1. Glenn Otto
Safe to say no one watching the Yankees’ system this year has forgotten about Glenn Otto in any capacity.
In fact, if you’re looking for the next Whitlock, this is by far the safest bet. The 2017 fifth-rounder has embraced his sweeping breakers and tornado-like motion this year to strike out 115 men in 75.2 innings across two levels this season while posting a 1.02 WHIP and cresting in Triple-A, where he’s found things slightly tougher to navigate.
Hopefully, the Yankees have learned from their mistakes and have every intention of protecting Otto this offseason. But … well … there are only so many spaces to go around. And Brooks Kriske absolutely needs one (kidding).
If the Yankees don’t have a clear plan in place for their foremost minor-league breakout (well, Otto and Ken Waldichuk are probably tied), then they’d better be pushing him hard as a secondary piece in a major deadline deal. Both the eye test and the numerical analyses show you there’s something to dig for in Otto’s game, and it’s an outright guarantee that even a middling team like the Reds will find space for him this winter if the Yankees fail to.
Remember, the Yankees weren’t worried about the Red Sox this past winter, either … until they were. There was no way Boston would keep a barely-rehabbed Tommy John arm on their team all year … until Whitlock made it clear he could survive all season and maybe even mess around and win Rookie of the Year. A team that’s a few pieces away will have no problem swiping the Yankees’ treasure for free and leveling up.