NEWBERG REPORT PLUS: MAY 7, 2007
Frisco righthander Eric Hurley is a pretty good baseball player.
Seven scoreless innings tonight, four singles, one walk, four strikeouts.
For the season, the 21-year-old – who we’d be talking about as a top prospect for next month’s amateur draft had he opted to go to the University of Florida rather than sign with the Rangers out of high school as the 2004 draft’s 30th overall pick – sits at 5-0, 1.47 in seven RoughRider appearances, issuing only eight walks in 43 innings while fanning 30 and holding the Texas League to a .211 batting average. And if you’re wondering how that improving change is coming along, consider the fact that he’s been stingiest against lefties, holding them to a .200 clip while righthanders are hitting .222 off of him.
Opponents are 2 for 23 (.087) against Hurley in the first inning this season, without scoring. Having demonstrated consistently the last couple seasons that he gets stronger as the game wears on, consider this: in the seventh through the ninth this year, Hurley hasn’t allowed a run in 10.1 innings, holding Texas Leaguers to a .158 clip.
Between last summer’s Frisco stint and this season’s, Hurley is 8-1, 1.69 in 12 starts and one relief appearance. Ten of the 12 starts have been quality starts.
I could regale you with more numbers, but the way Hurley is pitching, you can basically blindly point to any stat and it’s going to knock your socks off.
Hurley has made one appearance in Arlington in 2007 (see below), but it could very well be his last. I suppose there could be a September cameo in the cards, but that would trigger his options timetable next April when otherwise he wouldn’t need to start 2008 on an option, and more importantly, Eric Hurley doesn’t need to be rushed. Be patient. Too much riding on his development.
That’s going to be a very familiar face in a couple years.