Spring Scouting: Michael Bowden

March 27, 2009

The following information was gathered from Michael Bowden's March 21st, 2009 start against the Florida Marlins in Jupiter, Florida. I watched the game on NESN and used their radar gun for velocities.

The Basics:

Fastball...88-90 and touched 92. Average fastball was 89 MPH. Thrown 37 times out of 59 pitches (62.7%). Both of his strikeouts were with fastballs (Jorge Cantu twice). Started seven of the 13 batters he faced with fastballs. And the last pitch he threw to 10 batters was a fastball -- changeup to the other three. Generated 5 swinging strikes and 1 looking strike; 13 balls. Two of the three hits he allowed were on fastballs.

Curveball...74-75 very consistently. Average curveball was 75 MPH. Thrown 11 times (18.6%). This pitch didn't come to a snapping finish, but it broke a lot -- was big and loopy. Generated 0 swinging strikes and 3 looking strikes; 4 balls. No one hit his curve in play.

Changeup...81-82 consistently. Average changeup was 82 MPH. Thrown 9 times (15.3%). Generated 0 swinging strikes and 2 looking strikes; 3 balls. 

Mystery Pitch...64 and 59 MPH. This could have been a radar-gun quirk. I suppose these pitches also could have been hanging breaking balls that he didn't get a good grip on.

Overall Opinion:

A flyball pitcher, Bowden struck me as a guy who will need to be sharp every outing to succeed. But he could be that type of guy. He repeated his mechanics well. He was able to command the strike zone by locating all his pitches. Bowden doesn't have one pitch that overwhelms hitters -- hitters weren't able to do much with his big, loopy curve, though. The pickoff move I saw was mediocre at best.

Box Score Breakdown:

Bowden's final line was 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (13 batters).

The box score doesn't show the 350+ foot shot Dan Uggla pulled just foul. It was off a 88 MPH fastball. The balls that did stay fair and land for hits were a Wes Helms single (89 FB; line drive, up-the-middle), a Jeremy Hermida double (90 FB; well struck, fly-ball to LF), and another Helms single (82 changeup; opposite field, ground-ball).

Cameron Maybin drew the Marlins' lone walk against Bowden (88 FB low, 80 changeup inside, 87 FB pulled foul, 88 FB inside, 88 FB inside). He then stole second.

Bowden hit Mike Rabelo with a 89 MPH fastball in the second inning (1-1 count).

He induced one ground out and five fly outs.


We plan to post Scouting Reports regularly this season. Adam Foster can be reached at adamf@projectprospect.com.