Mitch Spence, RHP
Mitch Spence, who I've always assumed was Australian for some reason (that's on me), is another 25-year-old righty who climbed to the upper minors in 2023 and spent the whole season soaking up innings at Triple-A.
This year went a lot like the previous ones. The 25-year-old Spence reached 163 innings, a career high. He struck out 153 men, a representative total. He finished with an ERA of 4.47, one year after posting a 4.70 mark, and two years after a 3.94 campaign in the Sally League. Hitters batted a combined .254 off him, following seasons of .268 and .249. This is who he is. A rock solid option if you're in desperate need of a No. 5, an innings-eating long man, and a valuable arm on any team, as long as he doesn't start his career in high-leverage spots.
It might be tough for whichever team claims Spence in the Rule 5 to keep him all year long, given his moderate ceiling. There could certainly be a night where Spence gets rocked, won't be available for a week, and forces the big-league team to decide between a demotion (that sends him back to the Yankees) and playing an arm short for a while. He allowed 30 homers last summer. A tough Spence game isn't unprecedented.
Still, it feels likely some team will take a chance on him after the Yankees' overcrowded upper minors forced him out of serious consideration for a rotation spot (or swingman role) in the Bronx.