The New York Yankees drafted right-handed pitcher Jonathan Holder out of Mississippi State with the 182nd overall draft pick in the 6th round of the 2014 First-Year-Player Draft. In 3 years with the Bulldogs he was 11-2 with a 1.59 ERA as their closer, earning 37 saves in 81 games.
After signing with the Yankees he reported to Tampa to start his professional career with the Gulf Coast League Yankees where he went 1-1 in 2 games with a 12.27 ERA, allowing 5 runs in 3 2/3 innings for a tune up before being promoted to the Class-A Short Season Staten Island Yankees.
With Staten Island Jonathan was impressive in 10 games striking out 30, allowing just 11 earned runs in 32 2/3 innings for a 3.03 ERA and a 1-2 record. Holder started off with a low innings and pitch limits but built it up so that by the end of the season he was going into the fourth inning regularly.
After time in the instructional league and building up his strength, Holder started the 2015 season with the Tampa Yankees of the Florida State League. With the T-Yanks he impressed even more throwing 103 1/3 innings over 19 games, 18 starts, earning a 2.44 ERA and a 7-5 record. He struck out 78 batters, allowed just 28 earned runs and walked 21. Florida State League hitters hit just .234 against him.
Jonathan spent some time on the disabled list and had 3 rehab starts in the GCL where he threw 9 innings and allowed just 1 run. The icing on the cake for him came at the end of the season when he got a 1-game cameo in Triple-A with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. He allowed 4 runs on 4 hits and 4 walks while striking out 4 in 5 2/3 innings and took the loss in that lone game.
In college Holder was primarily a 2-pitch pitcher using a low-90s fastball and a true curveball to rack up strikeouts and dominate as a closer. When he went pro he began to incorporate a cutter and splitter to keep hitters off balance and increase his value.
Jonathan is slated to start the 2016 season with the Double-A Trenton Thunder where he will be a regular part of their starting rotation, further developing as a solid prospect and potential MLB starter.