Christian McGowan is the Phuture Phillies’ Readers’ #22 Pick.
Christian Hunter McGowan was born in Denison, Texas. His parents are Stephanie and Chris McGowan. His father was a track star at Oklahoma State and an All-American in 1989.
McGowan attended Rock Creek High School in Bokchito, Oklahoma. He was a multi-sport athlete.
2018: I could only find McGowan’s senior season (Maxpreps). He made 11 appearances, 5 starts as a senior. He threw 2 complete games, posted a 4-2 record, and recorded 1 save. He faced 146 batters, had a 1.71 ERA, tossed 32.2 innings with 24 walks and 58 strikeouts.
McGowan was also listed with batting (.513 AVG, 1.000 SLG, .584 OBP, 1.584 OPS, 41 runs, 44 RBI, 11 doubles, 3 triples, 7 HRs, 17 BB, 5 K) and baserunning stats (10 steals, 13 attempts). But no position was listed.
McGowan attended Eastern Oklahoma State (a JUCO). He was committed to Kansas State after his second season, but the pandemic caused roster problems at a lot of D1 schools and McGowan took advantage of an additional year of eligibility at EOS.
2019: McGowan made 15 appearances as a freshman, 14 starts. He went 3-4 with one complete game and a 6.03 ERA. In 62.2 innings, he walked 44 and struck out 59 (8.47 K/9).
2020: In the pandemic-shortened season, McGowan made 6 appearances as a sophomore, all starts. He went 4-0 with 2 complete games and a 3.31 ERA. IN 35.1 innings he walked 14 and struck out 58 (14.77 K/9).
2021: McGowan made 12 appearances, 11 starts in his red-shirt sophomore year. He went 9-0 with one complete game and a 2.55 ERA. In 74.0 innings, he walked 30 and struck out 109 (13.26 K/9). Eastern Oklahoma State were the NJCAA Region 2 champions.
His JUCO career stats were 33 appearances, 31 starts, 16-4 record, 4 complete games, 3.98 ERA, 172.0 innings pitched, 88 walks, and 226 strikeouts (11.83 K/9).
McGowan began his college career with an 86 mph fastball. Three years later, he had an arsenal that included a four-seamer in the upper 90s that reached 99 mph, a two-seamer in the mid 90s, a slider, and a changeup.
He made several preseason liste going into the 2021 season – #1 JUCO Prospect (Prep Baseball), #2 JUCO Prospect (Perfect Game), and #44 College Top 100 Prospects (D1 Baseball).
McGowan committed to Texas Tech.
McGowan was selected by the Phillies in the seventh round (205th pick overall) of the 2021 Amateur Draft.
2021: In typical Phillies fashion and a caution that may have been affected by COVID outbreaks at the Complex, McGowan only threw 5.0 innings as a professional – one with the FCL Phillies and 4.0 in 3 appearances with the Low-A Threshers. So, 4 games, 5.0 innings, 2 hits, 0 earned runs, one walk, 8 strikeouts (he struck out the side in his FCL inning), 18 batters faced, 0.600 WHIP. (His K/9 in the FCL is 27.0.)
It’s a really small sample, but I’m excited to watch McGowan this year. My only worry is that he may start at Jersey Shore.
We are one more year removed from the 2020 shutdown of most of baseball. I expect the Phillies to move away from piggy-backing starting pitchers at some (maybe all?, top three?) of their levels. I also think they might be aggressive with their assignments. So, we may see the really good prospects start forcing their way up the ladder, putting pressure on the players above them. This certainly shouldn’t be a surprise since the system is ranked low by the “experts” and most people I talk to (or commenters I read here) believe our best prospects are at the lower levels.
McGowan falls into this group and is older as a three-year JUCO pitcher. He may blow through Low-A and reach Double-A this season if things go well for him (and the Phillies).