posted 7/19/12 11:15 AM 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
LHP Charlie Lowell, Lo-A Greensboro (MIA)
season stats: 3.96 ERA, 84 IP, 65 H, 45 BB, 97 K in 17 starts
July 11-July 17: 13 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 20 K in 2 starts
Tracking the pitchers over the last week, I had to double-check my email since my last submission to Jason, to see if word went out that Marc and I were taking two weeks off. This past Sunday night it was beginning to look as though none of the minor league hurlers were anxious to be awarded the UTR crown, as there were a lot of middle-of-the-road performances. Lowell teased me on July 11th, when he took a no-hitter through six innings against Hagerstown (WAS). He got the hook in the 7th when he allowed two straight hits to start the inning, including an RBI double. The bullpen then allowed Hagerstown to tie the game at 3-3 and Lowell’s strong performance (6 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K) went for naught. But that was just a precursor of things to come, as the 6th round selection in 2011 out of Wichita State had another no-hitter going through 7.2 innings on July 17th before Kannapolis’ Chris Curley ended that bid with a solo shot. The possible no-hitter was the sub-plot for the night, as the big-bodied (6’ 4” 235 lbs) left-hander struck out 14 of the 22 batters he faced. Lowell’s outing ended after the seventh and, this time, the bullpen closed out the game to get Lowell to the .500 mark at 4-4.
The Marlins were confident that they got a steal in the 6th round, but when Lowell got roughed-up in his 2011 debut with the GCL Marlins and an up-and-down 2012, they had to be second guessing their choice. Although Lowell had the velocity (90-95), he had issues with his release point, thus losing command of his pitches and has been projected as a reliever. But the Marlins know they have an athletic lefty on their hands that could actually project as middle-to-back of the rotation starter that could handle a heavy workload. Along with Lowell’s fastball, he throws an above-average slider and a solid change-up. Lowell commented that his recent success could be attributed to him dictating the pace and attacking the hitters. Lowell has a lot of work ahead of him, but this probably won’t be the last we hear from the 21 year-old as he attacks his way through the Marlins system.
Relief Pitcher of the Week
RHP Christopher Nunn, Short-Season Eugene (SD): 0.64 ERA, 14 IP, 7 H, 5 BB, 23 K in 9 appearances (NWL/AZL); 5 IP, 0 R, H, 0 BB, 10 K in three appearances last week.
Click HERE to follow Jim Brown on Twitter.
UTR Minor League NL Hitting Performance of the Week
Under the Radar 2012 Archive