Pitchers and catchers have reported and all is well in life. With players reporting later this week, we can start to think about everyone in camp and what 2015 may spell for them. I believe one of the most intriguing players to focus on this spring is New York Yankees minor leaguer Jacob Lindgren.
Lindgren was drafted by the Yankees just last season in the second round. Back in 2011, the Cubs drafted him in the 12th round, but he decided to go to college at Mississippi State instead. Both Lindgren and the Yankees lucked out by that decision, as he was an absolute monster last season. He struck out 48 in 24.2 innings, finishing in AA Trenton. He’ll be only 22 next month, but he has already received an invite for Yankees spring training.
In one aspect, there is no reason that Lindgren cannot make the team. He has a fire fastball that tops out around 96 and sits around 92. His slider has an above average break to it that can damage a hitter’s confidence instantly. He was also regarded as one of the most MLB ready players drafted in 2014.
On the other hand, the Yankees loaded up on lefty relievers this off-season. The addition of Andrew Miller and Justin Wilson should help Joe Girardi and the Yankees stay close in games this season. Lindgren has not pitched above AA yet and should spend at least a part of this season doing so. The Yankees now have time before feeling like they have to bring him up. He will force their hand if he continues to pitch like he did last season, but he does not need to be in the Bronx on day one.
Unlike most prospects who will probably spend one more season in the minor before having a real chance to make the bigs, Lindgren really has a strong chance of getting to the Bronx way before September call ups. The team has a lot of players in the minors to watch this season, but Lindgren is near the top of the list for you to keep an eye on.