BBB Top Prospect Countdown #28: Nick Rumbelow

After acquiring Aroldis Chapman from the Reds earlier this offseason, many people around the game of baseball have begun to speculate that the Yankees may have the most lethal bullpen in baseball. Now that the Yankees feature a late inning triple-threat of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and now Chapman, teams trailing after six innings will have their backs against the wall. But who will help bridge the gap from the starters to the back-end of the bullpen? Fortunately, the Bombers have a plentiful crop of young arms who will try to crack the roster. Among this group is Nick Rumbelow. The righty had a cup of coffee in the Bronx last summer, and will look to solidify his spot with the Yankees during spring training.
Photo Via USA Today Sports
Breakdown
Rumbelow’s control has shown steady improvement since being drafted out of Louisiana State University by the Yankees in the 7th round of the 2013 draft. While at LSU from 2011-2013, the righty hurler walked 40 batters in 70 innings, but managed only 41 walks in 149.1 innings since going pro. To go along with his improving control, the 6’0” right-hander features a fastball that sits mid-upper 90’s, and sharp curveball known to garner many swings and misses.

The Texas native has a small sample size in the majors (1-1 with a 4.02 ERA in 15.2 innings), but boasts an impressive minor league track record. Rumbelow fared to a 9-7 record with a 3.23 ERA over 133.2 innings, all of which came out of relief. Most impressively, he has a 10.6 K/9 in comparison to a 2.4 BB/9. The RHP also has a respectable WHIP of 1.047.

These minor league statics helped Rumbelow fly through the Yankees farm system, as he began 2014 in rookie ball, and finished 2015 in the big leagues. After being called up on June 23, Rumbelow spent the remainder the season bouncing back and forth between the Yankees and their AAA affiliate, the Scranton RailRiders.

Projection
It’s difficult to assess whether or not Rumbelow’s minor league statistics will translate to the MLB, but he should have the chance to prove himself in the Bronx this season. Assuming Ivan Nova serves as the Yankees long-reliever to start the season, Rumbelow will face the likes of James Pazos, Bryan Mitchell, Chasen Shreve, Branden Pinder, Jacob Lindgren, Vicente Campos, and Nick Goody to claim one of the three or four remaining bullpen slots (depending on how many pitchers manager Joe Girardi takes).

This decision largely depends on each player’s performance in spring training, but if Rumbelow pitches to his potential, he has every chance to start the season with the Yankees. Should Rumbelow fail to crack the opening day roster, it is very likely that Yankees fans will still be seeing their fair share of the righty this season. Girardi has shown his affinity for having a constantly changing bullpen, and until Rumbelow proves himself in the MLB he will likely see a similar season to 2015 — splitting time between the Yankees and RailRiders.

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

Article by: Sammy Criscitello
Follow me on twitter @SCriscitello11
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