Rollins On A Roll

Right-handed pitching prospect Heath Rollins is off to an outstanding start to the 2007 season with the Columbus Catfish of the South Atlantic League. Rollins, who was drafted out of Winthrop University in the 11th round of the 2006 draft, is still unbeaten, 6-0, with a minuscule 1.09 ERA.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays right-handed pitching prospect Heath Rollins is off to an outstanding start to the 2007 season with the Columbus Catfish of the South Atlantic League. Rollins, who was drafted out of Winthrop University in the 11th round of the 2006 draft, has emerged as the ace of a talented Columbus starting rotation. In 11 starts, the Lexington, SC native is still unbeaten, 6-0, with a minuscule 1.09 ERA. In 66.1 innings, Rollins has only allowed eight earned runs and 43 hits. Even more impressive, opponents are batting only .179 against Rollins, who also has a WHIP of 0.89.

Earlier in the season, Rollins had a streak of 43 consecutive innings -- over six starts -- without allowing an earned run. His performance has caught the attention of the several people throughout the organization. And he could earn a promotion to a higher level in the next few weeks. Recently, Rollins was named South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week after earn two victories during the week of May 22 through May 29. If he continues to pitch at the pace he is currently on, this will be the first of many similar awards for the 22-year-old.

Rollins, who has only allowed 10 earned runs in his last ten starts has worked at least five innings in all but one start this season. On April 19, he threw five no-hit innings against Charlotte to earn his second win of the year. A few weeks later, the young right-hander pitched his most dominant game of the year. In a dominant performance, he scattered two hits over eight shutout innings against Augusta. Amazingly, Rollins is 6-0 with a 0.56 ERA and has only allowed 34 hits and four earned runs with 60 strikeouts in his last 62.0 innings of work.

After signing with the Devil Rays out of Winthrop only a few days after last year's draft, Rollins reported to Hudson Valley of the New York Penn League. In 10 starts for Hudson Valley, he went 1-3 with and a 4.08 ERA and 48 strikeouts in his first taste of professional baseball. He gave up 44 hits and 46.1 innings and limited opponents to a .249 batting average against him.

As he continues to rise up the farm system, Rollins will begin to turn more and more heads. Look for him to be promoted within the next week or so.


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