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Prospects League: Holm Leads Them All, Marlowe & Stevens Punching Power Duo

 

 

Looking at the entire summer league system from one end to the other, the Chillicothe Paints is one of the most dominating teams. Residing in the East Division of the Prospects League, their 17-5 record shows a clear superiority going into the end of the first half of the summer. The Paints feature a player that may also be one of the best individual hitters in the entire summer league system. It’s a complicated statement, but his numbers are what bring me to this conclusion. After 85 at bats, which is the most in the league, Jeff Holm is untouchable in batting average (.447), runs scored (30), hits (38), doubles (10), homeruns (6), RBI’s (31), stolen bases (24), on base percentage (.564), and slugging percentage (.800). There aren’t many hitters who are that complete anywhere in the country so far this summer. Holm is a junior who spent this past spring at Michigan State, and at 6’2 210lbs, the infielder/pitcher is cracking different levels of frequencies in the atmosphere. Holm hit .350 in 206 at bats as he played in every single game at Michigan State. Holm had the 2nd most runs scored on the team (54), he led his team with 21 doubles, 5 triples, 50 RBI’s, 29 walks, the fewest walks amongst starters (15), and the most stolen bases (23). It’s hard to imagine a first baseman, who’s a cleanup guy, lead any league in all of those categories, and especially for a team that finished in 7th place in the Big Ten with a record of 11-13. In his last two games this summer, Holm went 6 for 10, with 4 runs scored, 3 doubles, and a pair of RBI’s.

Right behind the Paints are the West Virginia Miners and right hander Chris Marlowe. Marlowe’s control over hitters is clear in their minuscule batting average against him (.155). Marlowe’s record is 0-1 after 3 games, but his 21 innings, 35 strikeouts, 1.29, 5 saves and 1 complete game displays a picture of sheer brilliance for such a young pitcher. This past spring Marlowe pitched for Navarro Community College as a sophomore and was extraordinary. He posted a record of 4-2, 2.94, with conference leading 61 strikeouts in 31.2 innings of work. An odd loss came to Marlowe in his latest game against the Butler Blue Sox. He pitched an 8 inning gem where he only scattered 4 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, and struck out a massive 16 batters. Marlowe still registered the 0-1 loss due to a lack of run support. Although nothing is ever perfect, some problems are great to have. Marlowe was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays this June in the 21st round, and he has to decide before August 14th whether to sign a professional contract or opt for playing in college. These problems can be described as advantageous, but it can’t be called easy. Whichever way his mind organizes this, he’ll be playing baseball somewhere, and if he goes to college, we’ll be hearing about Marlowe again come next years MLB draft.

 

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Another pitcher showing some plus power in the Prospects League is Chase Stevens. Stevens pitches for the Springfield Sliders. Although he is rather short (5’10) for the vibratory power he’s pumping thus far, Stevens leads the league in strikeouts (38) after only 29 innings. He has an ERA of 0.93, with a complete game and a shutout. Opposing hitters have only managed to hit .130 against him, and his 5-0 record includes a game in which he pitched for 10 innings of shutout baseball against the Terre Haute Rex, allowed only 2 hits, and struck out 14. Stevens most recent outing was a 7 inning masterpiece where he gave up 0 runs, 4 hits, walked 1, and struck out 10. This past spring Stevens pitched for Seminole State College and struggled with 28 walks in 36 innings. His ERA was a swollen 7.00, and his strikeouts did not come. This summer is a new beginning, and despite being rather short for a starting pitcher, he’s taking full control of the league so far.

 

 

 

By Adrian Nevarez
DFN Sports Staff Writer

 

 


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