Jurriaan Lobbezoo

From BR Bullpen

Jurriaan Lobbezoo

  • Bats Left, Throws Left

Jurriaan Lobbezoo was a top pitcher for the Dutch national team for several years before his career was basically ended by injury before he turned 25.

As a teenager, Lobbezoo helped Indian River Community College make it to the Junior College World Series, where they lost. In 1997, he led Hoofdklasse with a 2.60 ERA for HCAW and won Pitcher of the Year honors. That year, he debuted for the Dutch national team, going 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in the 1997 European Championship. Lobbezoo shone again in 1998, with a league-leading 2.74 ERA; his 130 strikeouts paced the league. He was again the Pitcher of the Year

Lobbezoo was 2-0 with a 2.11 ERA in the 1998 Baseball World Cup as the Dutch ace for a 5-5 squad. He was one of three non-Cubans on the World Cup All-Star team that year, being named the top left-handed pitcher; Yosvani Aragon was the top right-hander.

Jurriaan was less effective in 1999 but still sharp. His 3.90 ERA was third in the league behind Rob Cordemans and Peter Callenbach and his 118 strikeouts tied Callenbach for second behind Patrick Beljaards. In the 1999 European Championship, he allowed only one hit and one walk in 5 scoreless innings, striking out eight. The Dutch team was a miserable 0-7 in the 1999 Intercontinental Cup but the young left-hander put on a valiant show, going 0-1 with a 1.42 ERA, clearly the best of their starters.

The HCAW southpaw had a 2.42 ERA in 2000 as Hoofdklasse had returned to wood bats; he was 8th in the league. He was no longer the team's best hurler as both Patrick de Lange and Dave Draijer had more wins and de Lange had a lower ERA. His 93 strikeouts tied Eelco Jansen for 5th in the circuit. In the 2000 Olympics, he was 1-1 with a 2.70 ERA. He allowed four runs (two earned) in 7 1/3 innings for a 6-4 win over the host Australian national team, which featured former MLB All-Star Dave Nilsson. Ferenc Jongejan saved the win while another big leaguer, Shayne Bennett, took the loss. He only allowed two runs in six innings against the Bronze Medal-winning South Korean national team but lost when the Netherlands failed to mount any offense behind him.

Lobbezoo's Olympic performance drew interest from the United States and he signed with the Minnesota Twins. Unfortunately, just as he was about to get his big break, he injured his shoulder in spring training. He missed all of the 2001 season and never returned to regular duty in either Hoofdklasse or international competition. He never played a game in Organized Baseball due to the shoulder injury.