Prospect Profile: Patrick Overholt

In the mid to lower rounds of the drafts, many teams try to find guys that they think could be sleepers. The top talent is gone and the truly tough part of finding talent takes place as the rounds progress. The Phillies believed that they found the right kind of talent in Patrick Overholt and took a shot on him even though there were health issues in the past.

Patrick Overholt has already faced adversity as part of his college career. At one point, while closing games for Santa Clara University, Overholt was considered one of the top closers in the country.

Then, the unthinkable happened. Overholt was lost to an elbow injury and underwent Tommy John surgery to correct the injury. While he was out, his closer's job was taken over by teammate Anthone Rea and Overholt was left to battle his way back.

After having national awards thrown at him after his 2003 season - 4-4, 2.00, 10 saves - the injury cost Overholt the entire 2004 season. When he returned this past season, he wasn't quite the same pitcher, but wasn't really expected to be after the surgery. The conventional wisdom is that while a pitcher may be on the mound a year after surgery, it generally takes two years for him to get back to where he was before the injury. That timetable would have meant Overholt would have been back to form next season.

All of that information left Overholt with a decision to make. Sign with the Phillies or head back to Santa Clara. Overholt decided to sign and pass on his final two seasons of eligibility, even though he may have raised his stock with a strong 2006 campaign. Instead, he signed with the Phillies, went to Batavia and showed that both sides made the right decision.

Overholt was a strikeout machine for the MuckDogs. In 34 innings, Overholt struck out 51 hitters or 1.5 hitters per inning. He also walked just 13 hitters and allowed only one homerun. The final result was a 2-3, 2.65 mark with five saves in 21 games.

With the injury behind him, next season should be the one that truly puts Overholt on the map. He'll likely start at Lakewood and should start to truly show that he is a top candidate for a closer's job in the majors somewhere down the road.

Patrick Overholt's 2005 Stats

2 3 2.65 5 21 0 34.0 28 12 10 13 51 1

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