Just returned from the US after not making it to the championship series of the Pioneer League with the Ogden Raptors, Misja Harcksen has been told by the Dodgers that they will not extend his contract.
In the past three years Misja played in the Arizona League and in the Pioneer League.
In his first year in Arizona, Misja recorded a 4.91 ERA. In 2015 his ERA in Arizona was 1.46. After he was promoted to the Pioneer League, his ERA skyrocketed to 7.71.
In 2016 he split the season between the AZL and the Pioneer League. With the AZL Dodgers his ERA was 3.86 while his numbers rose with the Raptors (a 6.94 ERA).
At first sight these numbers aren’t great and may justify the decision of the Dodgers not to extend his contract. But since both leagues have some special circumstances, the numbers may not reflect the true quality of Misja Harcksen. The dry air of the Arizona League makes fly balls travel further and so does the thinner air in Ogden.
Next to the circumstances of the AZ League and the Pioneer League, Misja was used as a relief pitcher. This year in the Pioneer League he had one bad outing in which he gave up six runs. Because of this outing, his ERA jumped above seven. And when you only pitch one or two innings in each appearance, it takes a long time before your ERA will be down to numbers that are considered good. The bitter thing is that next to this one bad outing his other outings were rather good.
Perhaps his lack of playing time was an omen what was about to come. Misja has announced that he will look for another team to sign him.