- Full name Kevin Michael Slowey
- Born 05/04/1984 in Conroe, TX
- Profile Ht.: 6'3" / Wt.: 200 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Winthrop
- Debut 06/01/2007
Drafted in the 2nd round (73rd overall) by the Minnesota Twins in 2005 (signed for $490,000).
View Draft ReportFew pitchers had improved their draft stock as much as Slowey, who burst on the scene with a 19-strikeout game as a freshman but didn't emerge as a candidate for the first three rounds until this year. His 11-1, 2.26 season included an opponent average of .171 (which ranked fifth nationally) and just 10 walks in 103 innings. Slowey has always had solid stuff and excellent control that scouts rate at least a 60 on the 20-80 scale; now his stuff has improved as he's become stronger. He's an excellent competitor who challenges hitters with a fastball in the 87-92 mph range that touches a bit higher. He complements it with a solid-average slider, which was his best secondary pitch this year, while his changeup was his best secondary offering in his first two years. He has a knack for missing bats, leading to his 317 strikeouts, a career record at Winthrop. Slowey impresses scouts with his makeup and intelligence on and off the field (he has a 3.96 GPA thanks to one B, in business calculus). Scouts liken his ceiling to that of Cory Lidle or Jeff Suppan, as an innings-eating third or fourth starter.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Slowey finished 2006 with two pressure-packed starts: one in Cuba in the finale of the Americas Olympic qualifier against the host nation, the other with Triple-A Rochester in the International League playoffs. His bullpen blew a lead for him in the former--though Team USA rallied for the victory-- and he won the latter. Slowey resembles Brad Radke for his fastball command, which some scouts rate an 8 on their 2-8 scale. He puts his 88- 92 mph fastball wherever he wants, usually with good life. His delivery is so easy that it creates deception. In the high Class A Florida State League all-star game, Slowey threw nine straight fastballs to strike out the side, and only one drew a swing. His moxie makes his tools play up. He throws 90 percent fastballs with average velocity, and it's hard to see Slowey succeeding in the majors with that approach. He saw the benefits of pitching backward-- throwing secondary pitches in fastball counts, and vice-versa--against Cuba, when he gave up only one run in five innings. His changeup is ahead of his slurvy breaking ball at this point, but both need more work. Slowey could use some Triple-A time, but he's also so polished, it would be no surprise if he won a roster spot in spring training. If he learns to use his secondary pitches effectively, his command could make him a frontline starter.
Brad Radke has made a nice career out of locating an average fastball and outsmarting hitters with a devastating changeup. The Twins are hoping Slowey might follow that same path. He signed for $490,000 as a 2005 second-round pick out of Winthrop, where he first put himself on the map with a 19-strikeout game as a freshman. Last spring, he went 11-1, 2.26 and led NCAA Division I in strikeout-walk ratio (134-13 in 136 innings) and fewest walks per nine innings (0.86). Slowey wasted no time in climbing aboard the Twins' fast track, moving into the low Class A rotation and coming within one out of a no-hitter in August. He has the best command in the system and had a better K-BB ratio as a pro (84-8 in 72 innings) than he did in college. Slowey's fastball sits at 87-89 mph and touches 92 mph, but it could add another tick or two as he fills out a wiry frame. He hides the ball well, and that deception adds to the late movement his fastball shows naturally. His slider is solid-average and he made real progress with his changeup during instructional league. He also showed durability despite tossing 208 innings overall, including college. His next step is high Class A, though if the Twins have a logjam of starting candidates at Fort Myers, they could push Slowey to Double-A.
Minor League Top Prospects
Slowey may have the best command in the minor leagues. He locates his stuff equally well to all four quadrants of the strike zone, and he walked just 18 batters in 20 IL starts. He was the league's pitcher of the year and ERA champion (1.89). He lives and dies with his fastball, which he cuts, runs and sinks at velocities ranging from 88-92 mph. If Slowey gets calls on the edges of the plate, he's very tough to hit because he'll keep hitting that spot. Major league umpires weren't willing to give a rookie the benefit of those calls, so he posted a 4.73 ERA and surrendered 16 homers in 67 innings with Minnesota. While his command is outstanding, Slowey's changeup and slider rate as below- to fringe-average. His ceiling is as a No. 4 starter.
When scouts talk about high Class A players, it's not uncommon for them to grade a player's raw tools, such as speed or fastball, at 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale. It's rare for them to give a pitcher present 70 command, however. Slowey is the exception to the rule. He has the ability to pinpoint his pitches in the strike zone, and his location compares with many major leaguers. He was the FSL's most dominant pitcher during his three months in Fort Myers, compiling a 1.01 ERA and 99-9 K-BB ratio. "He was Picasso," Clearwater manager Greg Legg said. "He threw the ball exactly where he wanted every pitch, painting the corners." Slowey's stuff won't overwhelm hitters, as he uses an 89-90 mph fastball with late movement, a slurvy breaking ball and a changeup. Only his fastball grades out as a pure plus pitch, and that's because of its life. But his feel for pitching makes all of his pitches play up significantly, and he had no trouble adjusting to Double-A following his promotion.
Top 100 Rankings
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Pitching Prospect in the International League in 2007
- Rated Best Control in the International League in 2007
- Rated Best Control in the Minnesota Twins in 2007
- Rated Best Control in the Florida State League in 2006
- Rated Best Control in the Minnesota Twins in 2006