MIDLAND, Michigan — Right-handed pitcher Nathan Witt is excited to be healthy and performing close to home with the Great Lakes Loons, the Low-A affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers. Witt, who is a native of nearby Clarkston, Michigan really appreciates the support he gets while he pitches for the Loons.
“It’s awesome,” said Witt. “Sitting out last year hurt, and now being home with my family is great. My parents are an hour ten away and my fiance is 40 minutes away, so it’s awesome they can come see me live this experience and do it along with me.”
Witt was drafted by the Dodgers in the 17th round of the 2017 MLB Draft, after a solid sophomore season at Michigan State University that saw the 6’4″, 210-pound righty pitch 22.2 innings to the tune of a 4.37 ERA and 19:8 strikeout ratio.
And his experience with the Loons is going well, as Witt has racked up 13 strikeouts in 10.1 innings pitched. Factor that in with his 1.06 WHIP, and .211 opponent batting average, and it appears that Witt is adjusting to full season ball well. A major contributor to his success is the way he mixes up his mid-90s fastball and slider combo.
“I look at their first swings throughout the game,” explained Witt. “I’ll use my fastball if they’re slow on fastballs. If they’ve done damage, I’ll mix in a slider. If I’m not feeling the fastball, I’ll use the slider. It just depends day by day.”
Witt is also developing a changeup for more options in pro ball. While he doesn’t use it often in game situations, Witt does believe it will become a great pitch in the near future.
“My changeup is developing well, especially saying I didn’t have one in college,” stated Witt. “There are times it’s really good, and there are other times that I just don’t have it. I’m throwing it more in bullpens and catch plays, so it can become a good pitch in the future.”
The Loons are off to a great start in 2018, posting a 16-12 record that is good for second in the Low-A Midwest League’s Eastern Division. Great Lakes has won nine out of their last ten games at the time of this write-up. Be sure to follow Nathan Witt’s progress as he continues to work on his changeup this season with Great Lakes.