October 18, 2012
Scouting the Draft
Uhen Shines on Pro Scout Day
Pro Scout Day at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has been on the calendar of Midwest area scouts for two years now, and it did not disappoint. October 13, 2010, just under two dozen pro scouts attending a joint workout for UW-Milwaukee and UW-Parkside were treated to a pleasant surprise in the form of freshman Josh Uhen (RHP), while simultaneously being reminded just how difficult their job can be at times.
Uhen, an Oshkosh, Wisconsin native, went undrafted in 2010 and reported to UW-Milwaukee to begin his college career. It started with a bang, as Coach Scott Doffek and his staff witnessed a near 5 mph bump in Uhen’s velocity between June and October. At 6-foot-4, 185-pounds, Uhen was always considered a projectable arm with the potential to add velocity as he matured. Few, if any, expected that jump to come so quickly.
Uhen began his mound session on 2010’s Pro Scout Day throwing at a sizable group of scouts with maybe five radar guns out between them (mine being one). By the time he finished his dozen or so pitches, everyone was taking readings on their Stalkers. The freshman was now sitting 91-94 mph with his fastball, up from around 87-89, and had bumped over 80 mph with his slider, which now flashed some hard bite. The excited chuckles were quickly tempered as reality sunk in: this kid had been in the region and available for the taking just four months ago and all thirty organizations had passed on him approximately fifty times each.
The road between that 2010 Pro Scout Day and yesterday’s has been a bumpy one, as Uhen saw his first season with the Panthers cut short by an elbow injury in the spring of 2011. The young righty was shut down and subsequently underwent Tommy John surgery. Uhen was back throwing by the following winter and once again appeared in game action in April 2012. Over the next five months Uhen continued to slowly work back from his surgery, totaling 12.1 innings pitched for UW-Milwaukee and 28.1 innings pitched for the Lakeshore Chinooks of the Northwoods League, a collegiate summer wood bat league.