Tommy Loftus’ ascent to highly touted Wiffle Ball pitcher was swift. In 2016, the Ridley Park Wiffle Ball player threw just 4 2/3’s innings in league play and his numbers were far from impressive. Something clicked for him in 2017 or perhaps he was simply given a chance to show off his true talents. Last season in the Ridley Park league, Loftus broke out in a big way striking out 57 batters over 32 1/3 innings during the regular season. He followed that up by pitching his team into the NWLA tournament where he turned a lot of heads by striking out 44 batters over 15 innings of work. In February at the MAW Winter Classic, Loftus continued to shine and rack up the strikeouts against experienced hitters.
He has achieved all of this by almost exclusively throwing a clean ball. Loftus is another pitcher that proves that ball preparation is simply a matter of preference. He has a variety of offerings, the majority of which break away from right-handed batters. At the Winter Classic, he showed off a hard riser, a hard slider, a big bending slider/curve ball, and a more traditional drop pitch. A hitch in his delivery just before he releases the ball makes his already plus velocity play-up even more. Besides for the hitch, his delivery is smooth with a high leg lift and solid follow through. Although he receives the most accolades for his work on the rubber, Loftus has shown in himself to be a solid - if not a little underrated - hitter both in RPWL league play and at the Winter Classic where he picked up a couple of timely hits.
Unfortunately, Loftus’ quick ascent may have been too much, too fast for his arm. Ridley Park announced earlier this offseason that Loftus will not pitch in their league in 2018 as he recovers from what was described as a UCL injury. A UCL injury is never a good thing for a pitcher and raises concerns it may only be fixable via surgery (Tommy John). Loftus appears ready to rehab the injury for now. Hopefully he takes the necessary steps and precautions to get his elbow back to where it needs to be, even if that means a slower-than-ideal recovery process. It would be too bad for a pitcher with his talent and promise to succumb to injury just when his Wiffle playing career was taking off.