Saturday, October 19, 2013

Player's Ink: Jason Hursh

2013 Leaf Draft #BA-JH1 Auto Purple (Serial #13/50)

Atlanta took Jason Hursh with their first pick (31st overall, as compensation for losing Michael Bourn) in the 2013 draft. Hursh wasn't expected to go so high after having struggled during the second half of his final season at Oklahoma State, but Atlanta couldn't pass up on adding another power-arm to its system. The righty had also missed the 2012 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Atlanta hopes that Hursh will follow in the footsteps of fellow highly-drafted collegiate pitchers Mike Minor and Alex Wood-both of whom were on the fast track once drafted, and Baseball America ranks him as the organization's player from the Class of 2013 who is closest to the majors.

Signature Pitch:  Heavy fastball which induces a good share of groundballs, sits 92-94 and touches high 90s, and tails away from right-handed batters (in on lefties). Baseball American ranked it as one of the "most devastating pitches in the [2013] draft."

Opinions vary on the rest of his repertoire- although most agree that his success will depend on how well he can develop his second and third pitches. Some see him as a middle-of-the-order starter, while others see him as a power arm in the bullpen.

When in Rome...
The Braves played it safe with Hursh in his pro debut- limiting his innings to only 27 over 9 starts in Rome before shutting him down toward the end of the regular season. Jason allowed only two earned runs while striking out fifteen and walking ten. In fact, the 6'1 righty didn't allow a run in his first 18 innings (which came during his seventh start). 

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