One of Lynn's finest baseball exports in recent years, current Vanderbilt lefthanded reliever Ben Bowden, was taken in the second round of tonight's Major League Baseball Draft (45th overall), by the Colorado Rockies.
Bowden, who recently finished his junior season at Vanderbilt, went 2-1 with a 3.51 ERA while being used largely out of the closer’s role. The hard throwing left-hander saved 10 games for the Commodores, striking out 65 hitters in 48.2 innings.
The Lynn English High product was part of a Commodores team that won the 2014 College World Series against the University of Virginia, appearing in the first game of the best-of-three series and wiggling out of a seventh-inning jam.
Equipped with a low-90's fastball that shows plenty of late life at times, along with a plus slider and plus changeup, some feel the 6-foot-4, 235-pound Bowden could make an impact rather quickly as a pro.
“He’s gotten better and better each year,” one American League scout told ESPNBoston.com. “He’s got a good fastball plane and some solid off-speed stuff. His changeup gives him a chance to get to the big leagues quickly.”
As a senior at Lynn English High School in 2013, Bowden was named Massachusetts' Gatorade Player of the Year after posting a 4-2 record with a 0.67 ERA, striking out 84 batters in 52 innings while scattering just 29 hits. In his junior season with the Bulldogs in 2012, he made waves across the region after throwing a perfect game in a win over Marblehead in what was just his first start of the spring. Bowden was also a two-time ESPNBoston All-State selection.
Bowden is the latest in a growing line of Bay State products to be come off the draft board early out of the Vanderbilt juggernaut, a tradition that most notably includes Auburn native Tyler Beede (2014, San Francisco Giants, 14th overall), former Lincoln-Sudbury fireballer Adam Ravenelle (2014, Detroit Tigers, fourth round) and former BB&N outfielder and Gatorade Player of the Year Rhett Wiseman (2015, Washington Nationals, third round).