Minor League Prospect Notes: Charlie Lowell, Michael Tonkin
**Miami Marlins southpaw prospect Charlie Lowell had another great game for Low-A Greensboro last night, throwing seven hitless innings, fanning nine with one walk. Over his last four starts, he has a 1.64 ERA in 22 innings, with a 32/7 K/BB and just nine hits allowed. On the season he is 5-4 in 18 starts with a 106/46 K/BB in 91 innings with just 65 hits. Note the excellent K/IP and H/IP ratios.
I mentioned Lowell a few days ago, noting that some recent mechanical tweaks had sharpened his command. This Baseball America piece goes into more detail discussing Lowell's improvement, noting better pitch selection and a faster tempo as additional factors in his recent performance surge.
**Minnesota Twins prospect Michael Tonkin picked up his third save last night for High-A Fort Myers. In 15.2 innings since being promoted from Low-A Beloit, Tonkin has a 2.87 ERA with a 20/8 K/BB and 11 hits allowed. He had a 1.38 ERA with a 53/9 K/BB in 39 innings before moving up, so the promotion was certainly warranted.
The 6-7, 220 pound right-hander uses a 92-94 MPH fastball and a nasty slider, and is overpowering when his command is on. It took him three years to get out of Low-A, but he's made large strides with his command this season at age 22. He was a 30th round pick in 2008 from high school in Palmdale, California.