posted 6/13/12 5:09 PM PST
by Jim Brown
*MLBDepthCharts.com considers any player not on a team's 40-man roster, in AAA, or ranked as a top 10 prospect by Baseball America or top 11 prospect by Baseball Prospectus before the 2012 season as an 'under the radar' player.
Under the Radar Minor League NL Pitching Performance of the Week
RHP Matt Loosen, Hi-A Daytona (CHC)
season stats: 2.63 ERA, 48 IP, 30 H, 19 BB, 47 K in 11 starts
June 6-June 12: 11.2 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 4 BB, 13 K in 2 starts
No matter what I write about this week’s UTR selection, it was summed up best in a recent post on a Cubs blog “Matt Loosen is going from fringe prospect, to a guy I suddenly want to keep my eye on”. That’s because the 23rd round pick in 2010 out of Jacksonville (Fla.) University has really turned it on since going 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA in his three starts to begin the season. To give him some slack for his poor start, Loosen suffered an injury in the season opener on April 5th. In that game, he lasted only 1/3 of an inning, giving up 3 runs on one hit with 4 walks and a hit batter. He missed his next start and returned to the mound on April 22nd and was placed on a strict pitch count until healthy. Jump ahead to June 11th and you will find that the 6’ 2” 205 lb. right-hander healed nicely. He just earned his 4th consecutive win in as many starts and finished the two-start week by hurling 11.2 scoreless innings. In fact, the 23 year-old has surrendered one earned run or less in eight of his last ten starts. The only knock has been his issue with control, as he is averaging just over three free passes per 9 innings.
Loosen was bounced back and forth from Hi-A Daytona to Lo-A Peoria in 2011, with a couple starts at Double-A Tennessee mixed-in. He struggled somewhat but still came out with a respectable 3.55 ERA. He throws four pitches that he mixes and matches with varying speeds, but is mainly a sinker/slider type pitcher that relies on his command and spotting the ball in the zone. His fastball hits in the low 90’s and Loosen also shows an occasional slow overhand curve and a change. Again, it’s his tendency of having poor control that is his biggest downfall. If he can learn to finesse his 4-pitch repertoire, he could find himself as a innings-eating back-of-the-rotation type prospect.
Relief Pitcher of the Week
RHP Heath Wyatt, Lo-A Quad Cities (STL): 1.26 ERA, 28.2 IP, 18 H, 11 BB, 26 K, 8 Sv in 25 appearances; 2.2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, BB, 6 K, Sv in last week.
Click HERE to follow Jim Brown on Twitter.
UTR Minor League NL Hitting Performance of the Week
Under the Radar 2012 Archive