Take Harrison Cooney (Front Royal 2012), for example. In 2014, Harrison went 9-8, 2.65, with 91 strikeouts in 129 innings in the Midwest League. Solid season, of course. In 2015, he moved up to Inland Empire in the California League. He finished the season 1-15, 6.54, with 104 strikeouts in 136 1/3 innings. Did his game fall apart?
We need to be careful making assumptions. We know that the Cal League is very much a hitter’s league- much more so than the Midwest League- so that may be part of it. Sometimes the parent club can ask a player to work on a specific pitch, or scrap an effective pitch for a period of time. At any rate, less-than-optimal results do not necessarily mean that Harrison’s future is less promising. Because….
Fangraphs still mentioned Cooney in its “quick hits” section, with the following writeup:
RHP Harrison Cooney has a good fastball-slider combo, but he lacks balance in his delivery, and his stride direction dramatically changes the quality of his pitches. Could be a bullpen option if he can clean things up a little.
Not a huge analysis, by any measure, but Harrison still can make progress in his chosen profession!