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Yankees 2014 Roster Report Card: Nick Rumbelow

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Will Nick Rumbelow become the latest bullpen success story?

USA TODAY Sports

Grade: A

2014 Statistics: 58.1 IP, 2.62 ERA, 0.51 FIP, 12.5 K/9, 2.8 BB/9

2014 Level/Roster Status: Triple-A/Non 40-man

Nick Rumbelow was picked in the seventh round of the 2013 draft as a junior out of LSU. Coming out of college, the right-hander was projected to be a high strikeout reliever with a straight mid-90’s fastball and a potential plus but inconsistent power curve.  He is exactly the type of power arm that the Yankees have drafted and developed into late inning bullpen pieces such as David Robertson.

Last season with Low-A Staten Island he was a solid bullpen arm, pitching to a 2.70 FIP, with 20 strikeouts in 23 innings of work. Rumbelow began this year with a brief stay at Class-A affiliate Charleston.  In just eight appearances, he racked up 18 strikeouts and issued only four walks over nine innings of work.  As impressive as the strikeouts were, his batting average against of .121 and zero earned runs allowed were equally as dominant.

In May, he was promoted to the Advanced-A affiliate Tampa Yankees of the Florida State League.  During his 19 game stay, he once again impressed striking out 29 while walking only eight in 26.1 innings.  His batting average against remained relatively unchanged as opposing batters could manage just a meager .208.  It was during his time in Tampa where he ultimately gave up his first runs of the season; however, his FIP was still an excellent 2.21.

After dominating his first two stops, Double-A Trenton came calling in July where it was Rumbelow’s shortest stop of the season.  Prospects usually begin to separate themselves at this level as competition gets tougher and Rumbelow rose to the occasion by continuing his dominance.  He overpowered opposing batters striking out 15, while issuing only one walk. Batters stood very little chance of hitting him as they only were able to manage a paltry .148 batting average against in 7.1 innings pitched.

The Yankees continued their continued aggressive promotion of Rumbelow by sending him to Triple-A affiliate Scranton in August. It was there where he finally had a bad outing, giving up four runs in a third of an inning against Rochester, causing his Triple-A FIP to rise to a respectable 3.55.  He was also hittable as well, as his opponent batting average jumped to .270, while allowing 17 hits in 15.2 innings.

Rumbelow tore through the farm system this season and is now on the fast track to the Bronx.  While Jacob Lindgren may be garnering all of the media attention, Nick Rumbelow climbed four levels in his first full season and deserves just as much press coverage. He’s right on the cusp of being another bullpen success story for the team next season.  There’s a very good chance that the Yankees will give him a shot in spring training to make the big league bullpen and for the $100,000 that they spent on his signing bonus, it would be quite the return on their investment if he pitches well.