Tommy Kahnle goes to Rockies in Rule 5 Draft
|J.S. Carras/The Record|
The right-hander was left unprotected by the New York Yankees, but now must stay on the 25-man roster throughout the 2014 season with Colorado, or he will be offered back to New York.
Kahnle (seen working out at AllStars Academy in Latham, in January), 24, pitched this past season at Double-A Trenton, finishing with 15 saves and striking out 74 in 60 innings pitched. He did walk 46 batters, but held opponents to a .182 batting average.
The Rockies paid $50,000 to make the selection.
“We’ve had interest in him for a couple of years now in various means of acquisition,” Colorado’s director of professional scouting, Jon Weil, said in a statement. “Any time you can jump on a guy who has a chance to have impact, we’re wanting to do that. We’re glad he was there.”
Kahnle, who was a fifth round pick of the Yankees in 2010 from Lynn University, has posted an 11.82 strikeouts-per-nine-inning rate since the start of the 2011 season. His fastball has been clocked in the high-90s and now the Rockies will just have to harness that power and work on his control.
Kahnle was ranked No. 20 among Yankees prospects by MLB.com, entering 2013 season. He was with the Yankees at spring training last year, but the 6-foot-1, 230-pound hurler spent the season as Trenton’s closer.
Kahnle was one of just nine players selected in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 draft, with 45 players being taken overall.
The Yankees also lost pitchers Felipe Gonzalez, Kelvin Castro and Mikey O’Brien and outfielder Ravel Santana. O’Brien (Cincinnati), Gonzalez (Pittsburgh) and Santana (Houston) were chosen in the Triple-A portion, while Castro was taken in the Double-A phase by Miami.