Friday, March 23, 2012

Under the Radar: Branden Pinder

Past Under the Radar Segments: Zoilo Almonte

In the second installment of Under the Radar I will look at 2011 draftee Branden Pinder.

For a look at what he did before he was drafted you can check out my draft write up on him.  For a recap he was drafted in the 16th round out of Cal State-Long Beach.  He is a 23 year old, right handed relief pitcher.

The 2011 season was a very impressive one for him.  He played the season in Staten Island (Low A Short Season), where he was thier closer.  In 24 appearances he went 2-2 with an amazing 1.16 ERA.  He also converted 14 saves while pitching 31 innings.  He had a great strikeout to walk ration, striking out 38 and only walking 5.

Going forward Pinder has a lot of promise.  He had a lights out rookie campaign in Staten Island and should definitely get promoted to start the 2012 season.  I would imagine that he will start the season at Charleston (Low A), since he does have Mark Montgomery, who had a very similar season to Pinder's at Charleston last season, right ahead of him.  My biggest concern with Pinder is that he was converted to a reliever so early on in his career.  Pitcher are usually converted to reliever when they just aren't as good as the starters.  Therefore, for him to be a reliever already at Low A Short Season is not a good sign.  However, with his very impressive stats last season he may be able to buck that trend.

Best Case Scenario: If Pinder continues to put up gaudy numbers a reliever the Yankees will have no choice but to continue to promote him throught thier system.  Since he is already 23 I could see the Yankees trying to move him quickly through the system to see if can help them at the major league level.  If everything goes well for Branden I could see him being in the majors as a September call up at the end of the 2014 season.

Worst Case Scenario: For Pinder it would be to flame out next season as he goes against better competition.  Then toils around the minors for a few seasons before calling it a career. 

Prediction: I think it reality will be somewhere inbetween the two scenarios above.  I do believe he has some very real ability so I don't think he will flame out next season, however I also don't see him skyrocketing through the minors.  I think he will get tested over the next few season, as he makes he way up through the system.  I think he is in Charleston to start next season but if he performes could make it to Tampa (High A) before the season ends.  Then, again depending on performance, could start the next season at Trenton (AA).  This is all very dependent on how he performs.  I believe he will make it to Trenton but then it may take him a few more seasons to make the jump to the pros.  I predict that he will make the majors as a reliever during the 2016 season.

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