Last week the Mets signed former major leaguer Adam Loewen to a minor league contract. Loewen broke into the majors originally with the Baltimore Orioles as a pitcher and most recently was an outfielder in the Toronto Blue Jays system. Loewen was a big time pitching prospect with the Orioles before he struggled with his control, similar to Rick Ankiel. Ankiel of course, made a successful comeback as an forth outfielder, with decent power for a player that mostly comes off the bench. I would think the Mets are expecting something similar from Loewen. Hopefully if he is the mold of an Ankiel, he can help the Mets out.
Now the fact that Ankiel and somewhat Loewen, can now hit after not being able to hit as pitchers baffles me. Why is it that pitchers cannot hit? I understand that they don't take batting practice regularly, but if pitchers are such good athletes, which many say they are, then why do 95 percent of pitchers hit less than .200 for their careers? There are some exceptions, but very few. I wonder if being able to hit is psychologically damning to them just because they pitch. Maybe they just believe what their told and thats not to care when batting. I understand how pitching and keeping the other team off the scoreboard is the most important thing, but its crazy how pitchers simply just can't hit. Even pitchers that can drive the ball and hit homeruns cannot get out of their own way at the plate most of the time.
Ankiel and Loewen have spent years in the minors learning how to hit. Their athletic ability has allowed for the transformation to take place. But to me a definition of a true athlete is one that can naturally play any sport. So why does a baseball player who happens to be a pitcher need to train himself for years to be a hitter. Its the same sport, isn't it? The same athlete that could maybe play football or basketball without any transition needs that long to learn another element to the same game that they already play professionally. I just don't get it.