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 Minor League News & Autograph Blog Home

Top Prospect Alert - Luke Hagerty

By Schuyler Dombroske

DOB: 4/1/81, Age: 22, Height: 6’7’’, Weight: 230, Bats: R, Throws: L. Acquired: Cubs -Drafted in the first round (supplemental portion) of the 2002 Draft (Ball State Univ.). 2001 Stats: College. 2002 Stats: (SSeason-A - Boise) 5-3, 1.13 ERA, 48 IP, 32 H, 2 HR, 15 BB, 50 K.

As we continue to paw through the embarrassment of riches in the Cubs’ system, today’s focus is on Luke Hagerty, a late bloomer that was unearthed with a post-first round sandwich pick by the Cubs last June. Just another big lefty throwing 80-85 mph two years ago, Hagerty found seven more mph on his fastball between his junior year and now, and the results have been more than satisfactory. To go along with the now 89-92 mph heater, Hagerty has an intermittently good slider and a very raw changeup. His control is better than you might expect given his build and stuff, but it is certainly not much better than average on the whole. According to scouts, his mechanics are quite solid for a big guy, which might give everyone hope for a relatively healthy beginning to his pro career. There are two points that I would like to make about Hagerty: not necessarily to quell all enthusiasm about him, but more to set expectations at a more reasonable level. Number one, Hagerty allowed nine unearned runs last year. In 48 IP, that’s a fairly significant amount, and while it doesn’t change the fact that he allowed less than one baserunner per inning, it does take a little of the luster away from his 2002 campaign. Secondly, Hagerty was a 21 year old playing in the Northwest League, and you would expect a decent prospect to acquit himself well against that level of competition. I am not going to get too excited about Hagerty until I see him pitch against players of a more commensurate level of ability. He appears to be a decent left-handed pitching prospect, but nothing more than that at this stage.

The Cubs have been "adequately covered" the last few weeks, and my enthusiasm for their near-term prospects has most certainly been noted. They basically have almost as much pitching as they can handle already in the majors, which does not include Angel Guzman, Andy Sisco, Francis Beltran, Bobby Brownlie, and Justin Jones at various levels in the minors. Therefore, Luke Hagerty has a rather tall pile of bodies to vault over before he can even think about a major league job. I would not expect him to end up winning a job over those five players (or the others already in Chicago), but if he isn’t sent out of town, he may end up moving up the charts when some of the others are shipped out. Hagerty reminds me most of a guy like Nick Bierbrodt: a big lefty with a decent fastball as his only consistent pitch, but with promise of more. This season will tell quite a bit about Hagerty, as he is expected to open up in Lansing (Low-A). I doubt the Cubs will rush him very much given the depth in their system, so even under the best imaginable circumstances, I wouldn’t expect to see him in the majors until late 2005.


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