Scottsdale, Ariz. -- This summer will go a long way in determining Logan Sawyer's ceiling in professional baseball. Granted, every summer is critically important for every player at every development stage, so this isn't exactly a new take on a player's upcoming season, but in Sawyer's case, 2016 will be an important time for the Rockies to figure out whether or not they have a workable full-season pitcher.
Drafted in the 29th round back in 2014, Sawyer put up good numbers that summer in short-season Tri-City, and looked primed to make the jump to Low-A Asheville in his first full professional season in 2015. He started that summer with the Tourists, but struggled (5-2, 5.79 ERA, 1.78 WHIP and a .297 opponents' batting average in 14 games/4 starts) before being sent back down to short-season Boise.
Once in Boise, Sawyer found himself back in the rotation, and put up respectable numbers there. Now 23 years old, though, it's time to take a big development step forward for the tall right-hander from Tennessee, and that means conquering Asheville this summer. A starter at both of his short-season stops, Sawyer was used predominantly in the bullpen during his couple-month jaunt in Asheville, though his size (6'5", 245 lbs.) might make him an attractive rotation candidate if the Rockies feel like he has enough to offer there.
They've been extending him to multiple innings all spring, and I've gotten a few different looks at the right-handed pitcher. Above, watch video of him throwing in several different spring appearances at the club's Arizona facility. I'd expect him to start the year in Asheville, but again, any developmental hiccup there—at his age—will only make a tough road tougher for the pitcher.
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