Mike Hollimon blasted a three run homer today against the Yankees. If there’s any non-roster invitee who is making a good impression with the bat, it has to be Hollimon. He now has four hits in six at bats this spring, plus a walk.
Back in January, I wrote about Hollimon as part of the Twins non-roster invitee series. The conclusion I drew from my research on him was that the was a talented switch-hitting middle infielder with power, but that some bad breaks had slowed his trip through the minors. Recently, I received a little more information to fill in the gaps. If anything, the new information makes me more likely to root for Mike Hollimon and watch his performance with interest this spring.
In the original article, I mentioned that Hollimon had suffered a shoulder injury back in 2008. That injury was actually just one of many that have plagued his career. The injuries started back in 2002, when he was a freshman for the University of Texas team that won the College World Series. Hollimon tore the labrum in his hip joint and had surgery that fall. The hip problems would probably explain the slip in his numbers during his sophomore year. After being drafted by the Tigers he got a callup to the Big Leagues in 2008, but he was diagnosed with a torn labrum in his left shoulder after the season was over. He got back to health in time for the 2009 season, only to tear the labrum in his right shoulder after just 29 games. In total, Hollimon has suffered three torn labrum injuries – which is one more labrum than I even knew the human body had! Still, he has kept battling to get back to the Major Leagues.
If that doesn’t make you root for Hollimon, perhaps his Minnesota connection will. He may not appear to be a local boy at first glance, since he was born in and went to college in Texas, but his family hails from Minnesota. Both of his parents, as well as one of his uncles, attended St. Olaf College. Another uncle went to the U of M, and many of his family members still live in the Twin Cities (so they’d be rooting for the Twins even if Mike was not on the team).
Perhaps its his hearty Minnesota constitution that has allowed him to rebound from so many injuries that would have ended the career of a lesser player. Whatever the explanation, today’s massive home run proves that Holliimon still has some power and promise. If he keeps that up, we might see Hollimon in the Major Leagues at some point this year.