Tuesday August 25, 2009 5:13 am
Adam Loewen’s Re-Rise to Baseball Stardom
Adam Loewen was supposed to be great. He was supposed to be an ace pitcher. Once touted as the best prospect with the Baltimore Orioles, Canadian-born Loewen’s career began like no other before him. He pitched for Team Canada at the 2006 World Baseball Classic, earning a win against Team USA before Canada was eliminated. Two months later, he began his Major League Baseball career. In his first four starts, he faced off against Randy Johnson, Tom Glavine, and Roy Halladay twice to become the first pitcher to face four Cy Young winners in the first four starts of his career. However, he went 0-2 as his team behind him could never seem to get the job done.
In 2007 everything changed. He suffered a stress fracture in his right arm and fell on the disabled list. In 2008, soreness in his left arm saw him land on the DL for two more months with surgery; then upon his return suffered another stress fracture in his left arm, which resulted in his announcement that he was no longer going to be a pitcher. Loewen’s career has taken an unfamiliar turn, but all is not lost for the left-hander. He has since converted himself into a left fielder/first baseman, and is currently playing Class-A Advanced ball with the Dunedin Blue Jays.
This kind of career move isn’t new to baseball, but it is unusual. Think Rick Ankiel, just much faster. This season with Dunedin began awfully for the 25-year old British Columbian. He wasn’t given much playing time during spring training, and it took him a few weeks to get into the swing of things, so to speak. His OPS in May was a weak .562, June was .779, .810 in July, and August has been over .860. This all indicates an incredible and continual upgrade in productivity. Before the All-Star break, he had a .207 average with .283 slugging. Since then his average is just below .300 with a .471 slugging percentage.
Russ Martin has said that Loewen can be just as good a hitter as Justin Morneau if he sticks with it. While the comparison to one of Canada’s greatest sluggers is an honor, Loewen still has a lot to prove on the receiving end of the baseball. That said; Adam Loewen can still be great. His achievements in 2009 certainly merit a promotion to at least AA next year. However, his contract is up after the 2010 season, and if he’s not treated right by the Blue Jays organization, there’s no telling where the man with the busted left arm will end up.
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- adam loewen, arm injury, baltimore orioles, canadian, class-a advanced, dunedin blue jays, justin morneau, sidefeatured, top prospect, world baseball classic
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