Cubs: Mining for middle relief gold
The first of the prospects who will undoubtedly garner attention across the Rule 5 draft construct next week is Los Angeles Dodgers left-handed pitcher Marshall Kasowski. The now 25-year-old has been in the league for three seasons. He was drafted in the 13th round of the 2017 amateur player draft and since has found budding success.
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Kasowski’s personal story is a journey in and of itself. Five years ago to the month, Kasowski headed back to a friend’s house after a family gathering when he was involved in a car accident that nearly took his life. He was just 20 years old at the time.
The next year, Kasowski’s scholarship was lost due to a lack of playing time. He transitioned from the University of Houston to a small Division II school, West Texas A&M, and impressed. Following his selection by the Dodgers, Kasowski began 2017 first in rookie ball in Arizona and saw playing time at Class-A Great Lakes. He posted a combined 3.18 ERA over 11 1/3 innings.
In 2018 Kasowski improved upon his previous year’s numbers, this time registering a 2.09 ERA in 41 games. He jumped from Class-A to Double-A Tulsa and has not looked back. Last season Kasowski spent more time in Tulsa, posting a remarkably low 2.45 ERA and a 2.50 FIP and 3.11 xFIP, respectively.
In 107 2/3 career minor league innings, Kasowski carries a 2.26 ERA and a 39.3 percent strikeout rate. How this guy has lasted this long without rising to the majors is perplexing. His control at points has been an issue, which is most likely the underlying reason. However, his fastball generates a ton of swings and misses, and he is continuing to improve upon his off-speed arsenal of a changeup and curveball.