LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL – The New York Yankees were unable to select a player in Thursday morning’s Rule V draft, but they took a hit when the Colorado Rockies selected right-handed pitcher Tommy Kahnle.
Kahnle, 24, is a relief pitcher who spent the 2013 season as the Double-A Trenton Thunder’s closer. In 46 appearances, Kahnle went 1-3 with 15 saves, recording a 2.85 ERA and 74 strikeouts in 60 innings.
A fifth-round draft choice of the Yankees in 2010, Kahnle is thought to have the potential to develop into a solid late inning reliever, though he may not quite be there yet. He sports a three pitch arsenal that includes a fastball that usually sits 91-96 with the fastball. Kahnle’s other pitches include a changeup with a small bite to it and a potential-plus slider.
Despite the potential for a dominant arsenal, Kahnle has struggled with control during his professional career, including issuing 46 walks during 2013 season. When speaking with one scout late in the season, I was told that Kahnle’s mechanics were slightly flawed, and the control problems may have been related to his arm slot.
In addition to Kahnle, the Yankees lost OF Ravel Santana, RHP Mikey O’Brien, RHP Felipe Gonzalez, and RHP Kelvin Castro in the minor league portions of the Rule V draft. The only recognizable names of this group are Santana, who was once a top prospect but has seen his career derailed by injuries, and O’Brien, who spent most of last season in Trenton’s rotation.