Photo courtesy of the Colorado Rockies
WEYMOUTH, Mass. (September 20, 2022) -- Former Nashua Silver Knights pitcher Gavin Hollowell became the 12th Futures League alumnus to reach Major League Baseball (MLB) when he debuted with the Colorado Rockies on Monday night.
Hollowell is the sixth former Futures Leaguer to make his MLB debut during the 2022 season alone, doubling the number of alumni who had reached “The Show” all-time by the end of last year’s World Series.
The 24-year-old New Jersey native and St. John’s University product is the second former Silver Knight to make it to the highest level, following Boston College’s own Chris Shaw who first played for the San Francisco Giants back in 2018.
The last three former Futures Leaguers to debut in MLB have been pitchers, as Hollowell has joined former Brockton Rox southpaw Jake Fishman (Miami Marlins) and Pittsfield alum Cade Cavalli (Washington Nationals) in taking the mound since July 31.
For his MLB debut, Hollowell was called to the mound for the 10th inning of Monday’s eventual 10-7 loss to the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field. He struck out the first two batters he faced, including Luis Gonzalez in his first career at-bat.
Hollowell pitched for the Silver Knights in 2016, contributing to the third of the organization’s record six Futures League championships. He appeared in seven games, starting five, and logged 20 strikeouts in 27 innings for Nashua during that regular season, but he also dealt a seven-inning scoreless performance in the semifinal round of the playoffs en route to the title.
Hollowell was a standout reliever at St. John’s from 2017-19, becoming a sixth-round draftee of the Rockies following his junior season. The 6-foot-7 righty was second-time All-Big East honoree during his final season with the Red Storm, going 1-0 with a 2.05 ERA and eight saves in his last 12 appearances. He had logged eight saves over his freshman and sophomore years.
Prior to receiving the call to the majors, Hollowell was enjoying an outstanding season in Double-A. Over 42 relief appearances for the Hartford Yard Goats, Hollowell went 4-2 with 16 saves (second-most in the Eastern League and third-most in all of Double-A), a 3.14 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 48.2 innings. He allowed just 14 batters for a 0.90 WHIP and held opponents to a .179 average for Hartford.
His 2021 season was spent with the Low-A Fresno Grizzlies, going 2-0 with four saves and a 2.45 ERA across 22 frames. Hollowell began his pro career with rookie-level Grand Junction Rockies in 2019, posting a 3-0 record, seven saves, a 2.89 ERA and 30 punchouts in 18.2 innings.
Hollowell, who entered the season as the Rockies’ No. 30 prospect according to Baseball America, was added to Colorado’s active roster Sunday when Alex Colomé was placed on the bereavement list. Across his three seasons in the minors, Hollowell is 10-2 with 28 saves, a 2.86 ERA, 127 strikeouts and just 26 walks in 91.1 innings.
The Futures League’s busy year of MLB call-ups began with former Torrington Titan shortstop Jeremy Pena cracking the Postseason-bound Houston Astros’ season-opening roster and starting lineup. June saw the arrival of former Pittsfield Suns pitcher Matt Gage to the Toronto Blue Jays and Pena’s fellow Titan infielder Matthew Batten debuting with the San Diego Padres.
July 31 marked Fishman’s first appearance as a Marlin, as he worked 2.1 innings of one-run relief against the New York Mets. The Nationals’ No. 4 prospect, Cavalli got his call in August and debuted in an Aug. 26 start against the Cincinnati Reds, but he has not pitched since due to right shoulder inflammation.
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