Yankees Tab Jonathan Holder In Sixth Round

The most successful closer in Bulldog baseball history has the opportunity now to open a professional career. Jonathan Holder has been drafted by the New York Yankees.

The #182 overall pick, Holder is the second Mississippi State player taken in this year's Major League Draft. He is following the lead of Bulldog bullpen partner Jacob Lindgren who was drafted in Thursday's second round (55th overall) also by the Yankees. The June first-year player draft continues through Saturday with a total of fifty rounds to run through.

For the junior season Holder was 7-1 in decisions despite all his 23 appearances coming in relief situations. He matched his win total with seven saves. Holder threw 52.2 innings with a 2.22 ERA, striking out 71 batters and walking just nine of the official 195 batters faced. Though he did not meet minimums for innings pitched-per-game which kept some of his averages from ranking in the SEC's top ten, he was 10th in total strikeouts and 6th in saves.

It was his brilliant sophomore season that made Holder a historic figure already in Bulldog baseball annals. Last year he had just two decisions, both wins; but saved a record 21 games in the 34 appearances with a 1.65 ERA. He struck out 90 batters against 17 walks in '13 too, and was a consensus All-American selection by the major college baseball bodies.

As a 2012 freshman he was 2-1 with nine saves in 24 appearances and had a miniscule 0.32 earned run rate. In fact he did not allow an earned score of any sort until his last outing of the year, in the Tallahassee Regional; and was a consensus Freshman All-American.

Holder will presumably exit college after a MSU-record 37 saves which is 4th-best in SEC history. His 21 saves last season ties for most-ever by a conference closer. Earning decisions this year cut into his saves opportunities, though he also had to share that role with lefthander Lindgren who posted his own outstanding 2013 season. Their expected departures to pro ball will take the finest combination ever to share Mississippi State's bullpen…into the same minor league system!

Gene's Page Top Stories