BBB Top Prospect Countdown #22: Jonathan Holder
Seemingly unable to produce viable talent for years, the Yankees farm system now boasts a solid group of prospects all around the diamond, particularly pitching. One of the promising young arms that is working his way through the system is right hander Jonathan Holder.
|Photo Via Sandy Tambone|
During his time as a member of the Mississippi State Bulldogs, Holder was one of the most, if not the most, dominant reliever in all of college baseball. During his 3 years there, he crafted an ERA of 1.59 while striking out 191 batters in 135.2 innings. Holder displayed excellent control in his time as a Bulldog, issuing only 31 walks and giving up 3 home runs.
Upon being drafted by the Yankees in the 6th round of the 2014 draft, Holder was assigned to the Gulf Coast Yankees, where he immediately made the shift from reliever to starter. In his first season he started 8 games, finishing the year with an ERA of 3.96 and striking out 34 batters in 36.1 innings. After making the jump from the GCL to the Staten Island Yankees, Holder showed improvement, lowering his ERA to 3.02 and striking out 30 in 32.2 innings.
The fireballers best year came in 2015 where he spent most of his time with the Yankees Single-A affiliate, the Tampa Yankees. Holder started 19 games and finished with a record of 7-5. Through 101 innings, the righty tallied up 78 strikeouts and 21 walks while limiting the opposition to a batting average of .226.
While most of the attention is given to pitching prospects such as James Kaprielian and Ian Clarkin, Jonathan Holder deserves a shot to be talked about in the same category. He has shown steady improvement in his game, translating his tremendous control and strikeout ability from college to pro ball, all while making the difficult transition from the bullpen. When it comes to a spot on the major league roster, Holder could ideally be used as an Adam Warren type arm. He has shown the ability to be a dominant reliever but has also progressed well as a starter, so it should be interesting to see how he fits on a MLB roster.
As long as he continues his progression through the minors and builds on his skills from his first 2 years of pro ball, the 22 year old Holder should have the chance to reach AAA (Scranton) in 2016. Look for the right hander to be competing for a spot in the Yankees bullpen or rotation come 2017.
You can check out all of Holder’s minor league stats here.
Article: Phil Akre
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