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Jonathan Holder has a realistic shot of making the All-Star team

Middle relievers have only recently started receiving universal recognition for their individual performance in Major League Baseball, due to the new age of numbers in the sport. Saves are no longer the all-telling, ultimate stat about a reliever’s success and WAR, ERA+, and other metrics have opened the eyes of fans on just how valuable it is for a team to have dominant relievers outside of the ninth inning role. Their widely agreed on importance has led to a lot of non-closer relievers making the All-Star team in recent seasons. The American League squad had two of them in 2017 and 2015, and a whopping four in 2016. If this trend continues, the AL should feature at least one or two non-closer relievers, and possibly more, with the scarcity of lockdown closers in the AL in 2018. The Yankees feature a lot of highly talented middle relievers and the pitcher who has surprised everyone the most, Jonathan Holder, has a very realistic shot of cracking the AL All-Star squad.

BBB Top Prospect Countdown #15: Drew Finley

A ballplayer with a strong work ethic and extensive knowledge of the game, 19 year old Drew Finley comes in at #15 on our list of top prospects. Although he’s only reached the Advanced A level of the minors, the right handed pitching prospect looks to have a promising future.
Photo Via Pinstriped Prospects
Finley was drafted out of Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego, California with the 92nd pick of the 2015 draft. Upon being drafted, Finley ultimately chose the Yankees over his commitment to USC.

For his size, 6-3’ and 200 pounds, you’d expect him to have a powerful arm, but his fastball usually hovers around 93 mph. Despite his relatively low velocity, Finley has excellent control and an inconsistent but powerful curveball. If he is able to develop consistency with his curve it should become a plus pitch for him.

This past season, the California native saw his first taste of pro ball when he made 12 starts for the Yankees Advanced A affiliate, the Pulaski Yankees. In 32 innings of work, he compiled an ERA of 3.94 and racked up 41 strikeouts. In order for the right hander to be more successful he will have to cut down on the number of hits he allows, as he gave up 33 in 32 innings. Of course, it was his very first season of pro ball and he’ll have time to progress.

With Finley being so young, he still has a lot of time before he makes it to the Bronx. If anything, his first season in pro ball was a good start. As he makes his way through the minors, he will hopefully gain some extra velocity and develop a more consistent curve. He’ll be able to learn from others as the 6 foot righty is known to be extremely coachable and easy to work with. For the 2016 season, Finley will look to be a part of the Staten Island Yankees rotation.

You can check out all of Finley’s minor league stats here.
You can keep up with our full top 30 list with links to our breakdowns HERE.

Article: Phil Akre
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