The Chicago Cubs pretty much always snag at least one arm every year nowadays out of Driveline, which held its annual pro day at the end of January.
And sure enough, the Cubs have signed lefty Ben Holmes, formerly of the Dodgers’ organization, who is looking to keep it going:
— Driveline Baseball (@DrivelineBB) February 23, 2021
Annual @DrivelineBB pro day in the books. Had some quality arms chuck it and showcase their stuff. Already a few arms signed even before the event and based on the guys who threw, some teams would be wise to make it a few more
— Spencer Medick (@smedick23) January 31, 2021
Holmes, 29, was a 2014 9th rounder by the Marlins, but wound up released a few years later. He caught on with the Dodgers, blew up as a starter at High-A and AA in 2018, but then couldn’t quite get over the AAA hump in 2019. It’ll be really interesting to see how he developed over the last two years, during the shut down, and working at Driveline. Although he’s on the older side for a prospect, given his trajectory and career, you’re better off thinking of him as a “prospect” type than a guy who is near-term competing for a job on the big league roster.
If you’re wondering about the name disparity there in some of the social media, and if the name Ben Wetzler sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because he was part of a ridiculous baseball story from eight years ago. When he was a junior starting pitcher at Oregon State, he was drafted in the 5th round by the Phillies in 2013, but did not sign and wanted to return to school … and then the Phillies ratted him out to the NCAA for working with an agent during the negotiation process. That, of course, is something all players do, but since the Phillies narc’d on him, Wetzler got an 11-game suspension from the NCAA. I remember it well, and just about everyone in the amateur baseball world was seriously pissed at the Phillies.
Anyway, that was obviously a long time ago, and Holmes (he now goes by Ben Holmes) is just trying to make it as a pro. All the best to him with the Cubs.
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