Spotlight on Mark Holliman (Player Page) – This is one of my favorite Cub prospects and I’m not sure why. I tend to favor pitching prospects over hitting prospects, so that has to have something to do with it. Holliman is also a college guy, which is also something I tend to favor. High School players, especially pitchers just tend to be a lot more risky. Holliman is a 3rd round pick from 2005 out of the University of Mississippi. He didn’t get a chance to pitch in ’05, probably due to the college workload and a late contract signing, but he spent 2006 with High-A Daytona. He was average down there, but received a promotion for this season due to his age (23). He’s responded well with an ERA very close to being under 3.00. He’s cut down his walks a tad, but has seen his strikeouts drop as well. He’s not been dominating hitters, but he’s getting the job done. What has impressed me the most this season is his ability to be efficient with his pitches. He’s been able to get into the 7th, 8th, and even 9th inning fairly regularly, which is something that can’t be said of highly touted, Donald Veal. He’s probably not going to be better than a lower end of the rotation starter if he can’t begin to overpower the lesser competition, but for some reason I’m a big fan of his. I’m excited about seing him pitch next month when they come to Carolina.
John Sickels had the following to say about Holliman in his prospect book (buy the book)
Mark Holliman was drafted in the third round in 2005, out of the University of Mississippi. He made his pro debut last spring and pitched OK in the Florida State League, although he wasn’t spectacular. Working with a 90-92 MPH fastball, slider, curveball, and changeup, he has a four-pitch arsenal and tries to keep people off-balance by mixing his pitches at all points in the count. He is not overpowering, and when he makes a mistake high in the zone he can be hit hard. His ratios for Daytona were a mixed bag. He needs to improve his command within the strike zone at higher levels. Grade C</blockquote
News and Notes
Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus released his minor league positional rankings for second base on Thursday. Our own Eric Patterson made the list at number 3.
3. Eric Patterson, Cubs
Hitting: .302/.364/.489 atTriple-A (99 G)Patterson is such a different player than his older brother. Corey far surpasses him in terms of athleticism and tools, but Eric is much more of a baseball player, armed with sound instincts and a good approach. He√≠s also no slouch tools-wise, though, with above-average speed and enough juice in his bat to slug 12-18 home runs annually. He deserves a shot at the Cubs’ job in 2008, but the parent club is loaded with veteran infielders, which leaves Patterson with no obvious opening unless one is created for him. (Source)
Tracked Players Results
AAA – Iowa 6, Salt Lake 1 AA – Tennessee 9, West Tenn 7 High-A – Daytona 9, Jupiter 1 A – Peoria 6, Dayton 5 Short Season – Boise 3, Vancouver 7 Arizona Rookie – Cubs 4, Athletics 7View the full organizational report from First Inning
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