We all love a comeback story.

Weeks back I wrote a story about Mark Prior, the former first-round pick forced to suck up his pride and start from scratch.

Prior was the next big thing. 

Before Stephen Strasburg, before Aroldis Chapman and his 200 mph fastball, there was Mark Prior.

Prior had all the tools: the arm, the mechanics, and for what it’s worth, the “it” factor.  Just like another big thing in the NFL, Matt Leinart, Prior was the main attraction at USC. 

His phenomenal junior season was profiled on the cover of Baseball America. 

People say they can remember where they were when something special happens.

My dad was seven years old when Bobby Thompson hit the “Shot Heard ‘Round The World”. When I ask him to tell me that story, for the “umpteenth time”, it never gets old.

  My dad was on his way to English class when the janitor gave him the news.  To this day, nearly 60 years after the fact, it was like it was yesterday.

When Prior graced the cover of Baseball America, and rumors were rampant about a $10 million contract, I was somewhere in middle America playing out my final days as a professional with the Gateway Grizzlies.  I remember calling my dad on a payphone (when people still used payphones) and told him about this phenom.

Interesting how things play out, and what you remember after all these years.

Fast-forward to 2010, the multi-millionaire who just turned 30 made enough of an impression with the Orange County Flyers that the Texas Rangers signed him to a minor league contract with their Oklahoma affiliate.

Why did the Rangers pick up an Indy pitcher?

One reason: Dominance

In 11 innings Prior has not given up an unearned run, holding opponents to a .143 batting average and striking out 22 of 44 batters.

Good for him.  For someone that many have called a bust, this is his chance to make amends, to prove the naysayers wrong. 

Personally I hope Prior succeeds.  It will be tough though. PCL hitters are not Golden Baseball League hitters and vice-versa.

He has faced adversity and overcome it. The only thing left for Prior is to put all the pieces together and become that prodigy that everyone has been patiently waiting for.

This article can also be found on The GM’s Perspective


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