Friday, April 17, 2015

Meet a Prospect: Branden Pinder

Branden Pinder was added to the 40 man roster for the New York Yankees this winter in order to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft and despite a strong spring did not make the ball club out of camp. It only took ten days into the 2015 season for the Yankees to change their minds on Pinder as the team called him up before their game in Baltimore against the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday. Pinder may have worn the #42 on that day and may wear the #76 Yankees uniform this weekend against the Tampa Bay Rays but he wasn't officially a Yankee until this post went live. Branden, welcome to the family.

Branden H Pinder was born on January 26, 1989 and spent his college years playing baseball at Santa Ana College and Long Beach State University both in the state of California. He turned enough heads in his college career to get drafted by the New York Yankees in the 16th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball First Year Players Draft and made his professional debut that same season with the Staten Island Yankees. Pinder advanced to A-Ball with the Tampa Yankees in 2012 and even pitched in one game with the Double-A Trenton Thunder affiliate before seasons end. In 2013 he once again split time between Tampa and Trenton but struggled a bit posting a 2-3 record with a 4.42 ERA with 72 K's in 73.1 IP. Pinder rebounded nicely though in 2014 posting a 0.56 ERA with the Thunder in his first 16 innings before being advanced to Triple-A with the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders where he finished his season.

Pinder is now 26 years old and while he is not highly regarded inside the Yankees system he could be a solid reliever for New York this season. Whether Pinder is a place holder for the likes of Tyler Webb, Nick Rumbelow, Nick Goody, Jacob Lindgren and others remains to be seen but there is no quit in this young man and that counts for something in my book. He's probably not going to be a future closer but I could see him having a more than serviceable career if he can stay healthy and simply puts his mind to it.

Good luck Branden!

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)