On June 19, we witnessed the emergence of Andrew Heaney, Miami’s number 9 overall pick in the 2012 MLB First Year Player Draft. Heaney is a southpaw from Oklahoma State University, where he was a first team All-American, who has been ranked as the number one left-handed pitching prospect in the game. He did not disappoint in his debut against the Marlins’ division rivals, the New York Mets.
Heaney, 23, started off in the game a little shaky at times, getting into deep counts with the Mets hitters. The first hitter he faced, Eric Young Jr., set the tone early by working his at bat to eight pitches until he legged out an infield single to beat out shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria’s throw. After getting Daniel Murphy to ground out into a double play, David Wright took the rookie deep into center field for a solo home run.
The next two innings for Heaney were quite similar and relatively uneventful as the southpaw exhibited a little nerves in the early goings of the game. However, he got into a rhythm in the latter half of his six frame outing, throwing 31 pitches in the last 3 innings after throwing 60 in the first 3. Heaney ended the night striking out three, walking one, and giving up one earned run, the solo homer to Wright in the first. He picked up the loss in a 1-0 game where the Marlins could not get anything started offensively against the righty pitcher Zack Wheeler
Thoughts: Heaney is not an overpowering pitcher like Jose Fernandez. He throws in the low 90s, and maxed out last night at 94. He wields a wicked slider, which he didn’t seem to have great command of last night. But that is to be expected in a debut. His change up is his third pitch, but it’s not far behind his plus slider as a great knockout pitch. Heaney is more of a crafty type of a pitcher, usually compared to Tom Glavine, and has what scouts call and relish a “repeatable delivery” that helps give Heaney great command of his pitches, and great ability to work either side of the strike zone. Heaney is, as this writer has repeatedly pointed out, no Jose Fernandez. But, if all works out, he can be the bright spot for a Marlins pitching rotation that has been trudging along since Jose Fernandez’s injury, posting an ERA of 4.93. If all works out for the future, we could be looking at a very dangerous 1-2 punch of Jose Fernandez and Andrew Heaney that will keep Miami an NL East contender for years to come.
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