BBB Top Prospect Countdown #10: Jacob Lindgren

Since being drafted in the second-round of the 2014 draft, things have escalated quickly like our good friend Ron Burgundy once told us. Lindgren flew through the minors, pitching well everywhere he stopped, before appearing in the big leagues just one-year after being selected by the Yankees. Lindgren comes into 2016 needing to prove that being shot through the system wasn’t any sort of fluke.
Photo Via Yanks News Online
Breakdown
As I’ve previously mentioned, Lindgren was a second-round pick in 2014 by the Yankees. He spent his first season in professional ball playing for four different affiliates of the organization. The most time he spent with any affiliate was during his final stop of 2014 with the Trenton Thunder, the organization’s double-A team. In eight appearances, Lindgren pitched to a 3.86 ERA in 11.2 IP. The one constant throughout his short stint in the minors is his ability to strike people out, which is a large factor into his nickname, the "Strikeout Factory."

Here are his K/9 numbers at every stop he made in 2014:
  •      Yankees - Rookie – 18.0
  •      Charleston – Low A – 19.8
  •      Tampa – High A – 20.9
  •      Trenton – AA – 13.9
2015 was an even better year for Lindgren, at least during his stint in the minors. He dominated hitters in triple-A, only allowing three earned runs in 22 innings. He kept up with his very good K/9 numbers coming in at 11.9.

This dominance allowed Lindgren the chance to pitch in the majors, but is run of impressive professional pitching came to a sudden halt. In seven games, Lindgren struggled. He allowed four runs, but most importantly allowed three homers in those seven games. Once you get to the big leagues, you can’t get away with mistakes in the middle of the zone. Lindgren is a strike thrower and a lot of times, strike throwers struggle when they are first called up. Lindgren’s season than came to abrupt stop after getting surgery to remove a bone spur in his elbow.

Projection
Lindgren will have every chance to break out of spring training on the Yankees 25-man roster, but he’ll have some stiff competition. As we examine the state of the Yankees bullpen more closely, it’s highly likely they are going to carry four lefties and three righties.

Two of those lefty spots are already claimed by Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller, you may have heard of them. The other two will likely be decided between three guys – Lindgren, Pazos and Shreve. Shreve has the upper-hand on the others after showing he’s already shown the ability to get major league hitters out. Well, he was able to do that for half of a season. So that likely leaves one spot for Pazos and Lindgren to battle for.

Ultimately, I think Lindgren’s ability to throw strikes and strike people out will trump what Pazos brings to the table, and he’ll be the last man in the bullpen. He’ll spend plenty of time in the MLB during the 2016 season, but he will also struggle and likely get sent down as well. 2016 is an extremely important season for Lindgren, even if he’s just 22-years young. He’s coming off an injury to his throwing arm, which in many cases before, have proven to be major problems throughout the rest of pitchers careers.

MLB Comparison: Billy Wagner and B.J. Ryan.
You can view his career statistics here.
You can keep up with our full top 30 list with links to our breakdowns HERE.

Article by: James Grande
Follow me on twitter @The_Real_Grande
Follow us on twitter @BronxBomberBlog

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