By STEVE KRAH
Logan Sowers has made a habit of clobbering baseballs since his days at McCutcheon High School in Lafayette, Ind.
As Indiana Mr. Baseball in 2014, the righty-swinging Sowers slugged 11 home runs while hitting .365 with 30 runs batted in and a .514 on-base percentage.
“I consider myself a power hitter,” says Sowers, 22. “I had pretty good power numbers in college and high school.”
That trend has continued in his first professional season with the Chicago White Sox organization.
Sowers was drafted in the 28th round of 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the White Sox after playing fours seasons at Indiana University (2015-18) and headed to the Short-Season Class-A Pioneer League to play for the Great Falls (Mont.) Voyagers.
“I’m really grateful I was drafted by the White Sox,” says Sowers. “They are first class.
“The coaches are really positive and know a lot about the game of baseball. They understand the grind. They know what we’re going through. They’re good about accommodating us in every way possible.”
Tim Esmay is the Great Falls manager. Eric Richardson, who played for the South Bend (Ind.) Silver Hawks in 1994 and 1995, is the Voyagers hitting coach.
Sowers’ first pro homer came in his fourth game on June 20 against Billings.
Playing in the outfield, Sowers helped Great Falls win the PL North Division in the first half of the split season. Through his first 47 games, he was hitting .318 with seven homers, 11 doubles, 26 RBIs with .411 on-base and .518 slugging averages. He started in center field in the Pioneer/Northwest League All-Star Game.
At 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, Sowers says his power comes from a mixture of size, strength and bat speed.
The dimensions of Centene Stadium in Great Falls is 328 feet down the left field line, 415 to center and 335 down the line in right. Most of his road dingers have been of the opposite-field variety.
“I have long arms and can get great leverage,” says Sowers, who clubbed five of his first seven long balls away from Great Falls. “When I get extended I can hit the ball pretty far.
“Baseball going toward launch angles. But I’m just trying to hit the ball hard.”
Working hard is what was expected by Sowers’ head coach at McCutcheon — Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Famer Jake Burton.
“He taught me work ethic and was a big stickler for showing up on time and behaving yourself outside of baseball,” says Sowers. “Was he old school? You could definitely say that.”
“Playing in high school was when I found my true talent for baseball. I was good growing up. Then I started putting it a lot of time outside of school practices.”
A third baseman on the freshman team in 2011, Sowers was an outfielder on the Mavericks varsity 2012-14.
Logan went to the batting cages with his father, Shawn Sowers, and got regular pointers during his high school and college years from former Purdue University and minor league player Jordan Comadena (who is now bullpen catcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates).
An IHSBCA all-stater who played in the IHSBCA North/South All-Star Series in Richmond in 2014, Sowers was selected in the 31st round of that years’s MLB draft by the San Diego Padres. After weighing his options to go pro out of high school or attend college, he decided to attend Indiana University to play for the Hoosiers and study recreational sport management.
Recruited to IU by Tracy Smith, Sowers was given permission to talk with other schools when Smith left Bloomington, Ind., to become head coach at Arizona State University.
A meeting with incoming head coach Chris Lemonis convinced Sowers to stay committed to Indiana and he played there for four seasons (2015-18), hitting .281 with 37 home runs, 50 doubles, 137 RBIs, a .367 on-base and .480 slugging averages.
“(Lemonis) was big on getting your school work done,” says Sowers. “You’re a student before you’re an athlete.”
Lemonis (now head coach at Mississippi State University) worked with IU’s outfielders and also let his Hoosiers know that time in practice is not good enough to get players to the next level. They had to find time between their studies and team activities to do extra work on their own.
In the summers of 2015 and 2016, Sowers played 38 games in the prestigious Cape Cod Baseball League — first with the Wareham Gatemen and then the Orleans Firebirds.
Sowers completed all his classwork toward his degree and now just needs to complete an internship, which he says he plans to do next baseball off-season.
Great Falls, which takes bus rides of up to four hours for North Division opponents and treks up to 15 hours for South Division clubs, wraps the regular season Sept. 3, followed by the playoffs.
At season’s end, Sowers says he plans to come back to Lafayette for a few days and then head back to Bloomington to train and pursue a part-time job.
Born in Royal Oak, Mich., Logan lived briefly in Indianapolis, but he spent much of his life in Lafayette, where his father is now a project manager in the IT office service management at Purdue University. Shawn and Valerie Sowers have three children — Madison, Logan and Adrienne.
Logan played travel baseball for the Indiana Pony Express, McCutcheon league and Indiana Eagles before one summer with the Indiana Bulls.
Michael McCormick, a pitcher and Brownsburg (Ind.) High School graduate, is also a member of the Great Falls Voyagers.
After Great Falls, the minor league steps on the White Sox ladder are Kannapolis (Low-A), Winston-Salem (High-A), Birmingham (Double-A) and Charlotte (Triple-A).
Logan Sowers, a former McCutcheon High School and Indiana University slugger, is putting up power numbers in his first professional baseball season. (Great Falls Voyagers Photo)
Logan Stevens was Indiana Mr. Baseball at McCutcheon High School in Lafayette and put up power numbers in four seasons at Indiana University. He is now with the Great Falls (Mont.) Voyagers. (Tianna Stevens Photo)
Logan Sowers was named to the Pioneer/Northwest League All-Star Game as a member of the Great Falls (Mont.) Voyagers in the Chicago White Sox system. (Tianna Stevens Photo)
Through 47 games with the 2018 Great Falls (Mont.) Voyagers of the Pioneer League, former McCutcheon High School and Indiana University outfielder Logan Sowers was hitting .318 with seven home runs, 11 doubles and 26 runs batted in. He was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in June. (Tianna Stevens Photo)