Yankees select LHP Jacob Lindgren with top pick in 2014 draft

DotF: Cervelli begins rehab assignment in Tampa's loss
The River Avenue Blues Podcast: Episode 12
(Logan Lowery/InsideMSUSports.com)
(Logan Lowery/InsideMSUSports.com)

With their first pick in the 2014 amateur draft (second round, 55th overall), the Yankees selected Mississippi State LHP Jacob Lindgren. They did not have a first round pick after signing all those free agents over the winter. Here is what I wrote about Lindgren a few weeks ago and here is the obligatory video:

“Jacob has two Major League pitches that are above average and possess swing-and-miss quality. He has been extended for multiple innings and holds his stuff consistently,” said scouting director Damon Oppenheimer in a statement. “Jacob has been very successful in a tough conference and has produced exceptional strikeout numbers. We are very happy to have selected him.”

Lindgren, 21, was a full-time reliever this spring after trying out the rotation last year. He pitched to a 0.81 ERA with a 100/25 K/BB ratio in 55.1 innings this year, and his 16.27 K/9 would have been by far the highest in the country if he had enough innings to quality. As @collegesplits notes, Lindgren also had the second highest ground ball rate in Division I at approximately 79%.

Here is what the big three scouting publications have to say about the 5-foot-11, 205 lb. southpaw:

Baseball America (ranked 50th best prospect in the draft):

He regularly reaches 93-94 mph with his fastball with heavy life and arm-side run. He’s tabled his curve and changeup in a relief role, sticking to the heater and his hard, plus slider in the low to mid 80s. His stiff delivery likely leads him to a future relief role as well, and his 16.8 strikeouts per nine indicate he can dominate in that job. Lindgren lacks command, and his control usually is just enough.

MLB.com (51st):

He has overmatched hitters more than ever in shorter stints, making it unlikely that he’ll last past the second round of the Draft. His best pitch is a wipeout slider that arrives at 82-84 mph with late bite. His fastball has jumped from 87-91 mph as a starter to 91-95 as a reliever … Because Lindgren has a sinking changeup and throws strikes, a pro team could be tempted to develop him as a starter. But his stuff plays up as a reliever, and he could reach the Majors very quickly in the role. He has closer upside.

Keith Law (67th):

His fastball sat in the 88-90 mph range as a starter, but that has shot up to the 92-94 range in relief. That velocity plays up even more because of his slider, which flashes plus-plus with outstanding late tilt that is practically unhittable for left-handed hitters … Someone might be tempted to see if Lindgren’s two plus pitches can play in the rotation, but more than likely he’s a high-leverage reliever who can be death to left-handed hitters and hold his own against right-handers as well.

I am not at all joking when I say Lindgren might be better than Matt Thornton right now. Unless the Yankees try him in the rotation — always a possibility, but I think it’s unlikely — Lindgren should fly through the system and become a big league bullpen option very soon. There’s a chance he can pitch in the show later this season, a la Paco Rodriguez for the Dodgers two years ago. It’s really a question of whether the Yankees will let him more than anything.

New York is reportedly planning to spend a ton of money internationally this summer, upwards of $30M between bonuses and penalties, so that is where they’re going to add the high-ceiling prospects this year. They opted to use their top draft pick to add a player who can help the MLB club in short order. It’s a reasonable strategy given their low draft slot and upcoming international spending spree. Plus they’ve stunk at player development lately and Lindgren doesn’t need much work. The Yankees have plenty of power righty relievers in the system and he helps balance things out.

Slot money for the 55th overall pick is $1,018,700 and there are no concerns about Lindgren’s signability. Mississippi State’s season ended earlier this week, so he is free to sign at any time. I would expect it to happen soon. The Yankees didn’t take a reliever with their top draft pick to wait around. They want to get his career started as quickly as possible.

email
DotF: Cervelli begins rehab assignment in Tampa's loss
The River Avenue Blues Podcast: Episode 12
  • Jon G

    Good call, Mike – I remember reading that…

  • Cool Lester Smooth

    Hm, not sure what I think about this. He’s definitely the safest pick they could have made in the second round, though.

  • Preston

    I don’t love this pick. It’s not like the big league club is lacking for back end relief help (and we just brought up Ramirez and still have Montgomery at AAA). I would have rather seen them grab a guy who could potentially make a bigger impact down the road. Especially when a player like nysportzfan’s favorite Ti’quan Forbes was still available.

    • Tom K

      Forbes seems to be quite the project. A lot of tools, but about as raw as you are going to get in the draft. Reading about him reminds me of players like Angelo Gumbs. Athletic and raw. I am not saying he would have been a bad pick. But I don’t know what makes him a no-brainer or a better pick than Lindgren.

    • http://RiverAve.Blues Joseph

      Like the Yanks couldn’t use a tough lefty out of the pen? Thorton has been shaky, and LeBlanc? Fuck me.
      The guys you mentioned are righties. And what the hell do you expect for # 55?

      • Preston

        Thornton is a LOOGY, if you’re taking this guy in the 2nd round he better be able to face guys batting from either side, in which case who really cares what hand he throws with. Platoon advantage is overplayed in the bullpen, yes in the aggregate LHP are better against LHB and vice versa, but in a particular situation I’d rather have a really good pitcher without the platoon advantage than a mediocre one with a platoon advantage.

        • MM

          (Not entirely to your point, but related…) Certainly he has the potential to get hitters out on either side of the plate. That’s the plan. Very few 2nd rounders ever play up to their potential, though. LOOGY is a nice fall-back option that mitigates the risk of the pick quite a bit. His slider is death to lefties. He can largely fail to develop further but stay healthy and still have a 1 WAR career like Rapada or a 3-4 WAR career like Choate (not perfect examples as journeymen sidearmers, I know). If Forbes, for example, doesn’t develop he may never make it out of A-ball.

          Of course everyone would rather have a really good P who is really good against both sides. Few of those guys exist, though. So often the worse overall P might actually be the better P in a given situation. If a guy is truly death to lefties, I can’t see any argument that you’d rather have a RHP who is (significantly) worse against LHH.

          • vicki

            i don’t know if this would be preston’s point, but all of our back-end power right-handers dominate lefties anyway, and with the exception of drob they’re all team-controlled for years to come. so the priority of using our first pick for an immediate-impact LHRP can be questioned. i guess i don’t mind it so much because of the plan to go drunken-sailor internationally. and because joe can’t resist the same-handed match-up.

            • MM

              I’m not about drafting for need in the MLB draft, so I pretty much disregard arguments about what the Yankees’ pen looks like right now for the following two reasons.

              1. These guys are somewhat liquid. If Lindgren develops, worst case is that you trade him or someone else if the BP is literally too full to fit him. That’s a great problem to have.

              2. Draft picks outside the top 20 work out so infrequently that any real value the pick provides is a win to me. It’s just a matter of whether you want to take a high risk/high reward strategy or a low risk/low reward strategy, but as I explained in another comment I think the difference in expected value from either strategy is marginal. You’re trading the higher upside off for higher probability. The yield you get on a T-bill is far lower than the yield you require for a junk bond because it is so much more certain. A 1/10 chance at 10 WAR or a 1/4 chance at 4 WAR give you the same expected WAR.

              (There’s also a chance that Lindgren is higher upside than we think. Marcus Stroman was drafted with a similar rap to Lindgren, and on top of being the 4th guy to MLB from his round he was also converted to the rotation and named the #55 prospect or higher in baseball entering this season by all 3 major rankings. Chris Sale and Tim Lincecum were also guys that many thought would be RPs, so not exactly the same thing but somewhat similar.)

            • Preston

              This was my point. When you’re talking about elite back end relievers handedness doesn’t matter that much. It only matters for marginal guys, who you can leverage into being useful by utilizing matchups. Nobody cares what hand Betances is throwing with, he’s going to get you out.

    • nycsportzfan

      Yeah, I wanted Forbes more and a few others as well, but Lindgren is a LH reliever which we have a big shortage of, at least ones with real nasty stuff and a 92-94MPH heater. I like the pick even though my guy Forbes was on the board.

    • MM

      There’s no right answer, but I don’t think the high risk / high reward investing style is necessarily better in the draft.

      Someone like Forbes has maybe a 1/10 chance of ever getting more than a cup of coffee in MLB. If he is one of the few who makes it, 10 career WAR is probably a generous expectation. If you figure Lindgren has a 1/4 chance of having a multi-year MLB career and peg expectations if he does at 4 WAR… things are even.

      Those are fairly arbitrary numbers I used to illustrate my point (1/10 is somewhat accurate just from eyeballing baseball reference). I’m just trying to show the analysis that’s needed. You can play around with your expectations and/or precisely quantify historical results. I don’t think you’ll find that taking a high-flying RP is much worse an investment, generally speaking, than taking a raw HS player with high upside, though. Especially for a farm system like the Yankees that has a limited track record of developing raw, high upside HS position players (especially non-Cs) and a strong track record of identifying and developing college RPs.

      • nycsportzfan

        If Lindgren was a RHP, it’d be different. The fact hes a lefty is huge. The guy fit the value at pick 55 and is basically Mark Montgomery from the left side, if not alittle better. Makes alot of sense and wasen’t a reach.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          I hope he’s better than a guy having a bit of trouble taking that final leap, but I agree. Being a lefty is huge here.

          We give you a ton of shit, but I do appreciate your eternal optimism.

        • MM

          I wouldn’t feel much differently if he was a RHP. LHP are rarer and have a better fall back option as LOOGYs, so I do think it makes a marginal difference. Overall, though, I’m not thinking about this in terms of need.

          Like any investment this is about risk and expected reward. Basic financial theory dictates (and this, as Brian Cashman says, is asset management with the assets being ballplayers) that you draw the equivalent of the security market line, and look for the guy that in your estimation is as far above that line as possible. (The SML reflects the expected return you need for a given level of risk. The higher the risk, the higher the expected return.) If they do, in fact, view him as a RP then the risk is pretty low so the required return is not all that high.

          People keep talking about a higher upside guy without addressing the tradeoff that by #55 this guy is almost definitely going to be far higher risk too. If you’re using your money to seed startup companies, for example, you better be expecting a far higher failure rate and seeing a far higher potential return than if you’re putting your money into treasuries. Similarly, if you take a Forbes you better see a, I don’t know, 40+ WAR ceiling because he’s probably going to flame out 9 out of 10 times, and even that 1 out of 10 time he becomes something it’s still not going to be his ceiling very often. With Lindgren as a RP, on the other hand, you better be right that he’s got a really high probability. If you mistake a bond from the Democratic Republic of the Congo for a US treasury and expect the same yield, you’ve made a mistake.

          There are also time value considerations to make, though I’m not sure exactly how to apply TVM considering that MLB teams operate in perpetuity. Basically, though, if a guy can contribute next year that should in theory be more valuable than the same contribution in 5 years. (For the front office’s job security that’s definitely the case anyway, I guess. As a fan, not sure if I care, though I probably should.)

          I like the Lindgren pick because I see him as very low risk, but still like the upside to become a dominant RP and give you, say, 10 WAR while still under team control.

          • vicki

            most people get prospect theory intuitively. and those who don’t won’t plod through 400 word comments. brevity, man.

  • http://RiverAve.Blues Joseph

    FWIW, this guy was called by some,the best reliever in college this year, a wicked hard throwing lefty. I kind of followed the draft all night, waiting to see who the yanks would pick at 55. Jim Callas thought this guy might be the first guy from this class to get to the majors. Then, when Harold Reynolds, who btw is as worthless as tits on a boar when talking baseball, was asked about the pick he starts to whine and whimpers he thought his guy, some other pick from earlier, would be the first to the bigs. Stupid, moronic, annoying little Harold.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek Roadgeek Adam

      You just got win of the night.

  • nycsportzfan

    Just heard a great interview with him on the field after a win in which he dominated in 3innings of relief. I guess hes alot of fun in the dugout but he said its like a switch going off when he hits the mound and hes all business. We need dominant lefty relievers as Thornton sucks and most of our lefties from the minors that are pen guys are just mediocre prospects at best with non dominant stuff.

    Good pick! And I def think it was a need pick. Again, the kids personality is awesome!

  • nycsportzfan

    Just heard a great interview with him on the field after a win in which he dominated in 3innings of relief. I guess hes alot of fun in the dugout but he said its like a switch going off when he hits the mound and hes all business. We need dominant lefty relievers as Thornton sucks and most of our lefties from the minors that are pen guys are just mediocre prospects at best with non dominant stuff.

    Good pick! And I def think it was a need pick. Again, the kids personality is awesome!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXnAWx3cDN4

  • http://RiverAve.Blues Joseph

    Hey Mr.Axisa,
    This is the best article out there on this subject, and so lickety-split after the pick. You rock man, and quite often do.

  • Billy
  • Ghost

    I like the pick. And for all the posters that will whine about the pick, what is the actual probability that the 55th pick amounts to anything contributory to the major league club that drafted them? My guess is it’s minuscule, so the fact that we got a relief pitcher expected to be a fast riser with closer potential is pretty damn good in my book.

  • MM

    I like the pick. So few draft prospects outside the top 20 or so work out that the expected return from a low upside / high probability RP has got to be as high as or higher than from a high upside / low probability guy.

  • pat

    16.4 K/9 and a f*cking 79% ground ball rate? That’s domination, holmes.

  • TWTR

    Billy Wagner was a first round pick. Maybe Lindgren can have a similar career.

    • MM

      It’s possible, but pretty much the best case scenario.

      Something like taking a SS in the first round and saying that Jeter was a SS taken in the first round so maybe this guy can be Derek Jeter. Don’t get me wrong, I like the pick quite a bit. Wagner is just arguably one of the top 5 RPs in the history of the game. Highest fWAR by a LHRP in history by 39%.

      If he’s half as productive over his Yankee career as Wagner, it will have been a huge win and a very strong pick.

      • TWTR

        Yeah, I am admittedly in extreme optimist mode.

        • MM

          I’m with you. While some people are arguing the Yankees can and do develop RPs from later picks, the other way to frame that is: if they can find and develop those guys late, just imagine what they can do with a RP who has 2nd round talent!

  • nycsportzfan

    God it would be nice to have a young stud Left Handed Reliever who actually does the job instead of injury prone vets like Marte, Feliciano, and completely useless ones like Matt Thornton. And who the hecks coming up through the ranks as a hard throwing LH reliever who has closer stuff?

    The more this pick sinks in the more I like it.

    • MM

      Interesting that they may have been trying a similar move in the 2nd a few years ago with Sam Stafford. Could be a coincidence that they just saw the best value in a LHRP in the 2nd twice in four years, but there does seem to be a concerted effort to add a quality young LHRP prospect. And the 2nd round seems like their favored place to do so.

      • nycsportzfan

        I think a team like the Yanks who get to splurge in other area’s like International FA signing period and FA’cy, a pick like Lindgren is super smart. Why not bolster your LH relieving? We can afford to take the sickest lefty reliever in the draft why most of the other teams can’t so early.

        • MM

          I don’t think it matters what your team’s situation is. Teams like the A’s (Street) still use early picks on RP and have success doing so.

          As I’ve been saying about, this is an investment decision and it comes down to reward compared to risk. Upside compared to probability.

          The entire asset class of amateur baseball players is so incredibly volatile that any return you get is a win. I keep referring to bonds because they are ubiquitous, but it’s probably most comparable to venture capital. Some VC firms are going to swing for the fences all the time, others are going to invest later stage on ventures with higher probability and lower upside. It’s just a difference in strategy, but returns are going to be more about execution and a lot about luck than about which strategy you choose.

      • Preston

        Sam Stafford was a starter and a pretty good one. He has moved to the pen in the minors because he’s been so diminished after the injury.

        • MM

          When he was drafted by the Yankees most scouts thought he would be a long-term RP. There was talk about fast-tracking him in the pen to get a contribution within a season or so vs. trying to develop him as a SP for a while before most likely moving him to the pen anyway. His control was a real problem and his future as a starter was low probability. His velocity really played up in the pen.

          Guy was a big project and we never got to see whether the Yankees intended to try to harness his stuff as a SP or fast track him as a LHRP. That is why I carefully chose the wording “they may have been trying a similar move.”

  • http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/which-teams-are-hitting-and-missing-in-mlb-draft-060314?cmpid=tsmtw:fscom:mlbonfox Nick

    “Plus they’ve stunk at player development lately”

    is that true? I know we haven’t had any Trout’s or anything, but this recent article begs to differ.

    • MM

      Pretty clearly false. (Yankees fans tend to have unrealistically high expectations.) They haven’t been particularly good, but they also haven’t “stunk.”

      We can’t just look at raw number of players coming out. We have to look at what went in vs. what came out to assess development (and even that doesn’t isolate development as there are a ton of uncontrollable factors involved, luck).

      They’ve been at a relative disadvantage with no really early firsts and few high picks in general. If the Red Sox/Cardinals/Rays have had 2-3x as many top 100 picks in a given time period, you expect that they should “develop” 2-3x as many MLB players from the top 100 of the draft. (And top MLB players come from that pool at a disproportionate rate.) Often getting an MLB player out of a high pick has little to do with development, as I don’t think Trout or Harper or Tulo or Posey or McCutchen’s results in MLB have a ton to do with the team that “developed” them. Yankees arguably had some bad luck with Gerrit Cole in this department of drafting guys who develop themselves.

      Then the Yankees trade away a lot of their prospects before they’re fully developed. Austin Jackson, IPK, Melancon, Corey Black, Arodys… Yankees development would look significantly better right now if those guys were still around. (All traded for expensive vets.)

      Not having as much talent in the development pipeline so they can buy more MLB talent is a strategic decision, and one that’s worked out quite well for the Yanks. You can argue with that strategic decision, but it’s largely a separate issue from assessing the effectiveness of their player development.

      Then there’s also the higher barrier Yankees prospects must cross than most teams’ to reach MLB. A bad team may have a lot of homegrown players on their roster, but they might not actually be any good. The Yankees can afford to just buy a competent, just above replacement MLB veteran rather than promote a potential 1-2 WAR player for the bench or to fill a hole, and they are incentivized to as a contender.

      They’re still not at the top of the pack in terms of development, but probably roughly in the middle once you adjust for those factors. Small samples are inherently volatile, and player development is all about tiny samples. That means that a bad stretch can be luck as easily as it can be about ability. They had a pretty solid stretch from about Cano to Nova where they pumped out 1 or 2 contributors annually and are looking pretty good lately. It’s the kind of thing where one or two breaks either direction separates very good from mediocre and mediocre from terrible, so we’re often talking 2-4 players being the difference between very good and terrible. To illustrate… imagine everything else goes the same, but the Yankees sign Cole and draft Trout. Suddenly they may be at the top of the league in terms of talent produced. On the other hand, imagine someone picks Gardner in the 2nd round and Betances in the 7th. Suddenly like half their success if gone.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        “Closer to the top of the league” made me snicker a tiny bit, but this is so much closer to the truth than the shit that gets spouted on here daily.

        I do think that, if you were to even ask the org itself, they wouldn’t even give as positive a picture. They expected more as well.

        Thank you.

      • The Great Gonzo

        Nailed it. The arbitrary “Yankee Player Development Sucks” argument is a load of shit. There are plenty of _good_ contributors that are homegrown coming through the Yankees System, but not as many total homegrown players as the Astros or Royals.

        But, you know, when you have a chance to promote and play Chris Carter as a full time 1B or live through the short shelf like of Mike Moustakas…. well, you gotta take it!

  • mustang

    Sounds a lot like a left-handed Dellin Betances for the 55th pick sign me up. Have you seen what the Yankees have been throwing out there as far as left-handed relievers the last few years?

    I have one name that says it all Cesar Cabral!

  • PunkPitch

    Thrilled that they found that once in a lifetime middle reliever to replace Derek Jeter. Damon, you are a one trick pony, see you at Belmont.

  • forensic

    RAB’s been down for me all night. I thought the Yankees using their top draft pick on a LOOGY broke RAB, but I guess maybe it was just my computer…

  • Wayne

    Trey Supak I would have choosen out of la Grange high school. He is pretty big and has a good delivery. Another high schooler we could have developed. As for Jacob Lindgren. He is not Billy Wagner. He could throw close to 100 mph. I guess to bring him in right away would be only legit reason they drafted him.
    Still think of it as a no big deal pick.

  • Wayne

    Betances also throws much harder. Silly comp.

    • MM

      You’re getting too hung up on velocity. Velo is a means to an end, not an end in itself.

      No one is comparing these guys in terms of exact stuff, just in terms of results. David Robertson doesn’t throw nearly as hard as Betances or Wagner, for example, but is still one of the highest K RPs of all time.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mattpat11 Matt DiBari

    Reading “The Yankees drafted a lefty reliever” actually made my eye twitch.

    I just hope he was the best available pick.

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      He went right where he was projected to go. It’s just a matter of philosophy.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Welcome to the greatest franchise in sports, kid. See you in the bigs soon.

    I like the pick. Anyone who can reach the bigs that quickly in the second round is a quality pick. Beats grabbing Austin Aune in the second.

    Still, though, with a million picks left to make, focusing on one pick would be a silly task. They picked a reliever? They could pick 80 infielders before the draft is through.

  • Adam

    I admittedly know nothing about the draft and don’t follow it at all beyond what I read from time to time online. Sounds like this kid has the tools to be a dominant reliever for us, but considering how thin we are in the farm in position players, I just feel like we would’ve been better off drafting a bat. Lefty relievers are a dime a dozen and we’re stacked in relivers down in the minors.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      The draft isn’t over.

    • The Great Gonzo

      In fairness, they drafted two bats last spring. If this kid gets you better short and long term, I’m with it.

      • The Great Gonzo

        *Two bats last spring on the first day, rather…

        • I’m One

          And a relatively high ceiling IF in the 2nd round. So much more to look at before we decide if this was a good draft or a poor one. Check back in 5 – 6 years.

    • MM

      I don’t think they are thin on bats at all. They lack high end talent, but I think that the depth in the Yankees system is up there with any in baseball.

      I certainly wouldn’t have cared if they took a good position prospect, but you have to remember that by #55 the higher upside is coupled with higher risk. Like 1 in 10 or 1 in 20 of those guys are going to work out to some extent. Probably 1 in 3 or 1 in 4 Lindgrens work out to some extent. You take a 1 in 10 shot at 10 career WAR or a 1 in 20 shot at 20 WAR while I take a 1 in 4 shot at 4 WAR or a 1 in 3 shot at 3 WAR, and we’re both arriving at the same expected value in different ways.

  • JGYank

    Like the player, not his position. Would have liked something other than a rp especially a middle infielder but I love the fact that he can come up almost right away and be good out the pen. Im sure he can get both lefties and righties out but he has a career as a loogy to fall back on. Pretty safe pick, one they really can’t screw up. Like the strikeouts and ground balls. Let’s see what they draft later on and get in the international market.

  • Mike

    I like the pick. Sounds like he could be a great player. He certainly has all the tools.

  • Adam from Bay Ridge

    This selection actually makes a good amount of sense the more I think about it. Given that most of the Yankees better prospects are hitters in the lower levels of the farm and their lack of quality lefty relief prospects in general, I feel as though this is a sound pick. Coupled with our anticipated IFA shopping spree this year, it actually seems like a reasonable strategy that would help balance out our farm system a bit. And I’d wager to say that the expected WAR from the #55 pick in the draft is miniscule to begin with and this guy seems as good a bet as any in the entire draft to provide value to the major league team as soon as THIS season.

    Initially, I wasn’t overly thrilled with this pick – I thought it was a really safe pick to fill an organizational need and I’m usually not in favor of selecting a relief pitcher early on in the draft – but I’m definitely starting to feel more positive about it.

  • CashmanNinja

    I wasn’t thrilled with the pick at first…until I saw the ground ball %. A lefty who gets an insane amount of strikeouts and ground balls? Yes please. I was one pining for a guy who could be fast tracked, but I wasn’t really hoping for a reliever. I’m of the belief that most relievers can be guys who failed as starters, but that isn’t always the case. The Yanks always seem to do well with finding guys to fit into the pen, but we are lacking a lefty who actually pitches…well. LeBlanc is a toss up right now (can’t be worse than Aceves?) and Thornton is……..well, yeah. This kid has a chance to be with the team VERY quickly and there’s no denying that a power arm in the pen can really make a difference. Imagine where we’d be without Betances. Now imagine having the impact of Betances from the left side. Bam. Our rotation is in rough shape right now, but if we could get 5 innings out of them then maybe the pen could carry us. Maybe.

  • Mike HC

    If we can trust the Yanks with anything, it is the bullpen. I have the utmost confidence this guy will contribute in the majors.

  • TheRealGreg

    The one thing that the Yankees have been able to develop in the farm system consistently have been RH relievers. Betances, Warren, Robertson, Claiborne, to an extent, Clippard, Melancon etc.

    So to get a top lefty who can help the big club almost immediately is a plus.

  • Farewell Mo

    Is a LOOGY a good value for the 55th pick?

    Seems kind of early to take someone with such a low ceiling especially since you can just sign one for a few million per year.

    Keith Law : There’s not much upside here, but I’d be surprised if he wasn’t a member of the New York Yankees bullpen by the summer of 2015, if not sooner.

    • Mike

      Keith Law is a loser. I’d rather trust our scouts who have selected so many underrated prospects.

    • MM

      His upside is considered to be closer, not LOOGY. LOOGYs are a specific subset of LHRP who cannot get RHH out but excel at getting LHH out. That is more like Lindgren’s healthy floor than his ceiling. Not all LHRP are LOOGYs. The term is often misused.

      I would be willing to bet you that Keith Law said something similar about Marcus Stroman and Chris Sale. That’s not to single him out or criticize him. It’s just to say that post draft reaction isn’t worth much.

      If he does end up being a successful LOOGY for the Yankees, then it probably will actually be pretty good value for the #55 pick in hindsight. Let’s say we’re talking 3 WAR in 6 years… that would essentially tie him with Dave Bush for 4th most successful #55 pick in the 25 years leading to 2008 (no #55 pick since 2007 has made MLB yet). The story is the same if you go a couple of picks in either direction. I think fans generally ignore the risk associated with picks and fall in love with potential.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        That is an awesome stat you just threw out there with the Bush comparison. Thanks for keeping it in perspective.

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      A LOOGY isn’t a good value for the 55th pick.

      A dominant reliever who happens to be left handed, however, is.

  • Deep Thoughts

    What a coincidence. The number of ground balls this big-league infield has fielded cleanly is also 79%. #madeupstatistics

  • tom

    Lindgren can be our LOOGY replacing Thornton but if Yankees have a plan for him in the rotation then don’t bother to use him like Joba Chamberlain.

    I am all for Lindgren in the bullpen replacing Thornton. LOOGY now but next year he can contest for closer or setup job against Betances and Warren if Robertson goes elsewhere.

    I really hate Girardi’s bullpen strategy but every bullpen pitcher has to pitch well anyhow.

    • MM

      What’s with all the Thornton hate around here? He’s been a fairly effective RP for the Yankees.

      It’s possible, but pretty optimistic that Lindgren will have an MLB impact this season. People are saying there’s a chance, not saying that he definitely will.

      Girardi is pretty widely praised for his BP usage. Saying you hate it puts you in a pretty extreme minority. Care to elaborate?

      • vicki

        he’s allowed a third of inherited runners to score. that’s not good.

  • rogue

    Great article. Love this pick.

    Farewell Thornton, I hardly knew ye.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      He pitches TONIGHT or Cashman failed.

  • Wayne

    Ben Smith LHP from Coastal Carolina is someone I would look at. Blake Bivens RHP from Washington high school.
    James Norwood RHP from Saint Louis is another one. Ryan Butler RHP from Charlotte. All possibilities.

  • Wayne

    Plus Kyle Richter from USC is someone who get drafted today. Damon likes Southern California guys.

  • Wayne

    Keep. In mind this is a strong draft in HS pitchers. Don’t know if yanks will pick up any one who can dominate from there as a starter in pros. We will see???

  • Darren

    I like this pick a lot better than Andrew Brackman, I’ll tell you whut.