team and get half the draft fee of $50K returned. The player is not actually directly returned, there's a small window where any other team can pick up the player by paying the original organization $25K, but the same 26 man roster rules apply. This is to ensure that two teams don't work together to protect each others players.
- This is all about getting players that have put in their time, are close to being MLB ready and may be in a deep system with no opportunity. Imagine you're a MLB ready minor league short stop behind Cal Ripken Jr. early in his career, without the rule 5 draft, you'd be praying for a trade.
My son was also in the 2017 draft, and in the rule 5 draft in 2021 was a blessing for him. I was disappointed that the lockout at the beginning of the 2022 season canceled the rule 5 for that season - it did nothing but prevent a bunch of near ready MLB kids from getting an opportunity with another organization.
Of the 18 players rule 5 drafted in 2021, 11 players were returned and 7 players stayed on the 26 man all year. At the end of the 2022 season (2 years), the 11 returned players are here: 2 MLB, 3 AAA, 4 AA, and 2 A. The 7 players that stuck all year are here: 5 MLB and 2 AAA. So, two years after the 2021 rule 5 draft, 7 of the 18 drafted players are in the MLB - 39%.
Here's your 2017 draft data for the Yankees
- 23 of 40 players drafted actually signed (40 rounds)
- after 6 years (including the 2020 covid year) 16 of 23 that signed, and 15 of 17 that didn't are still playing.
- of the 16 that signed and are still playing, 9 are still with the Yankees
- of the 9 still with the Yankees, 1 is a position players, 8 are pitchers
- of the 9 players still with the Yankees, 2 were drafted from HS, 7 from college.
- of the 16 signed players still playing, 7 were on someones 26 man MLB roster at the end of last season.
- of those 7 MLB roster players, only 2 are still with the Yankees
- of the 15 that didn't sign in 2017 and are still playing: 1 MLB, 4 AAA, 4 AA, 4 A/RK, 2 Still in college.
Okay, maybe that was TMI...