Via Josh Norris, righthander Ryan Pope will be the seventh Yankee farmhand headed to the Arizona Fall League this summer. He joins Manny Banuelos, Craig Heyer, George Kontos, Austin Romine, Jose Pirela, and Brandon Laird (who will play the outfield).
Pope is in an interesting spot; he’s eligible for the Rule 5 Draft if not added to the 40-man roster after the season, and he really gave the Yanks something to think about this year. He moved to the bullpen after seven poor starts, then struck out 62 batters against just 14 walks in 57.1 innings. The 2007 third round pick had been an afterthought for most of his career, but the relief version of Pope is intriguing and probably one the Yankees will decide to protect. He is definitely on the fence though.