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 Minor League News & Autograph Blog Home

Top Prospect Alert - Dustin McGowan

By Schuyler Dombroske

DOB: 3/24/82, Age: 20, Height: 6’3’’, Weight: 190, Bats: R, Throws: R. Acquired: Blue Jays - Drafted in the 1st Round of the 2000 Draft (Long County HS, Ludowici, GA). 2001 Stats: (Sseason-A - Auburn) 3-6, 3.76 ERA, 67 IP, 57 H, 49 BB, 80 K. 2002 Stats: (Low-A - Charleston WV) 11-10, 4.19 ERA, 148 IP, 143 H, 10 HR, 59 BB, 163 K, 12 WP.
   Dustin McGowan is a hard-throwing righty that was the second first round pick for the Blue Jays in the 2000 amateur draft. Whatever his problems, McGowan throws smoke. He can get his fastball up to 96 mph, and routinely throws in the 92-94 range. He also has a solid hard curveball, which he became much more consistent in throwing for strikes this season. His changeup is still a work in progress at this point, and he may need it to have a career outside of the bullpen. Obviously, even with only the two main pitches, McGowan has the stuff to succeed in some role. Any pitcher that strikes out hitters at faster than a one per inning clip is a legitimate prospect, and McGowan was right around 10 batters per nine, which is outstanding. He has the ability to dominate a game, but has not put it to consistent use just yet. His main problem is still control, although he did improve immensely this year. He cut his walk rate from 6.5 per 9 in 2001 to about 3.7 this season, which is truthfully a gigantic step. The ten homers that he allowed illustrate the difficulty that all pitchers have pitching behind in the count, which McGowan still has a habit of doing on a semi-regular basis. His ERA appears to belie his success a bit, so I am curious to see what another full season will bring for Mr. McGowan. Unfortunately, until he fine-tunes his control even further, he will be destined to both tantalize and infuriate his coaches with alternatively great and poor outings.
    The Jays, with one of the great young minds in the game in J.P. Ricciardi at the helm, are a promising bunch. They have young, talented players at virtually every position on the field (Phelps or Cash, Hudson, Lopez, Hinske, Cruz, Wells, Gross), but they are still a bit lacking in the pitching department. Roy Halladay looks like an ace, but the Jays really don’t have another top-flight rotation prospect within three levels of the bigs. McGowan and Brandon League might be next in line, which means that Dustin will likely have a long leash with which to harness his control. He has a Russ Ortiz-type profile, which of course will have quite a bit of standard deviation while climbing the ladder. He could be an ace level pitcher, or he could become Robbie Beckett. He should start at Dunedin (if the Jays still have that affiliate, I haven’t checked) in 2003, and I think we’ll see him with the Blue Jays in 2005, probably as the #2 or #3 man eventually.  


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