Lost and Found: Rangers Prospect Barret Loux
Lost: When I was a pup reporter covering the D-backs in 2010, details were hard to come by regarding why Arizona drafted Texas A&M’s Barret Loux sixth overall in June then cast him aside in July. We learned this: After agreeing in principle to sign for $2 million, Loux failed his physical with tearing in his labrum and question marks about his elbow.
Found: Long story made shorter, Loux was made a free agent and latched on with his home-state Rangers. He rested that much-maligned right arm over the winter, then performed solidly in his first pro season. Then, at age 23, he was even better in his second.
2011: 8-5 W-L, 3.80 ERA and 127-to-34 K-to-BB ratio in 109 IP spanning 21 G at Class A Advanced Myrtle Beach
2012: 14-1 W-L, 3.47 ERA and 100-to-41 K-to-BB ratio in 127 IP spanning 25 G at Double-A Frisco
So Loux was lost, now he is found. Now, about the Rangers’ returns: A very superficial look at the numbers — his complete player page is here — shows that Loux’s repertoire didn’t make the jump with him to the Texas League. Yes, he won his first 10 starts (and his first 11 decisions) on his way to being named the circuit’s Pitcher of the Year… but while his inning total was +18, his strikeout total was -27. Of his fastball, changeup, curve, and slider, scouts see four pitches that, at their peak, are merely average. Still, average pitchers with average stuff have carved out important roles in the Majors. Will Loux follow suit? His ability to keep the ball both in the strike zone and the yard bodes well. He’ll turn 24 the week of next year’s Opening Day and will be facing the arduous Pacific Coast League for the first time. This blog estimates that he comes out fine on the other side — but as nothing more than a rotation’s fourth starter and, perhaps more likely, as a middle reliever. So there’s no way to fault the D-backs — or the Rangers — in the case of the seemingly recovered Loux.
2013: ??? at Triple-A Round Rock