Through his first four appearances as a pro, Tom Windle is making the Dodgers look pretty savvy for selecting him with the 56th overall pick in this year's Draft.
Windle gave up two hits and recorded a career-high seven strikeouts over five scoreless innings Friday night in Class A Great Lakes' 10-3 loss to Burlington at Dow Diamond.
"Tonight, I just took the approach to mix all three pitches," said Windle, who throws a fastball, slider and changeup. "At times, I overthrew, but overall I made big pitches when I needed to."
"Anytime you get five shutout innings, that's outstanding. And tonight, [Windle] was just that," Loons manager Razor Shines said. "He moved the ball in and out, up and down, along with a good breaking ball. He had command of all of his pitches. We were real happy with his work tonight."
The five innings and seven strikeouts were career highs for Windle, who totaled five strikeouts through 8 2/3 innings in three appearances. The 21-year-old left-hander also pulled off a rare feat by fanning four batters in the fourth.
"When there were two outs, there was a passed ball on strike three and that just gave me a chance at another [strikeout]," Windle said. "I was just trying to keep a level head and go after the next batter after that happened. I was feeling pretty comfortable throughout the game throwing strikes."
The University of Minnesota product has been trying to absorb as much knowledge as he can.
"I think the biggest adjustment [to pro ball] is to kind of watch the game and learn what the hitters are doing. You need to go out there and pitch, you can't just throw the ball," Windle said. "I've been learning from both coaches and teammates. We're always talking baseball here, whether it's before or during the game. I'm picking up little things like using my legs or maintaining my arm speed."
Windle, who issued one walk, lowered his ERA to 1.32 across 13 2/3 innings.
"I've noticed so far that you can get a lot of guys out with the fastball if you place it well and get ahead in the count," he said.
After just three starts, Windle is hoping to find success the same way he did against Burlington.
"For the rest of the year, I'd say [my goal is to] stay consistent and use all three pitches, keep mixing them in and not just rely on my fastball and slider," he said.
Windle was in line for his first professional win, but four relievers surrendered 10 runs over the final four innings.
One night after he had an eight-game hitting streak snapped, Dodgers No. 3 prospect Corey Seager went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored for Great Lakes.
"Tonight, they kind of mixed it up on me," said Seager, who raised his average to a season-high .303. "I saw of bunch of fastballs early and off-speed stuff later in the game. So I just had to make some adjustments and I had some success."
Andrew Ray drove in two runs, while Chance Ross doubled twice, walked twice and scored twice for the Bees.