Prospect Profile: Josh Kauten

Josh Kauten has produced at every level he's pitched at for the Tigers. Of course, he still has the issue of age working against him. Kauten has posted good numbers consistently, but he'll have to continue to prove that he can post solid numbers as he moves up the ladder.

Josh Kauten
Position: Right Handed Pitcher Height: 6-3 Weight: 200
Born: 4/5/1982 Bats: Right Throws: Right

Background
Kauten joined the Tigers following a solid 4-year career at Illinois State University. As an 11th round draft choice in 2004, Josh debuted with Oneonta, posting a 2-5 record and a 3.92 ERA. Kauten's general success during his first taste of pro ball went largely unnoticed. A promotion to full-season ball in 2005, Kauten again pitched well for West Michigan during the season's first half. With injuries and promotions above him in the system, Kauten made his way to High-A Lakeland for the remainder of the campaign. In his six starts for the L-Tigers, Josh 2.85 ERA and started to stand out as a result of his performance.

Scouting Report
Kauten's arsenal is generally unimpressive, mixing an average fastball, and merely adequate offspeed pitches. Kauten does not possess top-notch control, and lacks the single, dominant pitch needed to ensure his success as he moves up. Despite his large frame, Kauten is not able to generate the power often expected, and as a result his velocity suffers. To this point, Josh has relied on grit and determination to be a successful pitcher. With strike out rates that are dropping with each promotion, and walk rates going in the opposite direction, Kauten appears to be skating on thin ice. In order to remain a successful starting pitcher, Kauten will need to make significant strides with at least one of his pitches. An average athlete, Kauten repeats his mechanics well, and fields his position with confidence. Without a dominating pitch or better control, Kauten profiles as a long reliever at this juncture.

Performance

Level

Team

W-L

ERA

G

GS

SV

SO

BB

IP

WHIP

A

West Mich.

4-3

3.32

14

14

0

49

12

78.2

1.12

A+

Lakeland

4-2

2.84

6

6

0

18

17

38.0

1.26


Health Record
Thus far, Josh has only experience minor injuries; none of which should be of significant concern moving forward.

The Future
Kauten is likely to return to Lakeland to start the 2006 campaign, where he will slot into what is likely to be a crowded rotation. If Josh struggles early in the year, he could find himself in the bullpen in short order. The Tigers would like to keep him in the rotation as long as possible, but with a stable of promising pitchers coming up behind him, Josh will have to perform to warrant a regular rotation spot. It will not be surprising to see Josh experience continued success with Lakeland, before hitting a wall at the AA level. More experienced hitters are less likely to be fooled by his mediocre arsenal, and will take full advantage of his modest control. If Kauten can stick as a starter, he could become a Brian Moehler type pitcher, filling in the back of a rotation with solid innings. Look for Josh to get a taste of AA at some point in 2006, but he's not likely to be the first Lakeland pitcher promoted.


Tigs Town Top Stories