Counting Down Rockies Top 30: No. 22 Ben Bowden
22. Ben Bowden, LHP
Born: 10/21/1994. B-T: L-L. Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 235. Drafted: Vanderbilt, 2016 (2nd round). Signed by: Scott Corman.
Bowden was on a fast track with the Rockies. The closer for Vanderbilt’s College World Series champion in 2014 and runner-up in 2015, he was the 45th player taken in the 2016 draft, given an above-slot $1.6 million bonus. Sent directly to Class A Asheville, where he led the Southern League with 11 holds in 26 appearances, striking out 29 batters in 23 2/3 innings. He, however, was sidelined the entire 2017 season. Helping an elderly lady put her bag into an overhead bin on an airplane he suffered a bulging disc in his back that kept him off the field in 2017. He has that closer mentality, aggressively going after hitters, and a closer fastball, which sits in the 92-95 mile per hour range with late life and a downward plane. It can top out at 97. He shows promise with a changeup that has the tumbling action. He throws a breaking pitch, but needs work on gaining consistency with a pitch that varies between a curveball and slider. As a closer, though, he doesn’t need a full array of pitches, which is why he was initially fast-tracked.