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Jeff Locke – Atlanta Braves LHP

H/W:  6-2  180 lb.     B/T:  L/L     DOB:  11/20/87

After a sterling 2007 debut, Jeff Locke's 2008 campaign left much to be desired.  Pitching the entire season at full season Low-A Rome, Locke compiled a 5-12 record with a 4.06 ERA and 38 BB/113 K's in 139.2 IP.  His low 90's fastball has excellent movement and late life down in the zone which helps him to force ground ball outs (1.59 GO/FO) and limit home runs.  Complimenting the fastball is a power curveball and fading changeup.  Both of these pitches have the potential to be plus offerings and Locke has a good feel commanding them in the strike zone.  Locke has a competitive demeanor and is not afraid to challenge hitters with his stuff.  There are some mechanical glitches in his delivery and some refining that must be done with some of the game's more subtle nuances, but the Braves organization remains quite optimistic that the 21 year old southpaw will be able to address these successfully in the ensuing seasons.

2009 Projection: So which version of Locke do we buy into?  The 2007 model that dominated hitters at short season Danville or the 2008 Rome model that struggled at times with his consistency?  Judging from his pure stuff and command numbers, it seems reasonable that he will rebound to put up solid numbers at High-A Myrtle Beach.  Watch to see if his strikeout totals increase this coming year, as they were down by more than 3 per 9 innings.  His ability to dominate hitters with his stuff will give an indicator of whether he fits the bill as a top of the rotation starter or mid-rotation inning eater.

Key Jeff Locke Baseball Cards:

  • 2007 Bowman Chrome Prospects
  • 2007 Bowman Heritage Auto
  • 2008 Bowman Sterling Auto

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Posted in Atlanta Braves, Baseball ProspectsComments Off