Former McKinney North pitcher Mike Bolsinger moved up the minor league baseball ranks in 2013, being promoted to the AAA Reno Aces in the Arizona Diamondbacks system.
Bolsinger, who graduated from North in 2006, made 17 starts with the Aces in 2013, going 7-7 with a 4.72 ERA, with 97 strikeouts and batters hitting .291 off him.
Bolsinger started the season strong in AA with the Mobile BayBears, going 4-0 with a 2.51 ERA.
Overall, Bolsinger finished the 2013 season 11-7 with a 4.06 E.RA between AA and AAA. Bolsinger was drafted in the 15th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks out of the University of Arkansas in 2010.
Bolsinger said his call up to AAA was “awesome,” and it came after a strong outing in AA – his first career complete game. Following the game, he was called into the coaches’ office where he was told he was getting the call up to Reno.
He said the AAA league is much different than AA, noting the main difference is the talent of the hitters.
Bolsinger said there aren’t any bad hitters in AAA, noting he is pitching against other team’s top prospects, and players that have been in the minors for years or hitters that have big-league experience.
“You’re not going to get away with a 2-0 fastball down the middle,” Bolsinger said.
He also noted pitching in the Pacific Coast League is not the friendliest environment for pitchers, with most of the games being played at high elevation.
Bolsinger said he is mostly a two-pitch pitcher on the mound – a cut fastball and curveball – and said he needs to be more consistent locating his fastball, and throw “good strikes” down in the zone to get more disciplined hitters out at the AAA level.
As for what the future holds, Bolsinger said he expects to start to 2014 season on the Diamondbacks’ 40-man roster and still playing at Reno, but he said he could end up going into the Rule-five draft if the D-backs choose not to keep him on the 40-man roster, in which case any team could sign him to their major-league roster.