Adam Loewen was once the highest Canadian player drafted in Major League Baseball. He was the number four pick in the 2002 draft and made it to the bigs with the Baltimore Orioles in 2006. He was thought to be a fixture in their rotation for the future. That was as a pitcher.
After two stress fractures to his left elbow, it was too early for Loewen to give up on his baseball dreams. So Loewen went the Rick Ankiel route and reinvented himself as an outfielder. Loewen was one of the Toronto Blue Jays' September call-ups after hitting .311, with 16 home runs and 79 RBI, for the Las Vegas 51s, the Blue Jays’ farm team in the Pacific Coast League.
Pretty impressive for someone whose career was thought to be over.
“Adam’s done a great job,” said Tony LaCava, the Blue Jays’ assistant general manager, who is with the Jays for a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners before he and GM Alex Anthopoulos arrive in Vancouver on Thursday to check out the Jays’ single-A prospects. “It’s very unusual what he’s done — going from major league pitcher to minor league outfielder. He’s another Rick Ankiel. Not many have done it, but he’s really put himself in a good spot. I think he’s certainly on the verge of becoming a viable major league player.”
Granted, he has been hitting minor league pitching and playing in minor league parks, specifically the one in Las Vegas. The people that matter in the Blue Jays organization think Loewen has a future with the team. Maybe a platoon outfielder? Who knows.
Toronto does plan on giving Loewen a few starts to see if he's worth keeping around.