No. 16: Right-Handed Pitcher Kevin Gowdy
The Phillies went with a position player with their first pick in this year’s draft, putting them on the hunt for a pitcher. With the No. 42 pick in this year’s draft, the Phillies selected Kevin Gowdy, a right-handed pitcher from Santa Barbara, California. Gowdy and Mickey Moniak were poised to be teammates at UCLA; instead, they became teammates with the GCL Phillies.
Gowdy profited from the Phillies signing Moniak below the slot value, as the team signed Gowdy to a $3.5 million bonus. The club’s scouting director, Johnny Almaraz, gave Gowdy a rave review after drafting him:
"“I’m a believer you can’t teach somebody how to pitch. He’s got that innate ability to pitch and get hitters out and that’s what we want in this organization, frontline pitchers.”"
MLB.com said Gowdy could have three above-average pitches in his arsenal by the time he reaches the majors. At the Perfect Case Showcase in June of 2015, Gowdy sat in the low-90s, touching 94 once. His velocity remained in that area this season. Gowdy also offers what Hudson Belinsky of Baseball America called “a potent pair of offspeed pitches” in his changeup and slider.
While Gowdy has plenty of potential, we didn’t get to see much of it at the professional level this year. He threw just eight innings before suffering a strain in his thigh according to Jim Peyton of Phuture Phillies. He pitched just three more shutout innings afterwards. For what it’s worth, Gowdy had a 3.27 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in that span, but it is too small of a sample size to really garner much from it.
Gowdy has plenty of ceiling, he is years away from ever reaching it. With such limited time in the GCL this year, he will likely spend next season there too. The hope is he can develop into a solid mid-rotation starter, but we will need a larger sample of professional action to gauge where Gowdy is in his development.