2014 Season Stats: 25 IP, 12 hits, 2.16 ERA, 4.7 BB/9, 17.3 K/9
2014 Level/Roster Status: Double-A/Non 40-man
When the Yankees used their first pick of the 2014 MLB Draft on a reliever there was a lot of criticism from the fan base. As shocking as it may seem to some, it turns out that the Yankees had a really good idea of what they were doing when they selected Jacob Lindgren. At the time of the draft, Lindgren was praised for an electric low to mid 90’s fastball and a devastating slider that allowed him to rack up an insane K/9 of 16.3 in over 55.1 college innings.
Due to the impressive quality of his stuff as well as his status as purely a relief prospect, Lindgren was expected to move quickly through the system. The scouting reports were not exaggerating as the ‘Strikeout Factory’ proved that his dominance at the collegiate level translated perfectly to professional ball. Rookie ball, Charleston, even High-A and Double-A Trenton proved little challenge for the Yankees draft pick as he put up insane strikeout rates of 18, 19.8, 20.86, and 13.9 at each respective level. Unfortunately, Lindgren reached his innings limit and was shut down before he could be promoted to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but it is expected that he will start next season at that level before being promoted to the Yankees' bullpen. It is also extremely possible that Lindgren may force the Yankees hand and push himself onto the Yankees 25-man roster depending on his performance in spring training.
The only hole in Lindgren’s game is that he will occasionally struggle with his command, which can be seen in both his collegiate rate of 3.74 BB/9 as well as his 4.7 BB/9 in professional ball. In spite of that one gripe, Lindgren’s first season in pinstripes was nothing short of a success. With his devastating slider, Jacob Lindgren figures to be an outstanding reliever at the major league level.