Porter Hodge – Picture by Stephanie Lynn
Everybody likes different things in a prospect. Some people like players that burn from the start and flash a pretty good sized toolbox right from the get go. Other people like players who have a good backstory and are good people. And then there are those who like players that they can see the potential in but the player is not quite there yet. For me, I like all different kinds of prospects. There is one intangible that I tend to drool over. I just love guys who are competitive. They don’t have to be jerks about it, but you can see there is an intensity there in how they play the game and how hard they work at their craft.
One of those players is Porter Hodge.
Throws – Right
Height – 6-foot-4
Weight – 230
From – Cottonwood, Utah
The Cubs took Hodge out of high school in the 13th round of the 2019 MLB draft. In fact, the Cubs took four high school pitchers in that draft including DJ Herz, Tyler Schlaffer, and Johzan Oquendo. What I liked about Hodge right from the start was that he has the frame on which to build a starting pitcher. Originally, he was 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds. He is still 6 foot four and the weight is probably pretty close, but it’s also changed to more muscle.
Hodge took the pandemic year to reshape himself physically into a pitcher who could throw in the mid 90s. Hodge debuted with the Cubs for a little bit in 2019 but spent most of 2021 in Mesa before heading up to Myrtle Beach for a few games. He relieved mostly in Myrtle Beach but started a few games. This year, he’s been in the rotation this year since day one.
So far, things are looking great!
Before tonight’s start, Hodge is set to make North Side Bound‘s April All-Star team. It’s pretty impressive for a 21-year-old who is going to be 21 for the entire season. What Hodges is doing is going right at hitters this year with his stuff. He’s pitching with a lot of confidence. I would say he’s not cockly nor would I say he’s overconfident. He’s trusting his stuff in the strike zone which is a big thing.
.154 Batting Average Against
Those are some pretty impressive numbers to begin the year. Mind you, it is only 3 starts, but it is an excellent foundation. I am excited to see him pitch tonight as I have been traveling most of this week. I am expecting he will pitch well. How well is up in the air.
For Hodge, he just has to stay the course at Myrtle Beach. How dominant he could get this year is unknown. I’m sure there are times where he’s going to struggle and other times where he’s going to be in the zone. He is not always going to have his best stuff every day and it’s hard to learn to deal with that and how to get by without his best stuff. It’s going to be a constant series of adjustments for him.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what he can do in May. I’m not really thinking of him getting a promotion this early in the year because there are a lot of good pitchers in front of him. A lot would have to change at South Bend if he’s going to come up from Myrtle Beach. For now, he can learn how to pitch well, night in and night out.