Originally posted on 22gigantes  |  Last updated 12/1/11

Lofgren is now taking the Rick Ankiel path to the majors.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, Giants minor league pitcher Chuck Lofgren will be stepping up to the plate again. The former national pitching prospect will make the switch from pitcher to hitter.

Lofgren has spent the past seven years in the minors.

The left-hander pitched at three levels in the Giants’ system last season — San Jose (Single-A), Richmond (Double-A) and Fresno (Triple-A) — and went 5-3 with a 4.31 ERA, 1.450 WHIP, 6.8 SO/9 rate, and 5.2 BB/9 rate.

Born in Redwood City, Lofgren was a fourth-round draft pick by the Indians in 2004, was scooped up by the Brewers in the 2009 Rule 5 draft, then signed as a minor league free agent with the Giants’ organization in 2010.

Lofgren was the 54th-highest rated prospect in the country by Baseball America prior to the 2007 season.

He has struggled with his command throughout his professional career, which might explain why the Giants want to try him out at first base or the outfield.

That, and he’s a pretty damn good hitter.

Lofgren was a two-way player at Junipero Serra High School in Burlingame, and at the age of 15, was selected to play on the USA Baseball team, which won the gold medal. Lofgren went on to play for the USA baseball team again the following two years. He was named to the AFLAC All-American High School Baseball Classic in 2003.

When he was drafted by the Tribe in ’04, Lofgren’s contract allowed him to pitch and hit. However, a home plate collision quickly ended his hitting career as the Indians did not want their star pitching prospect getting hurt.

Now, at the age of 25, Lofgren is stepping up to the plate again.

“(Giants vice president) Bobby Evans told me he liked my swing and that he wanted to work with me,” Lofgren told the Mercury. “I’m excited. I can’t wait.”

Hey, it worked for Rick Ankiel. And Lord knows, the Giants need bats, so this will be fun to watch.

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