Featured Photo – Kevin Malisheski at Ogden. Photo Credit: Kevin Johnson
Kevin Malisheski is a right-handed pitcher in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. His time to shine is now, in 2019. Many fans of the organization may be unfamiliar with this prospect, he was drafted in the 38th round in 2016. Not too flashy, so far not listed as a top prospect. If not for knee surgery, Malisheski would have probably gone much higher in the draft out of high school.
The Raptors host the Chukars tonight for game two of this brief two-game set, looking to bounce back from yesterday’s loss. Here’s Ogden’s lineup, presented by the Rocky Mountain Propane Association! pic.twitter.com/7AlgWtOmzn
— Ogden Raptors (@ogdenraptors) August 30, 2018
In 2017, Malisheski spent his time in the Arizona Rookie League managed by John Shoemaker, and the watchful eye of the Dodgers development and training staff. He threw in 37.2 innings while surrendering 39 hits, striking out 25 and only walking 10 hitters.
2018 in Ogden
The Pioneer League is full of elevation, short fences, and crazy jetstreams that will push pop-ups over and out of stadiums. It is almost as though the entire league plays like Coors Field in Colorado. This is where Kevin Malisheski pitched in 2018. Statistics alone cannot tell the story of Malisheski’s season. He had his struggles, particularly early, but his perseverance and will to get better through the early adversity was impressive. The Raptors righty was very effective during their late-season run and was arguably the teams best starter at that point. When asked about his 2018 season, Malisheski stated, “I struggled a little to start off in the Pioneer League…there’s a lot I learned from it and gained from it.”
Here is what his Manager from Ogden, Jeremy Rodriguez had to say about him, “He is a competitor, he really turned his year around just with his work ethic and his attitude, on and off the field.” Off the field is especially important for a starting pitcher with the time between starts.
2019 and Beyond
Kevin Malisheski should be in Great Lakes to begin the 2019 season. In years past, many successful Dodgers prospects have had early promotions from the Loons up to the next level at High-A. The Midwest League is a much better league from a pitchers perspective, and his ERA should drop down below the 2018 mark. Being from the Midwest himself, the Illinois native should have zero difficulties with the weather. The first month of the season will be frigid, which does not seem to favor the offense, and along with the “heavy-air” the rest of the year, the league can be a pitchers delight. It will be very interesting to see how the former high school star quarterback fairs in this upcoming campaign.