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Lynn English graduate Ben Bowden has taken the next step in his baseball career after getting drafted in the second round of the MLB Draft by the Colorado Rockies out of Vanderbilt University last weekend.
By KATIE MORRISON
It’s been a whirlwind few days for Lynn English graduate Ben Bowden. He was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the second round (45th pick overall) in the MLB Draft last Thursday night, after finishing his junior year at Vanderbilt University with a 2-1 record with a 3.51 ERA.
Bowden hopped on a plane en route for Colorado Tuesday morning, and it’s now just a matter of time before he inks a deal with the Rockies.
Ben’s mother, Stephanie Bowden, says that the plan was for Ben to attend Tuesday’s Rockies-Yankees game at Coors Field. He and other draftees still needed to go through physicals, and once the results are in, Bowden will sign the contract that’s been prepared by the Rockies and reviewed by Bowden’s agent, and his father, Larry.
Stephanie Bowden added that the Rockies have plans to send her son to Asheville, N.C. either Wednesday night or Thursday morning, where he’ll join the Single-A Asheville Tourists.
Bowden, who has been a big part of the Vanderbilt pitching staff for the past three seasons, was on “pins and needles” on draft night, according to his mom. But since then, he’s taken everything in stride.
“After the draft, he just wanted to relax, play Playstation and see friends,” Bowden’s mother said, following the announcement Thursday during which he was surrounded by friends and family on the North Shore. “He’s never once said anything like ‘hey, I’m a Major League Baseball player. He’s very humble.”
Life at Vanderbilt has prepared Bowden well for his new gig. Stephanie said that Monday night, as he was preparing to fly to Colorado, he was “cool as a cucumber.”
She credits Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin with preparing his athletes for success after college, and is confident that Ben’s time as a Commodore will serve him well as he embarks on a new journey.
“(Vanderbilt) is all about developing the student and the athlete, but also the person,” said Stephanie. “They teach them how to behave, to respect themselves and respect others.”
Bowden split time between the bullpen and the rotation in his three years with the Commodores. The former Massachusetts Gatorade High School Player of the Year spent the bulk of his time pitching in closer’s role for Vanderbilt in 2016, but it’s still up in the air whether the Rockies will keep Bowden in the ‘pen, or transition him back to the rotation.
Bowden’s stock rose dramatically after last summer when he allowed just one run and struck out 43 in 30 innings in the Cape Cod Baseball League.
Sportswriter Peter Gammons gave Jon Lester as a comparison for Bowden on MLB Network on draft night, and raved about his abilities, especially his swing-and-miss fastball.
“He’ll probably start in the bullpen, but if they give him a chance to go and start for two years, his offspeed pitches will develop,” Gammons said on MLB Network. “He’s so strong, he could easily be a starter, and he’s a highly intelligent guy.”