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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 #17: Bryan Mitchell

By the time the 2016 season rolls around, Mitchell will be 25-years old. Now 25 is by no means “old”, but for a prospects sake, it absolutely is. Mitchell has seen himself rise and fall through the Yankees systems rankings. He peaked all the way to number 11, by Baseball America, in 2009, and as we head into the 2016 season we have him sitting at number 17. The potential is obviously apparent, but harnessing it all has been the number one problem.
Photo Via Denver Post
On his journey to the majors, Mitchell has majorly been a starter. He throws a mid-to-upper 90’s heater and showcases the best hammer in the entire Yankees system. It was even rated just that after the 2012 season by Baseball America. To be honest, Mitchell hasn’t seen much success during his professional career. 2015 was his best year…in the minors at least. He started 15 games for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the Yanks Triple-A affiliate, and pitched to a 3.15 ERA. But once he was called up, things went south and fast. He had a 6.32 big league ERA in 20 appearances. Not only did he not pitch well, but he also took a line-drive off of the dome in an August 17th start against the Twins and former Yankee *legend* Eduardo Nunez.

Mitchell’s number one concern is locating his pitches. There’s no denying his stuff can be nasty at times. Everything he throws moves all over the place. The issue with that is he hasn’t figured out how to control it. You can succeed in the MLB with two plus pitches. As I previously mentioned, he has an incredible curve with serious 12-to-6 action and a fastball that dabbles in the high-90’s. Just throw them for strikes, man!

Heading into the 2016 season, there are question marks all over the pitching staff. The back end of the rotation is not the most trustworthy couple of guys and other than the “big three” shutting the door at the end of games, the other four bullpen spots seem wide open. This will give Mitchell a chance to show the Yankees he’s worked diligently to improve this offseason, during spring training. He’ll be given every chance during the spring, and he if does manage to make the team, he’ll be the team’s swing man. He’ll be the guy the Yanks call on for spot-starts and multi-inning relief appearances.

That being said, the likeliness of Mitchell making the team out of spring isn’t very high. My thoughts are that Mitchell starts the season heading the staff in Triple-A. We will definitely see him in 2016, early in the season too. Not just some September call-up. Seeing how he will turn 25 this year, he’ll need to show progress, or he might not get many more chances to reach his full potential with the Yankees organization.

You can view his minor league numbers 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
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