Best “Feel Good Story:” Ben Holmes (SP)-
Ben Holmes, a former All-American starting pitcher with the 2013 College World Series Semi-Finalist: Oregon State Beavers, was drafted by the Miami Marlins in 2014.
After flailing about in the Marlins’ dreadful system for 3+ years, Holmes, akin to a rainbow trout, was released from the organization that drafted him just 4 months ago in, what could go-down historically as: the top-notch acquisition of a free agent, in the “How To” section of: General Managing 101, found at your local bookstore.
Additionally, yet another mistake could be made, in a never-ending ocean of mistakes, made by the Miami Marlins organization.
On November 6th, Ben Holmes, won the AFL Pitcher of the Week award. This award (a real one) served as the proverbial “cherry on top” a whirlwind season, to say the very least. For a closer look at Holmes’ story, check out my article here.
Until his last AFL start on November 10th, Holmes’ easily had one of the best seasons among all AFL starting pitchers. His last start ended with 5 earned runs attributed to Holmes. This consequently made his ERA skyrocket. However, those 5 earned runs happened to match Holmes’ combined total of earned runs given up through his first five starts.
In short, 5 starts, 5 earned runs and then his last start, 5 more earned runs, equaling 10 earned runs total, over the duration of 6 starts. Had Holmes appearances been held at five instead of six, he would’ve landed at, 19.2 innings pitched, 16 hits, 5 earned runs, 0 HR’s, 7 BB, 23 strikeouts, and a 1.20 WHIP.
Once an All-American starter for a championship-caliber team in college, to being out of baseball, to now being one of the best stories out of the Dodgers’ organization in a long time. Upon successfully finishing his first stint in the AFL, Holmes should be among the very top of the Dodgers’ starting pitching prospects to start next year. Suffice to say, Ben Holmes had one helluva year.
Lastly, throughout the entirety of the 2018 AFL season, Holmes’ ranked 1st in strikeouts, 1st in innings pitched, 2nd in ERA among starting pitchers, and 2nd in WHIP, for the Glendale Desert Dogs.
Keep in mind that the Desert Dogs are comprised of five teams total, which means that Holmes’ out-pitched some of the biggest and brightest arms throughout the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians, and New York Yankees, farm systems and that’s the just Desert Dogs.
Across the entirety of the AFL as a league, Holmes finished the year tied for the sixth most strikeouts. He would’ve ranked in the top-5 of the league’s best if not for his final start on November 10th. Still, Holmes’ put together an incredible showing at this season’s AFL.