The story of the draft so far has been pitchers for the Yankees, and their sixth round pick of right-hander Jonathan Holder out of Mississippi State at 182nd overall is no exception. He was not ranked on MLB.com's Top 200 list coming into the draft, but came in at #286 in Baseball America's draft prospect rankings. Holder is ranked 11th in the state of Mississippi.
Holder has served as a reliever for the Bulldogs, tying an SEC record in single season saves last season. His fastball can hit 93 mph, but generally sits in the very low 90s. His only other remarkable offering is a curveball that comes in at 70-73 mph. The two-pitch pitcher motif is one that does have the ability to play out of the bullpen where it wouldn't work as a starter. His stuff is not overpowering but he makes up for it a bit with his control. The Yankees have now taken two pitchers out of Mississippi State in the draft, both of them working out of the Bulldogs' bullpen.
Here's Baseball America's scouting report on Holder:
Holder emerged as one of the most dependable relievers in college baseball the past three years while helping the Bulldogs reach the College World Series final in 2013. He saved 21 games in 2013, tying a Southeastern Conference single-season record. He has an 89-92 mph fastball that touches 93 and plays up with armside run. He is mostly a two-pitch pitcher, with a curveball that offers a large velocity separation off his fastball at 70-73 mph. He fills up the strike zone, with 2.1 walks per nine in his career with a 6.1 strikeout-walk ratio. His delivery has some effort and he is unlikely to win a bodybuilding contest at a husky 6-foot-2, 242 pounds, but his track record and control could be coveted in the top six rounds by a performance-driven team.
It's interesting to see the Yankees take so many college pitchers early. Particularly on the reliever side, these guys have the ability to really move quickly through the system and help the big league club sooner rather than later.