The New York Yankees have promoted their top pick in the 2014 Amateur Draft, second-rounder Jacob Lindgren, to their Double-A affiliate, the Trenton Thunder, according to a release by the team on Tuesday.
Lindgren, a left-handed relief pitcher who played college baseball at Mississippi State, has overwhelmed hitters since beginning his professional career at the end of June. In 11 professional appearances over three levels, Lindgren has proved to be nearly unhittable, striking out 30 batters in just 13 1/3 innings pitched. Opposing hitters are batting just .120 against him.
Listed at a tick below six feet tall and weighing in at 180 pounds, the 21-year-old Lindgren’s fastball-slider combination made him worthy of the 55th overall pick in the June draft. Previously, he was selected in the 12th round by the Chicago Cubs out of St. Stanislaus High School in 2011, but did not sign.
Lindgren’s fastball has been said to sit in the 91-93 miles per hour range, topping out around 95 miles per hour and projecting as a plus pitch at the major league level. However, his slider has been deemed “vicious” by Baseball America. The pitch typically comes in between 82 and 84 miles per hour, and moves enough that scouts have already deemed it a plus pitch at the big league level.
After being selected by the Yankees in the June Amateur Draft, there was speculation that Lindgren could become the first player in the 2014 class to reach the big leagues. On Tuesday, the Yankees let left-handed specialist Matt Thornton leave after being claimed on revocable waivers by the Washington Nationals, fueling the thought that Lindgren could be an option for the team as soon as September.
In a corresponding move for Lindgren, Nick Rumbelow was promoted from Trenton to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Rumbelow had struck out 15 batters in 7 1/3 innings with the Thunder this season.