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MLB Rookie Profile: Adam Kolarek, LHP, Tampa Bay Rays

Rookie lefty Adam Kolarek arrives in the majors with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Tampa Bay Rays v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Today the Tampa Bay Rays promoted rookie left-handed pitcher Adam Kolarek to the major league roster. He’s not exactly a well-known prospect so let’s take a quick look.

Adam Kolarek was originally drafted by the New York Mets in the 11th round in 2010 from the University of Maryland. He was not an especially effective pitcher in college, posting a 5.03 ERA in 111 innings over three seasons, but he was better in the minors, notably in 2013 when he posted a 1.71 ERA in 63 innings in Double-A.

2014 was much worse however (6.07) and he stalled out in the Mets system. He signed with the Baltimore Orioles as a free agent for 2016, but was claimed by the Rays in the minor league portion of the 2015 Rule 5 draft. He was solid in Double-A and Triple-A last year, then the Atlanta Braves picked him up as a free agent last winter. He was released in spring training and re-signed with the Rays.

Kolarek has been excellent with Triple-A Durham, posting a 1.36 ERA in 33 innings with a 29/12 K/BB and a stunning 7.25 GO/AO ratio. He’s always picked up a lot of grounders, with a 1.72 GO/AO over his whole career, but this year it has been extreme.

He is listed at 6-3, 205, a left-handed hitter and thrower born January 14th, 1989. He works the lower part of the strike zone with a low-90s sinker, a slider, and the occasional change-up. He’s pretty tough on lefties when his command is on and could be a good LOOGY.