Mark Prior Set to Work Out for Scouts
Since injuries first started to sidetrack him way back in 2004, it's been impossible to talk about Prior without mentioning his arm problems. Still, it is true that once upon a time his future seemed as limitless as Strasburg's. Through five starts, Strasburg's 48 strikeouts and seven walks in 31 2/3 innings have every baseball fan raving. But in 2002, Prior whiffed 43 and walked just 12 in his first five starts over just 28 2/3 innings.
That start propelled him into an amazing 2003 campaign where Prior struck out 245 in 211 1/3 innings while walking just 50. He went 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA that season, finished third in Cy Young voting and nearly pitched the Cubs to a World Series all at the age of 22. All those innings and some high pitch counts caught up to him, though, and Prior's never been the same.
Since his last appearance with the Cubs in 2006, Prior's mostly been part of the San Diego Padres organization, though shoulder surgeries in 2007 and 2008 kept him from ever taking the field in a Padres uniform. He's only 29, though, and if by some chance he can show scouts he's healthy, then someone will probably give him a minor-league deal and another shot at reclaiming some form of his past glory.