The Diamondbacks picked 15th in the Rule 5 Draft and they ended up taking Yankees pitching prospect Nick Green. Green was originally a 7th round pick of the Texas Rangers back in the 2014 Draft and traded to the Yankees along with Dillon Tate for Carlos Beltran in 2016. He spent most of the 2018 season with the Yankees’ Class A Advanced affiliate in Tampa with a handful of appearances with their AA affiliate at the end of the year. Green has been a starting pitcher throughout most of his minor league career, but given the rotation is full he will have to make the team as a reliever. The selection of Green puts the Diamondbacks’ 40 man roster at 38 players.
Green has a 3-pitch mix: Fastball, Curveball, and Change-up. Green puts up quality spin rates on both his low 90s fastball and his curveball. That alone will make an interesting reliever conversion project as both pitches should play up. As a starter, he’s never put up big strikeout rates with his strikeout rates in the high teens, low 20s at every stop. That combined with a drastic increase in walks in 2018 is probably why the Yankees left him unprotected given the other big arms they have in their system. Despite the inability to consistently miss bats, Green does have a quality batted ball profile with ground ball rates north of 60%.
Green’s likely future with the Diamondbacks, should he even make the Opening Day Roster come 2019 will be mostly as a reliever. The ground ball profile is an asset although the inability to miss bats is a bit concerning in certain situations. Other ground ball specialists such as Brad Ziegler, T.J. McFarland, and Brandon Webb have experienced success in Arizona so it’s not impossible for Green to develop a possible niche. He’ll be competing with Jimmie Sherfy, Silvino Bracho, Jake Barrett, and Yoan Lopez for 1-2 roster spots this Spring.