The Rays purchased two prospects and lost one this afternoon in the minor leagues, as part of the 2016 Rule 5 draft.
Unlike the major league portion of the Rule 5 draft, there aren’t any playing requirements to keep players at a certain minor league level, only an up front $24,000 acquisition cost.
RHP Ty Hensley (New York Yankees)
Ty Hensley was the Yankees 1st round pick, number 30 overall, in the 2012 MLB draft. In the five years since being drafted he has only managed to throw 42.2 innings. The last game action he saw was in 2014 and he’s coming off two Tommy John Surgeries.
He used to throw 95 and had a plus curve ball according to this 2015 reports by Fangraphs former prospect writer Kiley McDaniel.
Hensley’s career began with a rocky start, having his bonus adjusted down from $1.6 million to $1.2 million due to a shoulder abnormality. He pitched 12 innings after signing late in 2012, then missed the 2013 season with hip surgery. He looked to be back on track with a solid 2014 in the short-season leagues, then was hospitalized after being attacked this off-season; all indications are that he’ll be ready for 2015 and should head to Low-A. Hensley finally found some consistency this year, hitting 95 mph once again and flashing the plus curveball that made him a first round pick. He’s still learning to use the changeup and the stuff is inconsistent, but he’s showing signs of turning from a thrower into a pitcher; hopefully he’ll be 100% for Spring Training.
The Rays believe they have done due diligence on his health and mental state, and believe he could be a quality prospect for the system. With the pedigree of a first round draft pick, it’s an easy decision to bring him into the fold.
RHP Jairo Muñoz (Philadelphia Phillies)
Jairo Muñoz originally signed as an international free agent for $40,000 by the Kansas City Royals. He was released after the 2014 season. He was sent back home with a child on the way, but instead of leave the country as his work visa expired, he stayed with a friend in New Jersey and worked off the books at bodega. He was found by a basketball coach that notified the Phillies and they signed him.
He only threw nine innings last year, with eight being for A+ Clearwater.
Rays lose AA RHP Jared Mortensen to the Houston Astros
Jared Mortensen was the only player lost from the Rays organization, which is significant after the Rays lost three players — Oscar Herandez, Tyler Goeddel, and Joey Rickard — in the last two years in the major league portion of the draft. The year the Rays have escaped losing anybody of value.
Mortensen transitioned to the bullpen last year in Montgomery, but absolutely lost control. He struck out 25.8% of batters, but walked 17.1% of the batters that led to 5.23 ERA and 5.27 FIP. He threw 72.1 innings which included four starts, and was expected to repeat Double-A in 2017.