JASE BOWEN, CENTER FIELDER
|Born: September 2, 2000
Height: 6′ 1″
Drafted: 11th Round, 334th Overall, 2019
How Acquired: Draft
High School: Toledo Central Catholic HS (OH)
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Bowen was a multi-sport athlete who had a commitment to Michigan State to play both baseball and football. That seemingly made him a tough guy to sign, but he said that his dream was to play in MLB, and he was scouted pretty heavily. Bowen is a fast runner with a strong arm, which gives him the tools to have a good shot to stick in center field. While the Pirates announced him as an outfielder, he also played shortstop in high school. Prep Baseball Report rated him the number 36 shortstop and the number 203 overall prep player in the draft. He hit .527 with eight homers, six triples, and 11 doubles in 2019, while also stealing 29 bases in 31 attempts. Bowen signed for $392,500, which was $267,500 above the slot amount for picks after round ten.
Bowen struggled at the plate in his debut. He actually started off well, with a .775 OPS in July, but slumped badly to .464 in August. He played all three outfield positions, but mostly center. His last dozen games were at second, where he played errorless ball.
The Pirates moved Bowen to low A, where he spent the season. He evidently focused on adding power and generally seemed to be swinging for the fences. He tied for the fifth in the league in home runs, but struck out a lot and didn’t make up for it with walks, as did teammates Sammy Siani and Hudson Head. Bowen’s OPS was a little below league average. He had some sharp ups and downs during the season, with two very good months and two extremely bad ones. His OPS by month, starting in May, was: .857 .728 .489 .867 .464. Bowen hammered LHPs for an OPS of .892, but managed only .641 against RHPs. Like many of the Marauders, he had a huge home/road split, with an OPS that was 250 points higher at home. Bowen started the season playing mostly at second. Eventually, though, Sergio Campana and Jasiah were demoted, and Sammy Siani got hurt, so Bowen played exclusively in center starting in early August. He played well while he was at second. He also did very well as a base stealer.
The Pirates sent Bowen back to Bradenton and he made a lot of progress. A .946 OPS in July earned him a promotion to Greensboro, although he struggled at the higher level. His walk and K rates at Bradenton improved only a little, but he made much better-quality contact. He had a big platoon split, with an OPS of .994 against LHPs and .681 against RHPs. Bowen continued to do a very good job of stealing bases. Defensively, he spent more time in center than anywhere else, but he also got meaningful time in both corners, and at first and second. He committed very few errors.
Bowen does a lot of things well on the field. Hopefully, he’ll make progress with his contact issues at Greensboro in 2023 and continue to move up.