Meade, Odom look to improve Owlz’ efforts on the mound

Pitching coach Zeke Zimmerman, who has been with the Angels organization since 1993, has high hopes for this year’s pitching rotation after the Owlz finished in the middle of the Pioneer League pack last season (fourth, 4.50 ERA)

“We have great scouts that not only recruit good talent, but also good people,” Zimmerman said.

Of the 16 pitchers on the roster, seven are returners, among whom is opening-day starter Aaron Meade, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound lefty. Despite a record of 1-3 last year and a 4.63 ERA, Meade is confident and ready to get the Owlz season started off  right.

Last season Meade allowed 23hits and gave up 12 earned runs while walking 19 and striking out 15. He was limited to 23 innings due to injury, and says that staying healthy and pitching consistently are a few things he wants to work on this year. He got hurt in his last year at Missouri State and again at the beginning of the 2010 season with the Owlz.

Meade’s repotoire starts with a solid fast ball followed by a changeup, and he is looking to develop a slider this season.

The Angles have drafted a good crop of new year pitchers this year, including the 255th overall selection in the 2011 draft, right-hander Logan Odom. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Odom was a star at North Medford High in Medford,OR, and was a member of the Western Nevada College team that finished third at the JUCO World Series in 2009.

Odom went to the Trojans as a junior in 2010 and appeared in 25 games, four of which were starts. For the year, the big righty had a record of 1-0 with a 7.01 ERA in 43 2/3 innings.

As a senior in 2011, Odom started 14 games for USC, pitching one complete game and finishing the season with a 5-6 record and an ERA of 3.96. In 84 innings pitched, he held opposing hitters to a batting average of .234 and allowed 73 hits and 37 earned runs while walking 38 batters and striking out 58.

Probably Odom’s best pitching performance was holding the No.13-ranked UCLA Bruins scoreless over 7 1/3 innings, giving up just four hits in a 2-0 Trojans victory.

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