All-’Riders Team: Starting Pitcher #2
2012 marks the RoughRiders’ 10th season as a franchise, all as the Rangers’ Double-A affiliate. Since 2003, there have been hundreds of talented players come through Dr Pepper Ballpark, but some have stood out more than others. With the help of Michael Damman, the RoughRiders’ Director of Statistical Research, we’ve come up with the All-’Riders Team: the best player at each position in franchise history. Today we continue with the RoughRiders all-time best starting pitcher #2.
Selected in the first round (#30 overall) of the 2004 draft by the Texas Rangers, Eric Hurley spent his first full year pitching for the Clinton Lumberkings in 2005. As a 19 year old, Hurley went 12-6 with a 3.77 ERA and struck out 152 batters in 155.1 innings for Clinton. The right hander began his 2006 season pitching for the Bakersfield Blaze and went 5-6 with a 4.11 ERA in 18 starts in the hitters league known as the California League. He made his Frisco RoughRiders debut on July 24, 2006 and gave up five hits and two runs over six innings. Over his six starts for Frisco in 2006, the Sikeston, Missouri native went 3-1 with a 1.95 ERA. Opponents hit just .168 against him for the RoughRiders.
Rated the #68 prospect by Baseball America prior to the 2007 season, Hurley returned to Frisco for the 2007 season and was again dominant. In 15 appearances (14 starts), he went 7-2 with a 3.25 ERA. Just 71 hits were allowed over 88.2 innings and 76 batters struck out against him. He reached Triple-A Oklahoma City for the second half. After beginning 2008 in Oklahoma City, Eric Hurley made his Major League Baseball debut on June 12 when he was promoted to the Texas Rangers. Hurley gave up six hits and four runs over six innings against the Kansas City Royals. Over five starts with the Rangers, the right hander went 1-2 with a 5.47 ERA.
After making his debut, Hurley missed the entire 2009 and 2010 seasons after undergoing torn rotator cuff surgery. He returned in 2011 to go 8-3 with a 5.55 ERA over 16 starts with Triple-A Round Rock before becoming a free agent. Hurley has spent the 2012 season with the Triple-A affiliates of the Minnesota Twins (Rochester Red Wings) and Los Angeles Angels (Salt Lake Bees).
During his time with Frisco, Hurley compiled an 11-3 record with a 2.71 ERA over 22 appearances (21 starts).
Next Up: Starting Pitcher #3