CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Future Shock: Tampa Ba... (02/22)
<< Previous Column
BP Unfiltered: To Keep... (02/22)
Next Column >>
BP Unfiltered: Do Prem... (02/23)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Value Pi... (02/23)

February 23, 2011

BP Unfiltered

Prior Fights His Way Back

by John Perrotto

TAMPA—Before Stephen Strasburg, there was Mark Prior.

Prior burst onto the major-league scene with plenty of hype in 2002, one year after the Cubs made him the second overall pick in the draft from the University of Southern California. The excitement might not have matched the level that surrounded Strasburg's arrival with the Nationals last June but it was pretty close.

A year later, in his first full major-league season, Prior went 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA. He finished third in the National League with 7.6 SNLVAR behind only Jason Schmidt (8.1) and Kevin Brown (7.7).

Much has changed since then, though. Prior is now 30 and hoping to resurrect his career as a relief pitcher with the Yankees. He has not pitched in the major leagues since 2006 because of a variety of arm injuries.

However, Prior says he only has excitement over getting a chance to be back in a major-league camp this spring rather than bitterness about having his career torpedoed by injuries.

"It bothered me for a while, it upset me and made me mad, but eventually those feelings went away," Prior said Wednesday as he sat at his locker in the corner of the Yankees' spring training clubhouse following a workout. "You come to realize that that's life. Everyone has problems in their life. There are a lot more people who are a lot worse off than I am."

Prior began reinventing himself as a reliever last year in the independent Golden Baseball League. The Rangers purchased his contract during the final days of the minor-league season and he pitched one scoreless inning for Triple-A Oklahoma.

Prior is a longshot to make the Yankees' Opening Day roster. He will likely begin the season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and try to work his way to the Bronx.

"I'm not going to be a top-of-the-rotation starter who throws 200 innings anymore," Prior said. "My arm just isn't going to allow that to happen. I wouldn't rule out starting, maybe being a No. 4 or No. 5 guy in a rotation, but I think relief is probably where I fit best now. That's fine. I'm just happy to have the chance to be in someone's camp again and getting the opportunity to play."

John Perrotto is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see John's other articles. You can contact John by clicking here

6 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
Premium Article Future Shock: Tampa Ba... (02/22)
<< Previous Column
BP Unfiltered: To Keep... (02/22)
Next Column >>
BP Unfiltered: Do Prem... (02/23)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Value Pi... (02/23)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Live That Fantasy
Premium Article Pitching Backward: Brandon McCarthy and the ...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Bringing the Band Back...
Premium Article Raising Aces: Best and Worst Mechanics: NL W...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Catchin' Relief
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Martin in Miami, Nate ...
Premium Article Transaction Analysis: Padres Wish Upton a St...

MORE FROM FEBRUARY 23, 2011
Premium Article Collateral Damage: To Each According to His ...
Premium Article The BP Broadside: Genius + Zobrist = Maddon
Premium Article Prospectus Hit and Run: The Curious Case of ...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Focus: Center Fielder Rankings
Premium Article Contractual Matters: NL East Payroll Project...
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Value Picks in the Outfield
The BP Wayback Machine: Randomness in Team S...

MORE BY JOHN PERROTTO
2011-02-25 - Premium Article On the Beat: Seeking Starters in Yankees Cam...
2011-02-25 - BP Unfiltered: Bullish on Russell Martin
2011-02-24 - BP Unfiltered: Dealing With Great Expectatio...
2011-02-23 - BP Unfiltered: Prior Fights His Way Back
2011-01-28 - Premium Article On the Beat: Head Tiger's Tail on the Line
2011-01-25 - Premium Article On the Beat: Wedge Issues
2011-01-21 - Premium Article On the Beat: Locking Down King Albert
More...

MORE BP UNFILTERED
2011-02-24 - BP Unfiltered: Dealing With Great Expectatio...
2011-02-24 - BP Unfiltered: Could McClellan Start?
2011-02-23 - BP Unfiltered: Do Premier Pitchers Release W...
2011-02-23 - BP Unfiltered: Prior Fights His Way Back
2011-02-22 - BP Unfiltered: To Keep or Cut Castillo
2011-02-21 - BP Unfiltered: Depth Charts and PFM Open
2011-02-20 - BP Unfiltered: Top Minor League Prospects Co...
More...