Labourt, who’ll soon reach his 24th birthday, reached the majors briefly for the first time in 2017. That was quite an achievement in and of itself, as he had never pitched above the High-A level entering the season.
Moving to the pen on a full-time basis seemed to unlock some potential for Labourt, who posted intriguing K:BB numbers at High-A and Double-A before ascending to the highest level of the minors. While he recorded a 2.45 ERA in 22 frames at Triple-A, though, he also recorded more walks than strikeouts — a less-than-promising development that continued in his six MLB innings.
With such a mixed bag in 2017, it’s far from clear whether other organizations will decide it’s worth occupying a roster spot to gain control over Labourt. He did show a 93 mph fastball in the majors, but went to his slider on two-thirds of his deliveries in his short time at the game’s highest level. Given the walk tallies and a pedestrian 7.2% swinging-strike rate, it seems quite a lot of refinement is still needed.