Position: Right Handed Pitcher Height: 6-7 Weight: 210
Born: 10/7/1982 Bats: Left Throws: Right
Kown was a dominating high school pitcher, tossing 3 no-hitters during his prep career. Moving on to college, Kown struggled with the adjustment to the Division I game, posting an ERA over nine during his freshman campaign. Following a significant improvement his sophomore season, Andrew broke through during his junior campaign with Georgia Tech, notching a 10-1 record in 17 starts, with a 3.46 ERA. Kown's breakthrough season vaulted him up draft boards, where the Tigers selected him in the 5th round. Upon signing for just over $200,000, Kown reported to short-season Oneonta where he continued his impressive run. In nine starts, Andrew tossed 41 innings, striking out 37 while walking only 13, and posting a 2.85 ERA. The 2005 season was supposed to be one where he announced himself as a serious prospect; unfortunately, it didn't go as planned. Kown was pitching pretty well prior to be struck on the head with a line drive. It was a struggle to regain confidence from that point on, and Andrew ended the season with a 4.36 ERA and 8-11 record in 150 innings for West Michigan.
Kown is a tall, lanky athlete with surprising agility and coordination. Using a slightly above-average fastball (89-93 mph) and a sharp, late darting slider, Kown consistently pitches ahead in the count, putting batters at a distinct disadvantage. With good command of both pitches, and an aggressive willingness to pitch inside, Kown keeps hitters off balance. Kown's motion is surprisingly smooth for someone his size, and he follows through completely on a consistent, repetitive motion, minimizing the stress on his arm. His thin frame has room to add bulk without losing flexibility, and he could see increased velocity as he progresses. Andrew uses his plus athleticism to field his position well, making accurate throws on the infield. A polished pitcher who could move quickly, Kown's poise and maturity on the mound will only aid in his success as he faces advanced hitters at higher levels. Kown's aggressive nature was stalled by the line drive back through the box, and the key to his success in 2006 will hinge on his ability to become the aggressive pitcher that made him so effective throughout 2004.
Performance Level Team W-L ERA G GS SV SO BB IP WHIP A
Andrew had recovered completely from his line drive incident, at least physically. Mentally was another story. He remained scared of challenging hitters for much of the rest of the season. It is unknown whether this will be a lingering problem, but if he experiences success early, he should be okay.
Despite the plethora of pitchers that will be vying for time in the Lakeland rotation, Kown will likely have an inside track. His polish and collegiate experience will encourage the Tigers to be aggressive with him, despite his minor struggles in 2005. If Kown is back mentally, he could anchor the Lakeland staff, and get a chance at Erie sometime later in 2006. He has the raw ability and the polish to be a very good middle of the rotation starter. His arm has been healthy and his stamina to carry his velocity late into games and seasons should help his as well. The 2006 will be important for Kown to prove he has no lingering effects from his trials at West Michigan.
Mark Anderson covers the Tigers' minor league system and all of minor league baseball for TigsTown.com. He can be reached at Mark@TigsTown.com.