Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Pitch From Shooter is Low, Ball One

I am not here to dump on Shooter Hunt- who was a warrior at Tulane. But I was prompted by one of the comments yesterday to dig into where he is right now.

The answer is still Class A ball with the Fort Myers Miracle- and it does appear his minor league career consists of three wins over three years. Worse, he has only made 40 appearances, a mere 21 starts.

Apparently, he is experiencing serious control issues. Non-insane blogger commentary from last year:
You remember Shooter Hunt, right? The Twins prospect was drafted 31st overall last season, assigned to E-town (rookie level) and absolutely tore $#!@ up, to the tune of 34 Ks and a 0.47 ERA in 19 innings. Plus, it’s worth noting he walked just 6 batters.

Cut to the present. The reality of today is that it’d be a challenge to think of a more horrendous start than Shooter Hunt’s 2009 campaign. To start with, he began the season with the GCL Twins back in rookie ball, which seemed a dramatic demotion considering his promising ’08.

But now we know why: the kid all of a sudden can’t hit the broad side of a barn from point blank distance. After issuing 19 walks in 14 innings at the GCL, he was strangely promoted to Beloit, where he promptly walked 33 more guys in just 17 innings. He then fell off the map for a few weeks while the team worked to straighten him out. At that point, it was clear Hunt was faced with a bigger challenge than a mild tweak in his mechanics. This problem was upstairs.

After another return to rookie ball and a few shaky starts, Hunt’s career hit a low point yesterday. Here is his line (those with weak stomachs may want to avert your eyes): 0 IP, 0 hits, 6 BBs, 1 HP. That’s seven batters in a row reaching base without having to put a ball in play.

I have no idea what on earth has happened to this guy, but his Ankielesque meltdown this season may sadly result in the end of his promising young career.
Here are his current numbers. They seem to be trying to recast Shooter as a relief pitcher via the low minors (ed.note: you can’t just quit on your big dollar, first round pick). Still has control issues: 19 walks in 29.1 innings- add in 18 hits and his resultant WHIP is awful. And that ERA of 4.60 ain’t gettin’ him out of A ball.

But he is striking out an outstanding 1.5 hitters an inning- so his arm still appears very lively. That sort of strikeout ratio makes big league teams dream back-end of the bullpen.