A provider of effective and deceptive left-handed relief since joining the Shorebirds in June, Donnie Hart has continued to put up some good numbers in his pro career and could put himself on the map as more than organizational filler with continued success.
A prototypical one-inning guy, Donnie has a deceptive 0-2 record, with both losses coming within a four-day span in June in extra-inning appearances. But over the last six weeks, Donnie’s season ERA has been whittled away to its current 2.70 because Hart’s on a roll where he’s allowed just 3 runs in 17 1/3 innings – since July 1, that stretch includes a puny batting average against of .131 (8-for-61) and 20 strikeouts vs. 5 walks. The seasonal WHIP of 1.07 is pretty good, but in the same July-August time frame it’s a microscopic 0.75.
Add that on top of a rookie professional season in Aberdeen when he put up comparable numbers (3-1 with a 2.25 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 24 innings pitched over 19 appearances) and he looks more like a LOOGY prospect than a 27th pick out of Texas State last year. Granted, the Texas native will turn 24 in September so Donnie’s older than league average, but the numbers are such that he deserves a promotion to see if he can get left-handers out at the next level like the sidewinder does here. (Lefties hit just .176 off Hart.) Nor does it hurt that he has a 25/7 K/BB ratio for the season (and 51/14 for his pro career, in 47 1/3 innings.)
It was a rough start to Hart’s second pro season, but it looks like he’s on track to put up good numbers in the remaining half-dozen or do appearances he should get this season. The next step for him would be advancement to Frederick next April to see if his stuff will carry over the full 140 games.