Alert - Luke Hagerty
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.