Former Appalachian State standout, Kaleb Bowman, found himself undrafted upon graduation and made the decision to travel the world and play baseball. This journey landed him in Canada that very same summer after graduating, playing in a five-team semi-professional men’s league in New Brunswick. After that season, Kaleb hopped on a plane to play winter ball for Surfers Paradise Baseball Club on the beautiful gold coast of Australia. After back-to-back very successful seasons overseas —including a single-season strikeout record in Australia— Kaleb took the summer of 2020 off along with the 2020-2021 winter. It was during this time that Kaleb worked hard at taking his game to a new level, eventually signing with the Regensburg Legionäre, a premiere club in Germany that has produced the likes of Max Kepler and Donald Lutz.

Kaleb’s hard work paid off as he was named the German Bundesliga “Pitcher of the Year” in 2021 and 2022 in his two seasons with Regensburg and the league MVP & Triple Crown (Pitching) winner in 2022. Kaleb leveraged this success, and his Twitter account, to get noticed by the Gastonia Honey Hunters of the Atlantic League, the team with which he signed and finished the 2022 season.

The success didn’t stop there.

Kaleb picked up where he left off, despite pitching against many players with MLB experience. In his 10 innings of relief with the Honey Hunters, Kaleb struck out 11 and produced a stingy era of 0.90. This didn’t go unnoticed and led to his first-ever MLB contract, signing with the Milwaukee Brewers to play the 2023 season.

In the BBJO Podcast episode below, Kaleb dives into his unusual path to the minor leagues including his off-season program and how he took his game to a new level. He also shares how he utilized Twitter to get noticed by pro scouts. A strong theme throughout this episode is Kaleb’s strong mental approach to his career, with an open mind towards overseas baseball while still grinding towards his MLB dream.

2023 UPDATE:

“Spring training (with the Brewers) went great,” said Bowman on April 5th, 2023. “I got to go out early, so I was there for 6 weeks. About 40 minor leaguers arrived when the big leaguers did and got the extra spring training. Including practicing with the big leaguers and getting to pick their brains some.”
Kaleb was fortunate enough to back up 10 of the big league games.
“Sure enough, my first-ever affiliate appearance was in a big league (spring) game!”
Kaleb came in with a man on 3rd and two outs, facing the Guardians’ #6 prospect Bryan Rocchio. He threw 3 pitches for 3 strikes and a strikeout.
With about 3 weeks left, the rest of the minor league players came and they continued to scrimmage, play other affiliates, and practice daily.
“It was just an awesome experience that I was told by many different people to just soak it all in, and I sure did that.”

 

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