Adam Loewen began his baseball career as a pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles in 2008. A stress fracture in his pitching elbow forced Loewen to make a decision; convert to a position player and become a hitter or cut his baseball career short. Going the route of Babe Ruth and Rick Ankiel— going from being a pitcher to a successful position player— Loewen chose to convert, which is easier said than done.
This season with the Las Vegas 51's, Loewen has shown that all his hard work is paying off. Though he had a slow start, his game has picked up as the season has progressed and as he gets more comfortable his stats and his confidence will only get better.
"I think it's been good." Loewen said of his season so far, "I started off slow, but me and my hitting coach [Chad Mottola] have been working on a couple of things now. I feel like I'm taking in the game and now I can bring it to the field everyday."
Loewen has hit a .2268 average in 138 at-bats, with 26 RBIs and seven home runs. He also has an on-base percentage of .340, a slugging percentage of .507, and an OPS of .847 so far this season.
Though his numbers are up from last year, Loewen still has room to improve his swing.
"Just my move to the baseball, keeping it consistent," Loewen said of what he is working on to better his swing. "I'm tall [6'6"] so sometimes I kind of collapse and don't use my height and it usually works against me. When I stay tall I can usually use it to my advantage."
Chad Mottola, Las Vegas 51's hitting coach has the same views to what Loewen needs to do in order to create better success when at-bat.
"Getting in good position more consistently, I mean he's always learning everyday and the way he has applied it in game is pretty impressive," Mottola said of Loewen's progression this season.
"He's been doing good. He started out a little slow, but we did a couple of adjustments and I say for about the last two weeks he has been really locked in."
Moving to the Las Vegas 51's from the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Loewen, who is hitting .306 in the month of May, has been impressed by the 51's organization and the Las Vegas area so far.
"It's been good, it's a great place to play. It's a good city with a lot of things to do," Loewen said of his new surroundings. We've been playing well recently so it makes things easier for me."
Loewen has recently been moved from right field to first base, a position Loewen is still adjusting to.
"I think I'm doing well in the short time I've been there[first base]," Loewen said of his initial thoughts of his new position. "I think with some more work I will be doing a lot better."
As far as being compared to Rick Ankiel and [to a much lesser extent]Babe Ruth because of the unlikely pitcher-to-position player conversion, he feels there really isn't anyone else to compare him to, but Loewen wants to create similar success.
"I'm trying to do what they did and it's not an easy thing to do," Loewen said of his conversion. "It's been tough so far, but I think I enjoy hitting more than pitching so I'm going to keep after it."
Loewen Keeping After It
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