Yankees Make Lindgren First Bulldog Draftee

His college career ended earlier than he'd hoped. But this does allow Diamond Dog pitcher Jacob Lindgren to begin serious negotiations earlier than planned, after being selected in the second round of the Major League Draft by the New York Yankees.

Lindgren, the left-handed relief ace for Mississippi State, was the #55 overall selection and 14th name to come up in the second round. Lindgren ended his junior season as the first-team All-SEC relief pitcher, a specific category on the 12-man top squad.

He is one of five finalists for the Stopper of the Year Award to be given by the NCBWA to their pick for the top closer in the country. The winner will be named June 14 at the College World Series, and Lindgren joins teammate Jonathan Holder as a finalist in consecutive years. He is also a semifinalist for the Gregg Olsen Award given to the country's ‘breakout' player of the year. He had been rated #45 overall prospect by Perfect Game and #50 by Baseball America.

A Bay St. Louis, Miss., native, Lindgren really did break out in 2014 when moved full-time to bullpen duty. Despite not starting games he did go 6-1 in decisions among his 26 outings with a 0.81 ERA and .124 batting average against. In SEC-only game statistics he led all league pitchers at: 0.55 earned run average; a .114 batting average-against; 13 base hits; four runs, and two earned runs.

His overall 16.3 strikeouts per a projected nine inning game ranked first in the NCAA, and his 100 strikeouts were most among full-time relievers as well as third-best in the SEC among all pitchers. He, and former Diamond Dog first-round draft picks Paul Maholm and Chris Stratton are the only State pitchers since 2000 with 100 or more strikeouts in a season.

Lindgren is the 139th Bulldog drafted since 1965, and the 19th during Coach John Cohen's tenure. Of those, 13 are pitchers.

Lindgren's selection on the first day of the three-day draft was not a surprise. Nor was the drafting of a Mississippi State recruit as catcher Chase Vallot of Lafayette, La., was taken in the first round and 40th overall by Kansas City. The State staff knew it was a long shot Vallot would ever make it to campus but had nothing to lose with the signing.

As this was filed the draft was mid-way through the second round which would complete day-one of the draft. Selections resume at noon central Friday and conclude Saturday afternoon with 40 scheduled rounds. Current underclassmen Bulldogs like righthanded pitchers Holder and Brandon Woodruff are considered likely selections on the second day. Other possible selections from the junior class could be lefthanded pitcher Ross Mitchell and shortstop Seth Heck; while seniors Brett Pirtle and C.T. Bradford hope to see their names scroll up as well.

The other Bulldog signee of most concern appears to be middle infielder Dale Burdick of Spring Hill, Tenn. Though, Mississippi State has never published an official or complete list of signees for the 2015 roster.

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