Jared Ruxer, Right-Handed Pitcher
HT : 6'3
WT : 190 lb.
DOB : July 29, 1992, Indianapolis, IN
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : University of Louisville (Louisville, KY)
Acquired : Drafted in 12th round (359th overall) of 2014 June Draft
Stock : Neutral
Cool Notes : Favorite TV show is "Eastbound and Down" / Favorite candy is Snickers / If he could have dinner with any three people, it'd be Peyton Manning, Roy Halladay and Reggie Miller
Jared Ruxer had Tommy John surgery two days before the 2014 Draft. He was originally projected to go in the third or fourth round range. The Los Angeles Angels took a risk, and stole him in the 12th. Why do we say stole? Because Ruxer has potential to be the next big thing in the Angels system once healthy. He may not pitch in 2015, but be ready for one of the most illustrious picks in Angels history with an opportunity to be a complete stud on the mound.
Ruxer has a three pitch arsenal, consisting of a four-seam fastball, curveball, and changeup. He uses these pitches effectively to keep batters off-balance by commanding his fastball early in counts and mixing speeds at the end.
Mechanically, Ruxer is very sound. He has a long motion and hides the ball well, throwing from behind his right shoulder at a three/quarter arm slot.
Ruxer's fastball may be his best pitch, sitting in the 91-94 MPH range, and could begin to pick up velocity as he fills into his body and has a healthy arm. It has good running movement, allowing him to keep batters guessing. His command of this pitch is darn near flawless.
Right now, Ruxer's changeup looks a little shady, but it has a load of promise. This pitch tends to allow him to keep batters off-balance early in counts, and it has some swing and miss qualities to it.
Ruxer's off-speed offer is a curveball with a sweeping motion. We haven't seen much of it, but scouts say it could be a very reliable two-strike pitch and have the ability to fool batters even if they know it's coming due to it's heavy drop.
With Tommy John costing him the rest of his 2014 season, Ruxer should be able to come back in late 2015 or 2016 as a stronger pitcher. Rehabillitation will be the key to his full recovery and whether he'll pitch next season or not. Ruxer did throw for the first time since surgery a few weeks ago though and is on pace for a 12 month recovery.
Ruxer was a three-letter winner at Lawrence Central High School in Indianapolis, and was selected in the 29th round of the 2011 draft by the Cleveland Indians. This was helped by a senior season that saw a 6-1 record, 3.04 ERA, and 59 punch outs. In the previous two seasons, Ruxer combined for a 11-3 record, 96 strikeouts, with his ERA sitting at 2.12 his junior year, and 3.21 his sophomore season. In 2011, Ruxer was named to the Indianapolis All-State, All-Confrerence, and All-County first team honors. He was also ranked as one of the top 300 prep players in the nation in 2011 by Perfect Game USA.
Ruxer put together a stellar season his freshman year at Louisville, going 8-3 with a 3.38 ERA, and 1.202 WHIP. He was named the Big East Pitcher of the Week after going six shutout innings, with six strikeouts against the #1 ranked, Kentucky. Ruxer was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American, NCBWA All-American, and honored as a Third Team All-Big East. Possibly the biggest honor of them all was being named the Big East Rookie of the Year.
Ruxer hit a sophomore slump, posting his worst ERA to date, at 5.63 in his second season at college. He was removed from the rotation and couldn't find a groove at a reliever, having three of his 12 relief outings go scoreless. Ruxer did strikeout 35 in 38.1 innings pitched.
In his final season of college, Ruxer gained his masterful work, posting a 2.27 ERA, with a 7-1 record, and 1.035 WHIP, holding batters to a .229 average. Ruxer put together some of his strongest career performances, striking out 11 against Toledo on March 1st, seven on March 9th against Miami, which was part of a six innings, scoreless performance. Ruxer's season ended early, on May 10th, due to an elbow injury. Batters finished with a .229/.290/.288 slash against Ruxer.
Tommy John takes anywhere from 12-18 months to recover from, and Ruxer had it this past June. It is likely that even with a quick and healthy recovery, he may not pitch in the 2015 season
Ruxer was a high risk, high reward kind of draftee. With that said, the Angels believe he has Major League talent. Ruxer has not pitched in professional baseball and his return will give everyone a better idea of when his ETA could be. Right now, we'll list it as not applicable.
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Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for InsideTheHalos.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.