Jack Kochanowicz Shows Impressive Stuff, Work Ethic
Some 17 months after he was selected in the third round of the 2019 draft, Jack Kochanowicz finally pitched in a competitive baseball game, taking the mound for an instructional league appearance in mid October.
The Angels used the fall program, which began on Oct. 2, for the 19-year-old righthander to work on the command of his explosive fastball, the development of his changeup and to get a better mechanical feel for how his 6-foot-6, 220-pound frame works on the mound.
“Getting some game reps will help,” minor league pitching coordinator Buddy Carlyle said. “Just getting comfortable with his body and repeating his delivery, understanding what happens when he throws. Everybody has some things they work on mechanically, but he’s a big kid, and sometimes that can get in the way.”
The Angels have not pursued may prep pitchers in the draft, but they made an exception for Kochanowicz in 2019, signing him for $1.25 million out of Harriton High in the Philadelphia area. He did not pitch for an affiliate after signing and spent most of his draft year working on his strength and conditioning.
The cancellation of the minor league season prevented Kochanowicz from pitching for an affiliate in 2020, but he joined the organization’s alternate training site in Long Beach, Calif., for the final few weeks of the summer, throwing bullpens and a couple of live batting practice sessions.
The lively fastball that sat in the 90-93-mph range and touched 95 when he signed is now touching 97 with good ride and has the potential to be a swing-and-miss pitch.
Kochanowicz generates good spin on his low-80s curveball, which should improve with added strength and velocity, and he has a good feel for an upper-80s changeup with depth. His delivery is athletic and relatively fluid, and he generates plenty of downhill plane with his height and high three-quarters arm slot. And the Angels love his work ethic.
“He’s a hard-nosed kid who wants it bad, and he’ll do anything on the baseball field,” Carlyle said.
“They work hard as it is, but with how everything has played out, they’re so excited to get to work, whether it’s (pitchers fielding practice) drills of pick-offs. But these guys need game reps, innings and experience. Throwing bullpens is a far cry from pitching in games.”