The Cincinnati Reds organization have had pretty good success in several of the last First-Year Player Draft's. Former successful first-round picks include Homer Bailey, Jay Bruce, and Devin Mesoraco. One name that may end up on that list is current Pensacola Blue Wahoos starting pitcher Michael Lorenzen.
The 22-year old was drafted in the first round (38th overall) by the Reds in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Cal State Fullerton where he was a two-way player who was an everyday center fielder and came in to close games on the mound. He was an All-American in 2012 and was considered one of the top prospects in the draft.
In his first season in the Reds organization he played with four different teams including Class-A Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola. Used mainly in relief, the right-hander appeared in 22 games (1 start) pitching 21 innings and collecting an even 3.00 earned run average. He struck out 19 batters while walking 13.
Beginning this year, Lorenzen was moved into the starting role with the Blue Wahoos. In 15 total starts, he holds a 4-4 record with a 2.63 ERA. In his 82 total innings, he has struck out 58 batters. One of his best starts this year came on May 8th when he went seven innings allowing just one earned run on three hits while striking out six.
The biggest question with Lorenzen is whether or not his repertoire will be enough to keep him as a starter. Ranked the number four prospect in the Reds organization, the club had the following to say about the young player:
"He can run his fastball up into the upper-90s in shorter stints, and it has good movement to it. Lorenzen's breaking ball has the chance to be average and his previously seldom-used changeup could give him a viable third pitch. His outstanding athleticism — he was a terrific defensive center fielder — should help him learn to repeat his delivery and improve his overall command."
The righty is set to make his next start on Tuesday, July 1st against the Jacksonville Suns.
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