|Report Date:||February 20th, 2018|
Florida continues their trend of running out a big-name prospect on Fridays and Saturdays in 2018, with Kowar pitching behind Brady Singer for the top-ranked Gators. After allowing a two-run homer in the top of the first, Kowar was incredibly efficient in retiring the final 14 hitters he faced in order. After a 20+ pitch first inning, he wound up only throwing 89 total pitches across seven innings of work, striking out 10 Siena hitters without issuing a walk.
Kowar holds a tall, extra-lanky frame similar to Rick Porcello, and the way he located all three of his pitches in Saturday’s win, seemed a bit Porcello-esque as well. His raw stuff grades out as solid, but it’s the command and ability to relentlessly fill the zone that gives Kowar a chance to go near the top of the draft this June. His fastball ranged from 90-to-94 mph in this look, sitting at 92 mph with solid run and sink from his true three-quarters arm slot. He commanded the fastball consistently to both sides of the plate, showing an advanced idea of how to move his heater around the zone. Kowar got numerous swings in front of his low-80s changeup because of how well he maintained arm speed, and consistently threw an extra-deep curveball in the 75-to-78 mph range for strikes. His breaking ball isn’t overly powerful or sharp, but its above-average rotation and true 12-to-6 shape make it difficult for hitters to square up as its coming straight down on them from his 6’6’’ frame.
If Kowar were more of an arm-strength guy on top of the way he locates and mixes, we would be talking about a potential top-rotation type ceiling. He might project more safely to operate in the low-90s as a starter than be a 93-to-97 mph type guy for numerous innings, but he projects to do a lot of the things teams are looking for in a mid-rotation profile. He’s arguably as polished as anyone in this draft class, poised to move quickly in pro ball.