Fourteen of the Orioles’ top sixteen 2009 draft selections found themselves down with an injury during the 2010 season, including Jake Cowan. The right hander’s season was cut short after just 41 innings due to shoulder problems, that resulted in labrum surgery.
At 6′ 3″, 165 lbs, Cowan is projectable with room to add 8-12 pounds, eye-balling it. He’s athletic and moves well off the mound.
Cowan is a unique pitcher in that he works backwards, throwing about 40% fastballs with the other 60% being secondary offerings. He worked much of last season in the 88-91 mph range and with that velocity, he isn’t over powering hitters. Cowan’s deceptive delivery and high leg kick helps his fastball play up a bit. This is one reason to believe Cowan may have an easier time coming back from labrum surgery than most pitchers.
The rest of his arsenal includes an above-average curveball with late bite, which is a very effective pitch against right-handers. His changeup is a tick average right now, with good fade and late sink and could become above-average with time. Cowan can keep the ball in and around the strike zone but struggles to hit spots and corners.
Cowan’s surgery is going to hold him out until late in the 2011 season where he’ll be eased in at either Frederick or Delmarva. Don’t expect Cowan to produce immediately as he tries to rebound, but with time, Cowan should have another chance to prove himself worthy of a $175,000 bonus.