Scout's Notes: Branden Pinder
We heard all about the bats down at Staten Island this year -- Mason Williams, Cito Culver, Angelo Gumbs, Tyler Austin and Dante Bichette, just to name a few. You don't win an NYPL championship without at least a little bit of pitching, though, and the Baby Bombers were no exception.
Staten Island hid most of its gems down in the bullpen, where the newest edition to the Yankees' stash of strong-armed future relievers lurked. In recent drafts, New York has seemed to make a point of popping young pitchers who they feel could move quickly and alleviate some of the stress (and spending) associated with constructing a bullpen at the major-league level.
One of the most promising arms on Staten Island's roster in that regard was Branden Pinder, a 22-year-old out of Cal State Long Beach whom the Yankees drafted in this year's 16th round. Baseball America named him its No. 19 prospect out of the New York-Penn League. Here's what a scout I spoke to this week had to say.
Overall: I liked him too. Obviously he did a good job for them -- I think he closed for that team. Kind of a bigger-bodied guy, the stuff was very good. He was the best arm coming out of the bullpen that I saw.
Part of trend: He's a college guy. They've seemed to have some success doing that, the Yankees, taking these guys out of college and making them relievers -- it's the second year in a row I've seen Staten Island like that.
Future: He's one of a few mature guys who could come quick. Not next year, but I wouldn't rule it out in 2013.