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Billy Rowell is stirring...


Big Mac

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I was going to mention in this in the hot farmhand thread, but felt it was deserving of its own. Perhaps the most surprising farmhand to start the season is none other than Billy Rowell. Disclaimer, as always, small sample size. But to start the season, Rowell has put up the following line:

FRE CAR .286 7 21 4 6 2 0 1 7 11 7 9 0 0 .483 .524 1.007

I think what is the most impressive so far is that he's drawn seven walks to only nine strikeouts. Keep in mind that he's not drawn more than 36 walks in a season for his professional career. It's early, but so far, this is great stuff.

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Funny. With all of the talk about his own hitting coach and not taking advice from Oriole minor league coaches, Rowell himself has said that he's gone back to the stance and style he used in High School. And he's looking better than he has in a long time. Makes you wonder.

Maybe there's hope after all.

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Funny. With all of the talk about his own hitting coach and not taking advice from Oriole minor league coaches, Rowell himself has said that he's gone back to the stance and style he used in High School. And he's looking better than he has in a long time. Makes you wonder.

He's showing more confidence and consistency in his at-bats right now, and I think that comes from scrapping his swing and going back to a shorter, more compact swing which naturally gives him better bat speed. Also, the swooping swing with the one-handed release that drove me nuts for two years is finally gone. What I'm liking early is his ability to hit the ball to all fields, and specifically to center and left field which is what I didn't see much of at all the last two years.

As for the strikeouts, they're going to happen, but I'm impressed that he's at nearly a 1:1 K:BB ratio to begin the year. Several of the ones I watched weren't him chasing bad pitches, it was the pitchers hitting good spots and Rowell either swung and missed with a good swing or took a third strike. He had one strikeout last night where he took on a 2-2 breaking pitch that he argued a few words with the home plate umpire that even I felt was a little low to ring him up on.

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He's showing more confidence and consistency in his at-bats right now, and I think that comes from scrapping his swing and going back to a shorter, more compact swing which naturally gives him better bat speed. Also, the swooping swing with the one-handed release that drove me nuts for two years is finally gone. What I'm liking early is his ability to hit the ball to all fields, and specifically to center and left field which is what I didn't see much of at all the last two years.

As for the strikeouts, they're going to happen, but I'm impressed that he's at nearly a 1:1 K:BB ratio to begin the year. Several of the ones I watched weren't him chasing bad pitches, it was the pitchers hitting good spots and Rowell either swung and missed with a good swing or took a third strike. He had one strikeout last night where he took on a 2-2 breaking pitch that he argued a few words with the home plate umpire that even I felt was a little low to ring him up on.

So overall this is quite a turnaround from what you've seen before?

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I was at the Keys game a few days ago and came away quite impressed with Rowell.

He displayed an excellent eye at the plate, waiting for his pitch and laying off pitches out of the zone.

He looked much, much better than last season when I saw him. Obviously he has 2 years under his belt in the Carolina League, but he's still 21 years old.

He's technically like a college first year player out of college.

There's still hope!

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