Sunday, February 17, 2019

Meet the 2019 Yankees: Jonathan Holder

The New York Yankees have assembled potentially one of the deepest and best bullpens in all of Major League Baseball history. The bullpen has everything. A lockdown closer in Aroldis Chapman, the fireman and set up man in Dellin Betances, the former closer in Zack Britton, the strikeout machine in Adam Ottavino, the guy who can give you length in Chad Green, and the kid who just gets guys out by any means necessary, thus living up to his namesake. Let’s meet the young man that will look to hold the lead for the Yankees presumably every time he enters a game this season, Mr. Jonathan Holder.

Jonathan Holder, 25-years old, is a right-hander relief pitcher and former starter in the Minor Leagues for the New York Yankees. Holder holds down games and leads that the Yankees starters give him with a 93 MPH fastball, an 83 MPH slider, an 86 MPH changeup and a pair of rarely thrown pitches in an 87 MPH cutter and a 77 MPH curveball. Holder throws a lot softer, for lack of a better word, than most of the Yankees relievers, and also, if possible, is considerably shorter than a lot of his fellow bullpen mates standing at 6’2” and weighing in at 235 lbs. Holder would have to play point guard or come off the bench for the New York Yankees basketball team that is hitting the courts near you as soon as 2020, and I’m sure he is okay with that.

Jonathan Blake Holder was born on June 9, 1993 in Gulfport, Mississippi where he attended Gulfport High School before heading off to Mississippi State to play college baseball for the Bulldogs. During his collegiate career, Holder posted an 11-2 record with a 1.59 ERA and 27 saves with 191 strikeouts. Those numbers impressed the Yankees enough to draft Holder in the sixth round of the 2014 MLB First Year Player’s Draft. The Yankees quickly converted Holder from a relief pitcher to a starting pitcher in their farm system with successful results, prompting the team to promote Holder to the MLB level on September 2, 2016. Holder would finish out 2016 in the Yankees bullpen and would appear out of the pen for the Yankees another 37 times in 2017 before becoming a mainstay for Aaron Boone’s pen in 2018. Holder finished the 2018 season with a strong 3.14 ERA in 66 innings pitched and will look to be just as good, if not better, for Boone and the Yankees here in 2019.

Good luck to you, Jonathan, but I have a sneaking suspicion that you aren’t going to need it.

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