Pitcher of the Month: RHP Porter Hodge (22 Years Old)
5 G, 22 IP, 1.64 ERA, 32 K, 1.05 WHIP, .152 BAA
What a month for Porter Hodge. The 13th Round pick had a rough April to say the least as he played in four games and only managed to go 13.2 innings. He gave up more earned runs (14) than he had strikeouts (12) over that time and opposing hitters hit .333 off of him over that time period.
Mental toughness is something that makes a good player into a great player. Good players can have good results and maintain, but when they have bad results they struggle to bounce back. Great players can have a game where they give up ten runs in two innings and come back in their next start with seven shutout innings. Porter Hodge essentially did just that.
Through his five May starts he never allowed more than two runs in an outing and struck out eight times as many batters (32) as he allowed earned runs (4). He cut that batting average against from .333 to .152 and also cut his WHIP nearly in half as well. That is a helluva turnaround from someone that is flying under the radar as a pitching prospect in this system that seems to have been flooded with arm talent in recent years.
He has the size that you’d look for from a pitcher and he’s the kind of guy that can be a middle-of-rotation piece if everything comes together for him. With Hayden Wesneski, and Kyle Hendricks already back in the majors and potentially Ben Brown joining the major league club soon, we could easily see a world where the Cubs call up Porter Hodge and Jordan Wicks to AAA Iowa by mid-season. To those of you who, like me, have never experienced a pitching pipeline, this is what it looks like. It’s not a bad thing to have more quality pitchers than slots to put them in the rotation, and we should be so lucky to have that problem in spring training next season.