Two former Thunder pitchers - righthanders Tommy Kahnle and Mikey O'Brien - were among the five players in the Yankees organization selected in Thursday's Rule 5 Draft. The others were outfield Ravel Santana and righties Felipe Gonzalez and Kelvin Castro.
A power reliever, the 23-year old Kahnle posted an impressive 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings last season for the Thunder, but has struggled at times with his command.The Colorado Rockies took Kahnle with the fourth pick of the major league portion of the draft, which means he will have to stick on the Rockies' major league roster the entire season or will be offered back to the Yankees for $25,000.
O'Brien, who was taken by the Cincinnati Reds in the Triple-A potion of the draft, went 7-8 with a 4.12 ERA in 107 innings with the Thunder last year.
The Yankees did not select any players.