McGowin was a 5th rounder out of Savannah State (GA) in 2013 by the Angels, coming to Washington as part of a two-prospect package for Danny Espinosa in December of 2016. He was hit hard in the upper minors last season, but has put together a strong first half for Double-A Harrisburg in 2018—good for an all-star nod in the Eastern League.
The lean righty stands 6’3’’ and 185 pounds, getting good extension towards the plate from a semi-windup with crossfire deception. His fastball has running action and sits in the 90-to-91 mph range, reaching a tick higher at best. McGowin is confident in his secondary pitches, mixing a slurvy slider (80-82) and circle-change (82-84) frequently to speed up his fastball. His gaudy 30-percent strikeout rate is more a function of advanced pitchability than pure stuff, as McGowin doesn’t have a dominant pitch that overpowers hitters or misses bats. He throws strikes with three pitches and limits walks well, frequently ahead in counts and able to change speeds.
The 26-year-old has had a nice season for the Senators, but he’s more a high-minors depth prospect than a true future big league regular. All three pitches grade around 45, and they’re tied together by 50-grade control. The strikethrowing over iffy raw stuff give McGowin the chance to get cups of coffee in the big leagues in a mopup or spot-starter role.