Brett Oberholtzer

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Brett Raymond Oberholtzer

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Biographical Information[edit]

Brett Oberholtzer made his major league debut with the Houston Astros in 2013, a year and a half after having been acquired from the Atlanta Braves as part of the trade for Michael Bourn.

Oberholtzer was picked by the Seattle Mariners in the 47th round of the 2007 amateur draft, one pick after another future big leaguer, Ryan Verdugo. He went on to junior college and had a 5-3, 4.60 record. He then was an 8th-round choice of the Braves in the 2008 amateur draft, out of Seminole Community College, one pick after Evan Crawford. The scout was Gregg Kilby. He went 4-1, 2.89 for the GCL Braves that year and followed that with a year of going 6-2, 2.01 and .191 opponent average for the Danville Braves of the Appalachian League. He was first in the league in WHIP (.78), tied for third in wins (behind Matt Crim and Chris Masters), was 4th in ERA (after Andy Moss, Masters and Greg Bello) and had the second-lowest opponent average. He failed to make the league All-Star team as Crim was picked as the top lefty. Baseball America rated him as the 20th-best prospect in the league.

In 2010, he was a combined 6-8, 3.78 between the Rome Braves (0-2, 1.96 in 4 G) and Myrtle Beach Pelicans (6-6, 4.15). He was 7th in the Braves farm chain in whiffs (126, between Todd Redmond and Scott Diamond) and 8th in ERA. Baseball America rated him as the #9 Braves prospect entering 2011. He jumped to AA and the Mississippi Braves to start the 2011 season. He was 9-9, 3.74 after 21 starts when the Astros acquired him on July 31st, alongside Juan Abreu, Paul Clemens and Jordan Schafer in return for Bourn. He completed the season by going 2-3, 5.27 in 6 starts for the Corpus Christi Hooks. Baseball America listed him as the Astros' 7th-best prospect.

Brett split the 2012 season between Corpus Christi and the AAA Oklahoma City RedHawks, going a combined 10-10, 4.37. Over his minor league apprenticeship, he had always been a starter, and had maintained a ratio of almost four strikeouts for every walk. Among Astros farmhands, he tied Erick Abreu for 6th in wins, tied Clemens and Jake Buchanan for first in losses, was second in innings (166 2/3, after Ross Seaton), tied Clemens for second in hits allowed (186) and ranked third in strikeouts (137). While he began 2013 back at Oklahoma City, it was clear that he would soon get a chance to pitch in the majors, and that came before the end of April, even though he had been pounded in his first three outings of the year, giving up 18 hits and as many runs in 12 1/3 innings. He first major league appearance, against the Cleveland Indians on April 21st, was in relief. He replaced Erik Bedard to start the 5th inning with the score tied, 2-2, and gave up a home run to the first batter he faced, Carlos Santana. He then settled down, but gave up another solo homer, to Drew Stubbs, in the 6th inning. The Astros managed to tie the score again with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame, and he was not involved in the decision as his team lost, 5-4. He was then sent down, replaced by José Cisnero. He went back to the minors after that game, then came back to Houston for a pair of relief outings in early July, in which he gave up 4 runs in 5 1/3 innings. His major league ERA thus stood at 7.36 when he was given the opportunity to make his first major league start against the Baltimore Orioles on July 31st. He was excellent, allowing only 3 hits over 7 innings and the offense clicked behind him as the Astros had a rare blowout win, 11-0. He repeated in his next start on August 5th, he pitched 7 shutout innings against the Boston Red Sox to lead Houston to a 2-0 win and earn a second victory. On September 1st, he pitched his first career shutout with a four-hit 2-0 win over the Seattle Mariners. He finished the season at 4-5, 2.76 in 13 games, including 10 starts, being the Astros' best pitcher over the second half.

After Brett's promising rookie season, he was inserted in the starting rotation to begin 2014, but he immediately hit rough waters. He lost 6 of his first 7 starts to take the early major league lead in losses. With a record of 0-6, 5.68, after an 11-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers on May 6th, he was sent down to the minors to work out his problems. He made 2 starts for the Oklahoma City RedHawks, going 1-1, before returning to Houston. He was a winner on his return to the big leagues on May 24th, 9-4, over the Seattle Mariners, and again on May 30th when he defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 2-1, in the annual Civil Rights Game, the team's 7th consecutive win.Overall, he went 5-13, 4.39 in 24 starts for Houston. In 2015, with the Astros being much improved, he made only 8 big league starts, with a record of 2-2, 4.46. He also made 12 starts fro the AAA Fresno Grizzlies, where he was 7-4, 3.86. On December 12th, he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies alongside Mark Appel, Harold Arauz, Thomas Eshelman and Vincent Velasquez in return for Ken Giles and Jonathan Arauz.


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