Locke at the 2007 New Hampshire Baseball Dinner
|Pittsburgh Pirates – No. 49|
November 20, 1987 |
North Conway, New Hampshire
|Bats: Left||Throws: Left|
|September 10, 2011 for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
(through July 6, 2014)
|Earned run average||3.88|
|Career highlights and awards|
Jeffrey "Jeff" Alan Locke (born November 20, 1987) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball. Locke is 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) and 180 pounds (82 kg).
Locke is the son of Alan and Pam Locke and the grandson of Greta Locke. In June 2006, Locke graduated from A. Crosby Kennett High School. Locke is the all-time leader in wins for Kennett High School. In 2003, his freshman year, he was a New Hampshire State Second-Team All-Star. In 2004, his sophomore year, he was a New Hampshire State First-Team All-Star. In 2005, his junior year, he was the New Hampshire player of the year and a New Hampshire State First-Team All-Star. In 2006, his senior season, he was the New Hampshire player of the year, a New Hampshire State First-Team All-Star, co-captain of the Kennett High baseball team, and he shared the Jack Burns Baseball Award.
The Redstone Rocket
Locke is nicknamed "The Redstone Rocket". In June 2006, The Conway Daily Sun sports editor Lloyd Jones established the nickname because of Locke's fastball, the name of his hometown (Redstone, New Hampshire, a neighborhood within the town of Conway, New Hampshire), and in reference to America's first man in space, Alan Shepard of Derry, New Hampshire, whose Freedom 7 flight was launched by a Redstone rocket.
Locke was the first selection in the second round in the 2006 Atlanta Braves Draft. Locke was assigned to the Gulf Coast Braves (Rookie League) upon signing with the Braves on June 18, 2006. In June 2007 the Atlanta Braves assigned Locke to the Danville Braves in the Advanced Rookie Appalachian League. In November 2007, Baseball America ranked Locke #8 on their Atlanta Braves Top 10 Prospects list. Locke played for the Rome Braves in 2008. In December 2008, Baseball America ranked Locke #7 on their Atlanta Braves Top 10 Prospects list. Locke started the 2009 season with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. On June 3, 2009, the Braves traded Locke to the Pittsburgh Pirates along with Charlie Morton and Gorkys Hernández in exchange for Nate McLouth.
When Locke was acquired, the Pirates assigned him to their Class A Advanced affiliate, the Lynchburg Hillcats. In 2010, the Pirates took control of the Sarasota Reds and moved the team to Bradenton, where the club was renamed the Bradenton Marauders. Locke was assigned to the new team and was the starting pitcher in the team's second-ever game, against the Fort Myers Miracle on April 9, 2010. On July 14, 2010, Locke was promoted to the Pirates' Double A team, the Altoona Curve. In January 2011, Baseball America ranked Locke #8 on their Pittsburgh Pirates Top 10 Prospects list. In 2011, Locke pitched for Altoona and the Indianapolis Indians before being called up to the majors in September 2011. He made his MLB debut on September 10, 2011 against the Florida Marlins which resulted in a loss. He pitched a total of 4 games in 2011 for the Pittsburgh Pirates and went 0-3 with an ERA of 6.48 and 5 strikeouts. In November 2011, Baseball America ranked Locke #10 on their Pittsburgh Pirates Top 10 Prospects list. Locke recorded his first career win on October 1, 2012, giving up one run in six innings against the Atlanta Braves. In 2013 he was selected as an All-Star by San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy. Locke did not pitch in the game due to back stiffness.
Despite making the 2013 All-Star team, Locke was demoted to the Pirates' Double-A affiliate Altoona Curve on August 28. Locke had a 2.15 ERA in his first 18 starts, but then had an 8.10 ERA over his next eight. Locke was also left off the NLDS roster.
Locke has said that he always liked the way Ted Lilly pitched. Locke's style is also very similar, he throws a sinking fastball around 91 mph. He also has a curveball that needs a little work control wise, but can have very good break when he has it going. He also features a change-up which he usually throws down and away to right handed batters. He has a turn in his delivery which makes it very difficult to judge the speed of the pitch. Locke doesn't strike out many batters, but utilizes the Pirates strong defensive infield. Locke does have control issues at times, which contributes to his high BB/9 rate.
- New Hampshire State High School Baseball Second-Team All-Star (2003)
- 3x New Hampshire State High School Baseball First-Team All-Star (2004, 2005, 2006)
- 2x New Hampshire State High School Baseball Player of the Year (2005, 2006)
- Jack Burns Baseball Award (2006, shared with Rob Knox)
- Appalachian League Pitcher of the Week (July 17–23, 2007)
- Appalachian League Post-Season All-Star (2007)
- Baseball America Rookie All-Star (2007)
- Carolina League Pitcher of the Week (April 28 - May 4, 2009)
- Florida State League Mid-Season All-Star (2010)
- Eastern League Mid-Season All-Star (2011)
- MLB All-Star (2013)
- Jones, Lloyd. "Locke dominates again; now third in league in ERA".
- "Jeff Locke wins pro debut". Retrieved 2006-07-15.[dead link]
- "Locke is perfect in 2.1 innings of Major League relief".
- Jones, Lloyd. "Baseball Eagles honored under Burns".
- Jones, Lloyd. "A flock of baseball captains during the Burns years".
- Jones, Lloyd. "The history of Jack Burns".
- Jones, Lloyd. "Locke graces Conway Town Report cover".
- "Redstone Rocket awaits a major league phone call". Retrieved 2006-06-15.[dead link]
- "2006 Atlanta Braves Picks in the MLB June Amateur Draft".
- First Inning : Jeffrey Locke
- "Atlanta Braves Top 10 prospects". November 5, 2007.
- "Atlanta Braves Top 10 prospects". December 15, 2008.
- "Pirates acquire three players from Atlanta in deal for Nate McLouth". June 3, 2009.
- "McLouth expected in Atlanta on Thursday". Retrieved 2009-06-04.
- Lembo, Jason (April 9, 2010). "Marauders score resounding win in debut". The Bradenton Herald.
- Maley, Dennis (July 15, 2010). "Bradenton Marauders' Pitcher Jeff Locke to Get Shot at Double A". The Bradenton Times. Retrieved August 13, 2010.
- "Pittsburgh Pirates Top 10 prospects". January 12, 2011.
- "Pittsburgh Pirates Top 10 prospects". November 21, 2011.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- "Jeff Locke Minor League Baseball".