Prospect Countdown #59 : Brian Loconsole

There is every reason to cheer for this prospect and want him to excel. You'll have to read to find out why, but here is one of our favorite stories in the Angels farm system. Top 100 Prospect Countdown, Prospect #59, Brian Loconsole. (photo : Travis Berg)


Brian Loconsole, Right-Handed Pitcher


HT : 6'2
WT : 215 lb.
DOB : August 10, 1990, Geneva, IL
Throws : Right
Bats : Right
School : Western Illinois University (Macomb, IL)
Acquired : Drafted in 20th round (607th overall) of 2013 June Draft
Stock : Rising
Cool Notes : READ PLAYER INTRODUCTION!!!


You all know that story about Michael Jordan getting cut from his High School team? You know, he was a freshman, hadn't fully grown, and it honestly isn't all that big of a deal? Wll, Brian Loconsole was cut three times in high school and never threw a pitch for Glenbard North High. Far and away, our favorite story in the countdown, and one of the best across minor league baseball, Brian Loconsole has faced all kinds of bumps in the road, and is now a professional pitcher, and is starting to become a recognized one.

Unlike other prospects, before we jump into the scouting report, and other sub headings of this article, we're going to tell you about Brian's journey to where he is. He threw for a couple summer league teams, and didn't get much attention from scouts or colleges until his catcher's mother dared him to try out for the Western Illinois baseball team, as a walk on. Loconsole threw eight pitches, and that was all it took to earn his spot as a walk on. Loconsole red-shirted, and sadly, his coach passed away, and he had to go to Moraine Valley Community College to pitch due to his lack of experience and a spot on the roster.

What did he do? He won Pitcher of the Year honors at the school. He returned to WIU, and was rewarded in his second season at the school, being named the closer with a scholarship for his final season of college. He went on to break the single-season record and career saves record at the school, and was drafted at the end of the season by the Los Angeles Angels. What a story, right?


SCOUTING REPORT

Loconsole is masterful with his fastball, throwing it for strikes. It has good cutting movement, allowing weak contact in the 92-95 MPH range. Loconsole uses this pitch in all counts, primarly to get ahead in the count, but can also use it as a put away pitch, as it has swing and miss qualities to it.

Loconsole has an off-speed offering, that is a standard slider. It comes with a decent break, and he can command it to both sides of the plate. This pitch has qualities of being a put away pitch, but has been used mostly to setup his cutter and changeup.

Loconsole has a changeup, but it's a little fringy. For a power arm, like Loconsole, he will need to clean it up just a little bit to be able to use it effectively at the higher levels.

Power arm is one of the best terms we've heard when it comes to Loconsole. This power comes from incredible arm speed and use of his entire frame. Loconsole, listed at 215 pounds, and he uses his weight to his advantage, firing from his core, to shoulders, to arm. Loconsole uses his legs well, as well, and creates added power with a quick, yet steady hip turn. All of this is improving with experience on the mound, and so has repetitive mechanics, helping him in every aspect of his game.


STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN:

Loconsole may not have pitched in high school, but he was a standout football player, being named a member of the IHSA Class 8A Runner-Up. At Moraine Valley Community College, where Loconsole was named Pitcher of the Year, he put up a 3.06 ERA in 78 innings pitched.

Between his sophomore and junior season, Loconsole hit some struggles in the road. In a combined 18 appearances, and 26 innings pitched, Loconsole posted a 6.57 ERA, and 2.153 WHIP. 3

Loconsole's senior season was a completely different story, as in 22 appearances and 28.1 innings pitched, he posted a 2.86 ERA with nine saves (single-season and career school record). From March 12th to 23rd of 2013, Loconsole appeared in four straight games, picking up a save, and was named the Summit League Pitcher of the Week. Loconsole finished his senior season, with a .242/.338/.282 against slash.

Loconsole's first year of professional baseball was one to forget quickly. He finished the season with a 9.11 ERA, 2.325 WHIP, and .392 against average.

Loconsole put up far and away some of the best releiver statistics in the Angels farm system this past season. He appeared in 34 games (fourth on the affiliate), and had 24 of those go for scoreless outings. Loconsole finished the season with a 1.68 ERA, 0.990 WHIP, .208 against average, and .257 against on base percentage.

From the seventh inning or later in games, Loconsole had a 1.15 ERA, 0.921 WHIP, and limited bats to a .192 average and .237 on base percentage. Loconsole held bats leading off innings to a .097/.152/.129 slash, striking out 14 of 62, and walking only three.


 photo chart11_zps0d51d8dc.jpeg



 photo chart10_zps382ea933.jpeg


EXPECTED FUTURE:

Loconsole dominated the competition in Low-A during the 2014 season. It's almost obvious to assume he'll be moving up next season, and pitching in High-A. With a strong Spring Training though, Loconsole may get the advanced approach, and make the leap to Double-A.

Loconsole was drafted as a middle rounder, which makes some assume he's not a Major League talent. However, with what he's shown already in his short minor league career, how could you not believe he might be a future late inning man? Our estimate on his ETA is late 2017.




For more updates on the Los Angeles Angels, their prospects, and our Top 100 Prospects Countdown, follow us on Twitter, @AngelsOnScout.


Taylor Blake Ward is a Senior Publisher for InsideTheHalos.com, and can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard.




Inside The Halos Top Stories