Ryan Jensen has made a seamless transition from the college ranks to the Northwest League.The Cubs No. 7 prospect struck out five over two innings in his second straight hitless start as Class A Short Season Eugene blanked Spokane, 2-0, on Tuesday night at PK Park.
Ryan Jensen has made a seamless transition from the college ranks to the Northwest League.
The Cubs No. 7 prospect struck out five over two innings in his second straight hitless start as Class A Short Season Eugene blanked Spokane, 2-0, on Tuesday night at PK Park.
Jensen attacked Indians hitters from the outset, striking out the side in the opening inning. He issued a five-pitch walk to Luis Asuncion to start the second and nearly gave up a hit, but left fielder Zac Taylor made a diving backhanded grab near the line to rob Alexander Ovalles of a hit.
"I just saw the ball falling," Jensen recalled. "He made a [heck] of a catch. I threw my hands up in the air when he caught it. I was pumped."
The 27th overall pick in this year's Draft fanned Obie Ricumstrict on three pitches and Scott Kapers on four to wrap up his fourth professional start.
Jensen said he hasn't let his early success get to his head, and as a result, he hasn't deviated from his gameplan.
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"Today felt like a normal game," he said. "I take the pitches that my catcher throws down and I try to execute. I just try to carry on what I did in college that made me successful by throwing strikes and getting ahead of hitters."
As a junior at Fresno State, Jensen was named Mountain West Conference Pitcher of the Year and MVP of the conference tournament. He went 12-1 with 107 strikeouts over 100 innings.
Jensen was the first pitcher from Fresno State to hear his name called in the first five rounds of the Draft in over a decade. Tanner Scheppers and Justin Wilson were selected in 2008 and both made it to The Show as relievers after being collegiate starters.
"We're excited to get him," Cubs senior vice president of player development and amateur scouting Jason McLeod told MLB.com on Draft Day. "Get him into our system and start working him with pitch design and some mechanical things and see where it goes.
"We knew going into that selection (Jensen), when we were going to make it, that it was going to be a surprise. We (Cubs) understand it, but at the same time, we trust in our process."
The right-handed pitcher has noticed some glaring differences in the jump from college to the pros.
"You are definitely on the road more often," Jensen said. "There are certainly more games. I just try to get my body ready and prepare for each start."
The right-hander has given up one hit over six scoreless innings in his last three outings, lowering his ERA to 1.35.
Dan Stokes is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ByDanStokes.