The Rangers announced that they’ve claimed right-hander Kyle Dowdy off waivers from the Mets, bringing their 40-man roster count to a total of 38 players. Dowdy was New York’s selection in the 2018 Rule 5 Draft, meaning he’ll need to stick on Texas’ big league roster or else be exposed to waivers for a second time. If he clears, he’d need to be offered back to the organization from which he was originally selected: the Indians.
Dowdy, 26, posted unsightly results in a combined 124 innings between Double-A and Triple-A last year: a 5.15 ERA with 8.7 K/9 against 3.6 BB/9. However, as Baseball America’s Kyle Glaser examined in depth earlier this spring, Dowdy caught the attention of scouts last season after an enormous velocity jump. Once regarded as a “pitchability” right-hander, with a fastball in the upper 80s and low 90s, Dowdy began working out on a weighted-ball program and altered his arm angle during the 2017-18 offseason. A fastball that previously topped out at 94 mph began sitting in the 94-96 range and even scraped 99 mph on radar guns.
The results weren’t there last season in the minors, and it was a similar tale for Dowdy this spring (seven runs on 15 hits and seven walks with seven strikeouts through 11 1/3 innings), but the rebuilding Rangers will at least take a look at the sudden hard-thrower in hopes of refining his newfound velocity.