By The Baseball Beginnings Guy
March 25, 2013
Hey look, it’s Mike Lorenzen, back on Baseball Beginnings, which is back from being called Baseball Prospect Report and really kinda feeling better about itself. Onto the baseball…
The people who like Mike Lorenzen are going to like him for the power potential, to go with solid average speed and a solid average arm in center. He does have bat speed and he does have that uppercut, and for the teams that like him with the bat, they’re going to say try him hitting first and if that doesn’t work out, then you can try him on the mound where the 95-97 velocity with the slider plays.
The people who aren’t as sold on Lorenzen’s bat are going to point out that his swing is too long, there are some pitch recognition issues, and that if you’ve seen him since high school, it hasn’t changed. It’s pretty fair to say that he hasn’t consistently shortened the swing, which is something he’s going to have to do in pro ball. Otherwise, he is fair game for explosive stuff at the higher levels and will be able to walk into fewer home runs. The numbers will end up, eh, could be better.
Now everybody wants to know what I think. And now, my friends, I will tell you a tale of an outfielder-pitcher named Johnny Lindell and his last ride on the trail.
Lindell came up in the minors before World War II as a pitcher and he had good numbers.
During the War, when the pitching wasn’t as good, he became an outfielder for the Yankees and put up pretty good numbers. You might think that’s cool, but all the Hall of Famers were in the Army and his teammates were guys named Snuffy and Hershel. You can look this sh*t up, you know I have.
After the War, Lindell hung around with the bat for a few years. He actually hit for average, but not for power, which was his downfall. He went back to the minors, to the Pacific Coast League and the Hollywood Stars to be exact, and became a knuckleball pitcher. He had one more good year and then after playing from 1936 to 1954, he was done.
I bring up the tale of Lindell as cautionary tale to a guy like Lorenzen, who has a high opinion of himself and generally grabs his junk more times than Jacko did in the Thriller video, which is OK, unless you pin it to your chest in neon lighting. Pick one or the other and get better at it, because right now, both are raw. You can’t do both, and the longer you put off one for the other, the more of a hole you may dig yourself. Trust me, Lo, the last thing you want to do is end up as a Triple-A knuckleball pitcher.