Drew Bowser – Pic via Stanford Cardinal Athletics
When Drew Bowser was in high school, he was one of the most sought after physical talents in California. But when Stanford, a major academic player, offered you a scholarship, chances are you’re not going to turn pro despite being captain of a star-studded Harvard Westlake team that contained a certain outfielder that plays for a certain organization in a certain state in a certain city that begins with with a C. Bowser’s going to get his chance to someday be reunited with that high school teammate and the Cubs are betting on Bowser’s immense physical talents.
Age – 21
Bats – Right
Throws – Right
Height – 6-foot-4
Weight – 226 Pounds
From Encino, Harvard-Westlake, Stanford
Drafted in the 20th Round of the MLB Draft
Bowser is still relatively young having just turned 21. But when you start looking at his physicality, there’s not much projection left, it’s a matter of fine-tuning what he can do with a bat in his hands, or a glove on his arm. The Cubs are betting that what’s between his ears will help him figure some things out as well.
As a freshman in 2021, he stepped right in to the lineup and played in 52 games and hit seven home runs and drove in 41. That’s pretty good for a freshman in a top five baseball conference. He also hit .302 with a .361 on base percentage. That’s a pretty good freshman year for anyone in the Pac 12.
Bowser looked to improve on that standing by going to play baseball in the Cape Cod league. It is usually a league filled with sophomores and juniors, but freshman do play there. For Bowser, he struggled mightily in the summer of 2021. He got in 8 games and hit just .194.
That poor showing did not deter Bowser. As a sophomore at Stanford, he hit .293 and hit 18 home runs and drove in 50 in an outstanding season. That power explosion moved him up some draft boards, and it was thought he was trending in the right direction. He went back to the Cape but only played in eight games hitting .136.
So, what we’re seeing with Bowser is why he’s the 20th round pick. He plays well against elite competition in the Pac-12 conference, but struggles in the Cape Cod League. That dichotomy threw some people off, and some scouts were concerned about the so-called Stanford swing, which is geared more towards average than driving the ball. As well, his high strikeout rate was also a concern.
But the swing he had in college is not going to be the swing he will have in the pros.
Bowser’s Junior season saw a lot of production at the plate, but some concerns arose as his batting average dipped to .243. He did, however, hit 14 home runs and drive in 48.
The Cubs are probably going to take him and make some adjustments to that swing to tap into his natural physique. That might involve creating more lift. They’re not going to have to do much on the nutrition and weight side, which frees him up to maintain his physique not necessarily build more muscle.
How fast he catches on will determine where he goes next year. Considering his age and the Cubs wanting to adjust his swing plane, Myrtle Beach might be the place for him. But you never know how guys are going to adjust over the winter. He could take to a new swing like a fish to water. He’s a pretty good athlete and it might not take long for muscle memory to kick in after a few hundred or a few thousand reps in the cage and on tees. And then when you get in front of live pitching, that’s when you’ll know.
It’s not like every pick he Cubs took is a lottery pick in the 2023 draft. They’re taking a lot of chances on guys who have a specific skill set the Cubs feel they can build on to improve.
Bowser is no different.
He’s a physical talent who has shown the ability to hit balls over the fence, something every team needs.
The total 2023 Draft Profile Series
|4||113||SP||Will Sanders||South Carolina|
|7||206||SS||Yahil Melendez||B You Academy (PR)|
|9||266||1B||Jonathon Long||Long Beach State|
|10||296||SP||Luis Martinez-Gomez||Temple College|
|11||326||OF||Zyhir Hope||Colonial Forge HS|
|12||356||2B/OF||Carter Trice||NC State|
|13||386||SP||Sam Armstrong||Old Dominion|
|15||446||SP||Ty Johnson||Ball State|