If you’re a regular reader of the content here, you’ll recall when we put together a quick profile on Rancho righty reliever Marshall Kasowski just under two weeks ago. At the time, the 23-year-old Texas native had a 1.69 ERA and a 15.1 K/9 fresh off a promotion to High-A, and many believed it would be difficult for him to stay the course of having such success.
Yet, as the season is progressing, Kasowski continues to dominate.
As a matter of fact, since we published our initial story, he has allowed only one hit while striking out six batters over an even four innings of relief. What’s more, since the beginning of June, Kasowski has tallied a 0.96 ERA and a ridiculous 0.54 WHIP with 16 punchouts over seven appearances and 9-1/3 innings of work. That translates to about 15-1/2 strikeouts for every nine innings he throws.
By no means are we saying that he’s on the fast track to the big leagues, but at the same time, by no means are we ruling it out. It’s just very rare that an arm at the High-A level in the extremely hitter-friendly Cal League has so much success, especially in the bullpen. It almost reminiscent of what right-hander Shea Spitzbarth accomplished during the first-half of last season before he was promoted to Double-A Tulsa.
And, speaking of Spitzbarth, the Drillers have a duo of righty relievers—Spitzbarth and Dylan Baker—who can close and who may be potentially blocking Kasowski’s path, at least temporarily. However, when considering how the bullpen at the top of the organization has struggled at times during the early portions of the year, this can certainly be characterized as one of those “good problems to have.”
When we first talked about Kasowski, there seemed to bit a bit of a command issue, as he allowed 19 walks over 33-1/3 innings; however, in the entire month of June, the Quakes’ closer has issued just one free pass, which is a dramatic improvement over the early stages of the year. Furthermore, it could be a sign the right-hander may soon be in line for a promotion to Tulsa, opening the door for guys like Baker and Spitzbarth to conceivably get bumped up to Triple-A, if there’s a chance the arms of Joe Broussard or Josh Sborz are considered for the bigs.
If you missed our first story, Kazowski was drafted by the Dodgers in the 13th round of the 2017 MLB draft out of West Texas A&M, not long after being named the 2017 Lone Star Conference Co-Male Athlete of the Year. Collegiately, he led the entire nation in 2017 by breaking both the school and the conference season record with 165 punchouts. He also topped the country in strikeouts per nine innings at 15.91.
As far as his repertoire goes, Kasowski’s best offering is undoubtedly his heater, which sits in the low-to-mid nineties, sometimes topping out as high as 96 MPH. But it’s his unorthodox delivery which caught the eye of the major league scouts. He throws from a slot right next to his ear, which creates a very deceptive motion that leads to him missing plenty of bats.
Right now, the Quakes are finishing up their four-game set on Sunday at home against San Jose. First pitch is slated for 2:05 p.m. Pacific time.