The Yankees drafted Nick Rumbelow in the 7th round of the 2013 draft. Rumbelow—who succeeded Nik Goody as LSU’s closer—was the 424th best ranked player in the draft per Baseball America. At the time Rumbelow was referred to as a two-pitch pitcher with an inconsistent curveball, and a low-mid 90’s fastball. But since becoming a Yankee and subsequently his stock have both risen considerably.
His curve is no longer considered inconsistent, and has been compared with David Robertson’s. Additionally he added a tick to his fastball, and generally sits in the mid-90s, though he has touched 97 MPH. He has started utilizing his quality changeup more, and throws a slider.
His improved repertoire allowed him to dominate the minors this year; as he went from A Ball all the way to AAA. His stats along the way were nearly as good as Jacob Lindgren and have capitulated him up the Yankees prospect list. Rumbelow pitched 58.1 innings last season, and put up the following numbers: 2.62 ERA, 1.080 WHIP, k/9 of 12.5, and a BB/9 of 2.9.
Using his FIP we can see that he was actually better than his already good ERA. FIP is an attempt to access a pitcher’s performance without the use of luck. The stat tries to separate luck from a pitchers performance by looking only at the stuff a pitcher can control (strikeouts, walks, hit by pitches and home runs). Rumbelow’s FIP breakdown from Charleston to Scranton was: .92, 2.21, minus .33, and 3.55. His negative FIP came in just 7 innings, and simply means that based of FIP formula he was supposed to have given up zero runs.
Overall, Rumbelow is an unheralded pitcher–though JJ Cooper did compliment him in one of his chats—who can ultimately play a big role with the Yankees in 2015. Rumbelow should be alongside Jose Ramirez, Jacob Lindgren, and Tyler Webb when discussing major league ready prospects that could help next season.