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Jacob Lindgren, Yankees' newest draft pick, could help big club
Jacob Lindgren isn’t listed among the top lefthanded pitchers in Baseball America’s preview of Thursday’s amateur draft.
All the same, the junior southpaw out of Mississippi State could be a real find for the Yankees. The team selected Lindgren in the second round with the 55th overall pick. Lindgren was the Yankees’ first pick in the 2014 draft as the team forfeited its first round slots by signing Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran during the offseason.
Lindgren was used out of the Bulldogs’ bullpen and turned in a stellar 2014 season: 23 hits allowed in 55.1 innings with an 0.81 ERA. He also good control with 100 strikeouts and 25 walks, a 4-1 ratio. Lindgren has a fastball that can touch 95 mph and a sinking changeup.
During his three seasons and 139.2 innings pitched at Mississippi State, Lindgren had a career rate of 12.2 strikeouts per nine innings and 3.2 walks per nine.
Should he sign with the Yankees, Lindgren could be on an accelerated path to the majors. Given that he’s a college player who’ll likely remain as a lefty relief option, the Yankees could start him for their advanced Single-A squad in Tampa.
The Yankees have some history moving prospects quickly through their system when they show experienced, dominating stuff and there’s a need in New York. Case in point: Joba Chamberlain. Chamberlain was drafted with the 41st overall pick out of Nebraska in June 2006. By August 2007 he was in the Yankees’ major league pen. The circumstances were somewhat different, with Chamberlain beginning his pro career as a starter before converting to relief. But his career path is the important part here: Single-A Tampa to Double-A Trenton to Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre in the span of five months before his big league call-up.
Lindgren’s 16.2 strikeouts per nine innings during his junior season indicate that he could be viewed as a sort of lefthanded Dellin Betances.
Here's Lindgren's MLB.com draft profile:
(App users can view the video here: http://atmlb.com/1tOpb4C)