Left-handed pitcher John Rooney is making the most out of his second season with the Great Lakes Loons, the Low-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Rooney joined the club briefly last season after being drafted in the third round of the 2018 Major League Baseball Draft, and his experience gave the prospect a taste of what playing in the Midwest League is like on a daily basis.
“Playing in Great Lakes is awesome,” stated Rooney. “The fans are awesome, the facilities are great, and you have everything you need, so it has been really nice coming back and just chilling out with a great coaching staff and teammates.”
And Rooney has done a lot since returning to Great Lakes, as the lefty has logged 27 innings, where he has racked up 28 Ks, while maintaining a WHIP of 1.33 after six starts.
Rooney is finding success on the mound this season thanks to the increased feel he has for his slider and changeup. “In the offseason I tweaked and made adjustments to my slider and changeup,” explained Rooney. “The adjustments I’ve made has helped me a lot, especially with my slider.”
Another thing that is helping Rooney in pro ball is the advanced tools available in the professional game to evaluate one’s pitches on the mound.
“There’s a lot of analytical things they look at in pro ball,” said Rooney. “They use Edgertronic information and video. That was definitely a big learning curve for me having that side of the game, because the game is changing.”
While the Edgertronic information is all new to Rooney, he has definitely found that tool useful. “With the Edgertronic information, I’m able to see how the ball leaves my fingers, and get a moving profile of the pitch,” explained Rooney. “Honestly, just everything about it is helpful.”
The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Rooney has posted a 3-1 record with a 3.00 ERA in six starts with Great Lakes this season. The Hofstra University product is holding opposing hitters to a .247 average. MLB Pipeline ranks Rooney at 23rd on the list of the top 30 prospects in the Dodgers system.
In his final season at the NCAA level, the 22-year-old ranked second in all of Division I ball in ERA (1.23), and led the country in fewest hits allowed per nine innings (4.8). All of the information he’s receiving since jumping up to the pro ranks should continue to help John Rooney moving forward.