Name- ZACHARY JOHN HAMMES
Position- Starting Pitcher
Residence- Iowa City, Iowa
DOB- May 15, 1984
04 Club- Columbus (Low A)
In 2002 after drafting first baseman James Loney with its top pick, Los Angeles with two extra choices (because of the Rangers signing Chan Ho Park), went for three pitchers: in order, Greg Miller, Hammes, and Jonathan Broxton.
While the other two have vaulted up among the truly elite in the system, Hammes has fallen behind. Why? Well, it's not because he doesn't have the pitches. He has a fast ball that's consistently in the low 90's, a hammer curve and a developing change.
The reason is he tends to get out of sync far too often in his delivery. He'll throw the ball quite well for awhile, then all too frequently, hang a curve or shorten up on his fast ball, leaving it in an inviting zone for the batter.
He started his career in promising fashion in the Gulf Coast League (2-2, 3.27) but has stalled out with Columbus for the past two summers- 7-11, 5.54 in 2003 and 5-8, 4.55 in 2004.
He's made strides but obviously has to be a great deal more consistent. Not only was he hit hard this past summer (147 hits in 112 innings) but he also had control lapses (54 walks.). The talent is clearly there and he's certainly young enough that there's ample time for him to smooth out and take advantage of it.