Prospect Profile: Kevin Ardoin

The Tigers 10th round draft pick in 2005, Kevin Ardoin got his feet wet right away, pitching out of the bullpen for West Michigan as the organization attempted to keep his innings for the year down. Don't take his immediate move to the bullpen as a lack of faith though; Ardoin has plenty of promise.

Kevin Ardoin
Position: Right Handed Pitcher Height: 6-1 Weight: 175
Born: 8/6/1982 Bats: Right Throws: Right

Background
Ardoin joined the Tigers organization on the heels of a very solid 4-year career at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, where he posted a career 23-15 record with a 3.80 ERA. Despite the fact that the Sun Belt Conference isn't one of the nations top Division I conferences, Ardoin's career was still very solid for a 10th round choice. After logging nearly 350 collegiate innings over his career, the Tigers were cautious with Kevin's workload, assigning him to West Michigan to help solidify the bullpen. As a member of the playoff-bound Whitecaps, Ardoin tossed another 44 innings, posting a very impressive 2.84 ERA. Despite his role as a cog in the ‘Caps bullpen, Ardoin still projects as a starter down the road.

Scouting Report
Even while showing very good strikeout rates with West Michigan, Ardoin is not likely to remain an overpowering force on the mound. Ardoin mixes an average fastball that sits in the 87-89 mph range, with a solid, slurvy breaking ball, and a decent change-up. None of Ardoin's pitches project as consistent "out" pitches, but all can be solid pitches if he can continues to control them adequately. Kevin is a polished collegiate product who could move quickly to the AA level, before experiencing any significant road blocks. With a very good understanding of pitching theory, and a willingness to challenge hitters when necessary, Ardoin's arsenal works better in actuality than the manner in which it projects. A solid athlete, Kevin fields his position well, and understands his defensive responsibilities.

Performance

Level

Team

W-L

ERA

G

GS

SV

SO

BB

IP

WHIP

A

West Mich.

5-1

2.84

22

0

0

47

16

44.1

1.11


Health Record
Ardoin has been healthy throughout his collegiate and brief professional careers. High collegiate innings totals will need to be considered when monitoring Kevin's workload over the next season or two, but problems can be avoided with a cautious approach.

The Future
There is some minor talk of Ardoin jumping into the Lakeland rotation to start the 2006 season, but with several quality pitchers, including Jair Jurrjens, Dallas Trahern, Josh Kauten, Josh Rainwater and Andrew Kown, along with the likely return of Kyle Sleeth and Christhian Martinez, there doesn't appear to be much room for Kevin. The more likely destination is a spot atop the West Michigan rotation, where he should continue to see success against relatively inexperienced hitters in a pitcher-friendly league. Ardoin profiles as a Steve Traschel-type pitcher with modest "stuff" and good poise. If Kevin continues to strut his stuff in the Midwest League, he could very well see time in Lakeland around mid-season. As an advanced pitching prospect whose ceiling is relatively low, Ardoin is likely to experience success early before hitting some bumps when he reaches Erie sometime in 2007.


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