You remember Shooter Hunt, right? The Twins prospect was drafted 31st overall last season, assigned to E-town (rookie level) and absolutely tore shit up, to the tune of 34 Ks and a 0.47 ERA in 19 innings. Plus, it’s worth noting he walked just 6 batters.
Although Hunt struggled a bit with his control after being promoted to Beloit late last season, most experts were touting him as a guy who’d quickly breeze through the lower level ranks. Including me. I honestly figured he’d start the season out in AA.
Point is, one year ago, the future was bright for Shooter Hunt.
Cut to the present. The reality of today is that it’d be a challenge to think of a more horrendous start than Shooter Hunt’s 2009 campaign. To start with, he began the season with the GCL Twins back in rookie ball, which seemed a dramatic demotion considering his promising ’08.
But now we know why: the kid all of a sudden can’t hit the broad side of a barn from point blank distance. After issuing 19 walks in 14 innings at the GCL, he was strangely promoted to Beloit, where he promptly walked 33 more guys in just 17 innings. He then fell off the map for a few weeks while the team worked to straighten him out. At that point, it was clear Hunt was faced with a bigger challenge than a mild tweak in his mechanics. This problem was upstairs.
After another return to rookie ball and a few shaky starts, Hunt’s career hit a low point yesterday. Here is his line (those with weak stomachs may want to avert your eyes): 0 IP, 0 hits, 6 BBs, 1 HP. That’s seven batters in a row reaching base without having to put a ball in play. Seven batters, zero outs. Oy. They could have sent seven raccoons up to the plate and achieved the same outcome.
I have no idea what on earth has happened to this guy, but his Ankielesque meltdown this season may sadly result in the end of his promising young career. Tough not to feel bad.