Saturday, February 14, 2015

Yankees prospect Lindgren making progress with second pro season nearing

Yankees left-handed pitching prospect Jacob Lindgren might not be major league ready yet, but the youngster is nonetheless making progress.

Lindgren's development over the past year has impressed the Yankees much, team assistant general manager Billy Eppler told The New York Daily News Friday.

Lindgren -- the Yankees' top pick in the 2014 Draft -- is coming off a solid first professional season that began with the Yankees' Rookie Gulf Coast League squad and finished with Double-A Trenton, one in which his combined ERA was just 2.16 and his opponents batting average .135. 

And the Yankees were apparently watching him as he advanced through their system at the fast pace he did, and are more than content with what they saw. 

"I don't think you could be more pleased as an organization with the progress he made," Eppler said.

It's currently unknown whether or not Lindgren will be with the Yankees for spring training this season, but his name has been thrown around recently as a possible bullpen piece.

If Lindgren does indeed get that kind of job, he would join a group already including the likes of Justin Wilson and David Carpenter -- so it's a guessing game as to where he would go. The eighth and ninth inning roles are likely reserved for Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller, and Adam Warren is also probably due for a spot. 

But, Lindgren says, it's just neat that that speculation exists. 

"It's pretty exciting just that people are talking about me and the situation," Lindgren said. "I'm just happy to be here."

Lindgren's true potential seemed to be shown during his college days at Mississippi State, where he dominated from 2012-2014. Besides putting together a 12-6 record and a 2.64 ERA over all three years, Lindgren kept his 2014 ERA to an amazing 0.81 -- helping earn him a $1.1 million signing bonus with the Yankees. 

But Lindgren's maturation isn't complete, and Eppler says the Yankees are still going to keep an eye on him as he continues to grow.

"You just look to see continued progress," Eppler said. 

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