Prior back on the mound for indie team
contributed by John Fike and CornbeltBaseball.com editors
Former Cubs phenomÂ Mark Prior isÂ pitching for the Orange County Flyers of the independent Golden Baseball League?
The ace for the University of Southern California pitching staff, Prior was drafted second overall by the Chicago Cubs in the 2001 MLB draft. By 2003, the flamethrowing righty helped lead the Cubs to their first postseason series victory since 1908 and finished third in the National League Cy Young Award voting, compiling a 18-6 record.
But injuries soon sent Prior’s career into a tailspin.Â He would miss the first two months of 2004 with a Achilles tendon injury.Â He was hurt most 2005 and finished 11-7 in 27 starts.Â Shoulder injuries flared up in 2006 as Prior finished with a 1-6 record and a 7.21 ERA.
Prior pitched in just one game in 2007 (a minor league start) before being shut down with shoulder surgery.Â In 2008 and 2009, Prior signed consecutive one-year contracts with the San Diego Padres, but did not pitch, undergoing a secondÂ shoulder surgery in May 2008.Â He was released on August 1, 2009, afterÂ failing to makeÂ perceptible progress.
Through the 2008 season, his career stats included a 42-29 record, 3.51 ERA, and 757 strikeouts in 657 innings pitched.Â For complete Mark Prior stats, click here.
On June 30, 2010, Prior worked out on the USC campus for pro scouts, but he found no takers.Â Â JustÂ over a month later,Â Prior finds himself back on the mound for the independent Flyers.Â He has thrown one inning to date, surrendering no hits while striking out one.