Nineteen-year-old Nathan Eovaldi, the Dodgers #11 selection in the 2008 draft, had a remarkable season with Great Lakes in 2009, despite being used cautiously due to his age and Tommy John surgery he underwent in 2007. He pitched very well, sometimes brilliantly, and the club got a glimpse of his seemingly unlimited future.
Eovaldi was held to just over 96 innings, He had a 3-5 record and allowed 95 hits while striking out 71. He started 16 times, added 10 in relief and shared games with Ethan Martin during the season to keep the number of innings down for both pitchers.
He started the season slowly. Over his first nine games, eight of them starts, during April and May, he went 1-4 and his earned run average was 6.69. But then in June, July and August, he worked 16 games, eight as a starter, and gave up 11 runs over 59 innings for a 1.68 ERA. He also added three scoreless innings in his only playoff appearance.
He was more effective in relief, posting a 2.32 ERA over his 10 appearances. As a starter, however, he was 37.2 in 16 games but over his last five starts, the right-hander pitched 17 innings, allowed 11 hits and two earned runs for a 1.06 earned run average.
His earned run average jumped from 2.89 at home to 3.97 on the road.
He needs to work on pitching out of a stretch. Eovaldi was nearly untouchable with no runners on base, giving up a single run over 47.1 innings for an 0.16 ERA. He was 6.24 with runners on and 9.20 with runners in scoring position.
Eovaldi's Tommy John surgery in 2007 didn't rob him of a fast ball that lit up the night at 95 mph when he returned to high school. Despite a strong senior performance, clubs were hesitant about his arm as well as the fact he had a full ride to Texas A & M.
Dodgers Assistant General Manager-Scouting, Logan White, explained his selection by saying "He got a really good arm with a 90-95 mph fastball. We decided it would be better to take a risk than take a lesser player."
He was the Dodgers 11th selection and was sent to the Gulf Coast League where pitching coach Casey Deskins handled him with kid gloves, easing him into professional baseball an inning at a time and working with him on the sidelines to sharper his mechanics.
Although he only pitched eight innings for the Coasties, he was nearly untouchable, allowing a single run on six hits and striking out nine. Moved up to Ogden for his final appearance of the season, he pitched 2.2 innings against Oregon and allowed just a single hit while fanning two. Not bad for an 18-year-old.
Eovaldi held opposing batters to a combined .189 average. His selection this high with such a small set of numbers to work on is based entirely on evaluation of his potential. And the the word around baseball is that the kid had an "electric" arm.
RHP NATHAN EOVALDI
6-3 195 Br Tr
Born- February 13, 1990, Alvin Texas
Obtained- Selected #11 in 2008 draft
team w-l era gm gs sv in h bb so ave
2008 GCLeague 0-1 1.13 6 0 1 8.0 6 3 9 .207
Ogden 0-0 0.00 1 0 0 2.2 1 0 2 .125
2009 GLakes 3-5 3.27 26 16 1 96.1 95 41 71 .265
Totals 3-6 3.03 33 16 2 107.0 102 44 80 .258