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Yankees select LHP Jacob Lindgren with top pick

The southpaw pitched for three seasons in college at Mississippi St.
06/05/2014 11:53 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Yanks' draft pick Jacob Lindgren pitches for Mississippi St. this spring.(AP)
The New York Yankees used their top pick in the 2014 MLB Draft to acquire an arm, selecting Mississippi State University junior LHP Jacob Lindgren with the No. 55 overall pick.

Lindgren, 21, is a 5-foot-11, 205-pound southpaw from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, and he was drafted once before, getting taken out of high school by the Chicago Cubs in the 12th round in 2011. He spurned the Cubs to enroll at Mississippi State and had quite a history of success for the Bulldogs.

After a strong freshman season as a reliever, Lindgren joined the rotation on a 2013 Bulldogs team that finished as the runner-up in the College World Series, starting 14 games and going 4-3 with a 4.18 ERA and 65 strikeouts (against 18 walks) in 56 innings.

This past season, Lindgren moved back to the bullpen and was even more dominant, going 6-1 with a 0.81 ERA in 26 appearances and striking out 100 batters in 55 1/3 innings.

From MLB.com's draft scouting report on Lindgren: "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."

Baseball America's Jim Callis also gave Lindgren high praise, saying on MLB Network's draft special that Lindgren could help the Yankees' major-league bullpen in September and be one of the first from this class to reach the bigs.

At No. 55, Lindgren is the Yankees' lowest top overall pick since high school RHP (and future Oklahoma State University and Cleveland Browns quarterback) Brandon Weeden was taken No. 71 overall in 2002.

The Yankees did not have a first-round selection, forfeiting that when they signed Brian McCann this winter, and the later signings of Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran also forced them to forfeit the two Compensation Round A picks they would have received for losing Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano.

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