Chicago Cubs pitching prospect Luke Hagery – I love calling a 37-year-old lefty a pitching prospect, but he really is! – faced hitters as he looks to come back from 15 years out of organized ball thanks to injuries and the yips and life.
He shared a short clip of him making a batter look very afraid:
At 95 mph, that’s a heck of a lot of movement, and makes for a very nasty pitch. That swing on pitch two … oh man. Moreover, Hagerty says in the comments that that’s his four-seamer, not a two-seamer. I can only presume he goes with the four-seamer, then, because there would simply be too much arm-side run on his two-seamer to command it? Either way, dang, that’s a nasty pitch.
Your one caveat there is that he was not particularly close to hitting his target. You’ll note that his catcher was setting up low and away for both pitches, and the fastball winds up inner third. You can afford to miss a bit when you’ve got velo and movement like that, but if Hagerty is truly going to break out to be a contributor this year for the Cubs, he’ll eventually need to command it a little better than that. (And, hey, maybe he is – that was just a little two-pitch sample of him facing a live hitter for, I suspect, the first time in a very long time. Getting over that hurdle is excellent enough for today.)
For now, you should continue thinking of Hagerty as a prospect – an experienced one, but a prospect all the same. He did not receive a non-roster invitation to Spring Training, so for now, the Cubs are projecting to take it slow with his return.
The video got me looking for some older videos of Hagerty getting to work, because, hey, his story is incredible and it’s fun to check out what he’s doing:
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(T) 97.2mph good session. Kinda Over threw some. Felt a little off. Working on getting in sync at high intensities. I think cutter will work at full distance. Split change just needs to be down. Will look better at full distance. Main focus was throwing it closer to full speed.