OTTAWA- Adam Loewen (Surrey, BC) is back in the big-leagues, this time however, he is a position player with the Toronto Blue Jays.
After becoming the highest Canadian ever selected in the MLB Draft (4th overall by the Baltimore Orioles in 2002), Loewen made his MLB debut in 2006 as a left-handed pitcher and spent three injury riddled seasons as a part of the Orioles rotation. In 2008, after a stress fracture in Loewen’s elbow, he decided to end his career as a pitcher and attempt a comeback to the big league’s as an outfielder. Enter the Toronto Blue Jays and then Assistant GM Alex Anthopoulos who decided to take a chance and sign the former slugger with Canada’s Junior National Team.
In 2002, Loewen’s draft year, he was not only an elite level pitching prospect, but also a power hitting outfielder/first baseman that had arguably one of the best bats in the draft. Loewen was given the Top Hitter award at the 2002 World Junior Championship in Sherbrooke, QC with an incredible .737 batting average. The only issue now was - could Loewen regain his hitting form after concentrating solely on pitching for the past five seasons?
Starting in the Florida State League in 2009, Loewen began his journey in Dunedin at the High-A level and played for Canada at the World Cup in Europe before finishing the season in the Hawaiian Winter League. The goal for Loewen and the Blue Jays was not necessarily putting up big offensive numbers, but getting a lot of at-bats so that he could get his timing back after so many years of not hitting a baseball.
Making the move to the Double-A level in 2010 with New Hampshire, Loewen began to show signs of his true potential as he belted 13 homers and 70 RBI which was good enough to be named an Eastern League All-Star. He finished the season by again donning the red and white for Canada at the Pan Am/World Cup Qualifier in Puerto Rico and followed that up with a stint in the Arizona Fall League.
This season, Loewen made the jump to Triple-A and quickly established himself among the elite hitters in the Pacific Coast League as a member of the Las Vegas 51’s. Loewen finished the season with a .306 batting average, 17 homers and 85 RBI which left the Jays no choice but to give him a shot in the big league’s as a September call-up.
The 27 year-old will now look to impress the Jays brass and prove that he belongs in the big leagues on a permanent basis. Loewen is no stranger to meeting challenges head-on and coming out on top as Canadian baseball fans fondly remember the inaugural 2006 World Baseball Classic, where a 21 year-old Loewen stymied the powerful US squad as Canada shocked the world in a game known as ‘The Miracle on Dirt’.
Against all odds, Loewen is back in the big leagues and chomping at the bit to prove that he’s there to stay.