Yankees’ top pick of 2014 is Mississippi State left-hander Jacob Lindgren
The Yankees had one selection to make on the first day of the First-Year Player Draft, and the organization believes that they made it count, taking Mississippi State left-handed reliever Jacob Lindgren with the 55th overall pick.
Lindgren, a hard-throwing junior from Bay St. Louis, Miss., was ranked as the 41st best prospect in the country by MLB.com and has been touted as one of the nastiest relievers in college baseball.
“I am humbled and grateful to be drafted by the New York Yankees,” Lindgren said. “This is an incredible feeling and a day I will remember for the rest of my life. I would like to thank Mississippi State University, my coaches, teammates and the greatest fans in college baseball for helping me reach this point.”
The Draft continues on Friday with Rounds 3-10. The MLB.com pregame show begins at 12:30p ET, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 3-10 beginning at 1p ET.
In 26 appearances this season for the Bulldogs, Lindgren was 6-1 with three saves and a team-leading 0.81 ERA, ranking first among all relievers nationally with 100 total strikeouts and leading the nation with 16.3 strikeouts per nine innings.
In 55 1/3 innings, the 5-foot-11, 203-pound southpaw allowed nine runs (five earned) and 23 hits, walking 25. Opponents batted .124 against Lindgren, the lowest mark on the Bulldogs staff.
A 2014 first-team All-Southeastern Conference performer as voted on by the league’s 14 head coaches, Lindgren is a finalist for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year Award and a semifinalist for the 2014 Gregg Olson Award for college baseball’s breakout player of the year. Lindgren was also named as a finalist for honors as the top collegiate player in Mississippi.
The most dominant starting pitcher on Mississippi State’s 2013 College World Series runner-up club, Lindgren moved to the bullpen after the Bulldogs lost several of their relievers to pro ball. He has responded to the switch by overmatching hitters there.
His best pitch is a wipeout slider that arrives at 82-88 mph with late bite. His fastball has jumped from 87-91 mph as a starter to 91-95 mph as a reliever. He he has a sinking changeup as well, and there is thought that he could reach the Majors quickly as a reliever.
Lindgren is the highest drafted Bulldog southpaw since Paul Maholm went eighth overall in the 2003 Draft. A multi-sport standout and first-team all-state pitcher at St. Stanislaus (Miss.) High School before committing to Mississippi State, Lindgren was previously selected by the Cubs in the 12th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.
New York’s first selection of the Draft came in the second round due to compensation picks lost for signing free agents Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran over this past offseason.