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School: Mississippi State; Class: Junior
Position: LHP; B/T: R/L
Height: 5-11; Weight: 203 pounds
Previously Drafted: Chicago Cubs, 12th round, 2011
Background: Proving once again the old adage about good starting pitchers make great relievers, Lindgren, who made solid 14 starts last season, has been one of the top – if not the top – reliever in 2014. In 37 innings, the stout southpaw fanned an incredible 72 hitters in just 37.0 innings – an average of 17.51 K/9.
Lindgren also spent some time in the Cape Cod League last summer where he, quite predictably, missed a whole of bats. He struck out 24 in 18.1 innings between the regular and postseason play.
Projection: If left in the bullpen Lindgren could very easily be pitching in the big leagues by the end of the year a la Chris Sale in 2010. And make no mistake about it, the Mississippi product has all the tools to become a dominant backend reliever – namely above-average control and an elite ability to miss bats.
But why settle for a 2.0-win player, maybe a tick better, when he has the ceiling of something much higher?
Similar to Rice’s Zech Lemond, and a couple years ago Tony Cingrani, Lindgren has the potential to be an above-average starting pitcher. In 2013, his only season as a fulltime starter, Lindgren fanned 65 and walked 18 in 56.0 innings.
Granted he stands at just 5-foot-11, but it’s a gamble that the drafting team should take. At the very least, they could push him back into a relief role, perhaps a solid replica of Minnesota’s Glen Perkins.
Ceiling: 3.0- to 3.5-win player (starter); 2.0-win player (reliever)
Floor: 1.5-win player
Likelihood of Reaching His Ceiling: Low to Moderate (starter); Above-Average (reliever)
Draft Projection: First/Second Round
Photo Courtesy of cdispatch.com.