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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 #26: Abiatal Avelino

Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2011, Abiatal Avelino signed for $300,000 And was sent to the Dominican Summer League to start off his professional baseball career in 2012. Avelino is listed as a right handed shortstop and second baseman.

Avelino had a pretty successful season in his first year with Yankees organization as he hit .302 in 57 games as a 17 year old. Avelino was able to make it to High A ball this past year as he hit a combined .260 with four home runs and 27 RBIs in 123 games between Charleston and Tampa. Avelino isn’t known to be a home run threat as he only has seven total across 1159 minor league at bats, but he does have speed as he stole 54 bases in 2015. While only listed at 5’11” and 186 lbs, Avelino figures to project to be a speedy middle infielder with a decent glove.

I expect Avelino to start the 2016 season back in Tampa. He might not see a bunch of time at shortstop with top prospect Jorge Mateo  most likely starting the season in Tampa as well, but Avelino might see plenty of playing time at second base. I’m not sure how much Avelino will climb the prospect list over the next fews years, but expect more of the same of little power and good speed.

You can view his minor league stats here.
You can keep up with our full top 30 list with links to our breakdowns HERE.

Article by: Julian Bussells
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