Born: September 9, 1986
Drafted: 1st round, supplemental, #47 overall, 2005
Last of the three 1st round supplemental picks, Michael Bowden could easily be the most successful in the future. (Clay Buchholz and Jed Lowrie were the others) During the off season, Baseball America ranked Michael the 11th best prospect in the system and is currently in the top 10 as Andy Marte and Kelly Shoppach have left the system.
During his high school days, Bowden pitched in Aurora, IL a far southwest suburb of Chicago. Because there is only a certain amount of warm days during the spring months, some scouts and evaluators thought that not being able to throw as much as some HS prospects could be both a help and a hindrance. The amount of wear and tear on his arm is probably limited. However, what type of progress can Michael show in the next couple of years? Does he need to ‘catch-up’ with other HS drafted pitchers that had the luxury of being able to pitch year round?
From what I’ve read, it seems that work ethic is not going to be an issue with Michael. A matter of fact, it seemed that he was so dedicated at helping his family at the house one afternoon, the next day he pitched in front of many scouts tired and with less velocity than anticipated. I wonder if this is one of the reasons why he fell to pick #47? From all accounts leading up to the draft, Bowden was considered leaning towards signing a MLB contract out of high school rather than attending Arizona St.
Of course, there is injury and other risks involved when signing a HS pitcher. But I haven’t heard many negative reports other than some minor control issues. He currently throws his fastball in the low 90s and has room to add a couple more miles per hour. His curveball is already an above average pitch and he is developing a changeup.
Quite a bit of development for someone who hasn’t received much teaching (high school or professional). If Michael can stay healthy, continue his strong work ethic and learn from Red Sox coaches, a top of the rotation starter could be the end result. Obviously, I’m speculating way too early. But I have a feeling most people are going to be excited to see how quickly he develops. While he may not had the throwing experience as fellow mid-westerner and 2003 1st round pick of the LA Dodgers, Chad Billingsley did coming out of HS, I can’t help but notice some similarities to their approach when reading scouting reports. Here are more quotes that I found when searching for Michael Bowden:
"Easily the best prospect to come out of Chicago this year and maybe the best in a long time, Michael throws consistently in the 90-93 range and can reach up to 94. He also has an excellent breaking ball with late movement, and a strong and durable frame with good extension at the release point. The ease with which he pitches should translate into a long, healthy career," Lehner said.
He's never had a pitching lesson in his life and the result is an uncanny knowledge of self. Fezzuoglio remembers when Bowden threw a pitch with a radar gun trained behind him and without looking, pronounced the speed at 88 mph. He was right on.
"The reason he's gotten to this position, of course, is God-given ability, but his determination to work on his game, to constantly work on his game and constantly strive for perfection," Fezzuoglio said. "That's a real strength of Mike's. It's to be better from one outing to the next."
Bowden is an affable workaholic who has taught himself poise on the mound in three years as a varsity pitcher.
Michael Bowden at the SoSH Wiki
Edited by AlNipper49, 07 December 2006 - 09:27 AM.