Kevin Holcomb is the 178th player in our 316-part series on every player to appear in Houston’s system in 2022.
Kevin Holcomb is a six-foot-five, 210 lb. right-handed reliever from Frazier Park, CA. Born on January 5, 1999, he was Houston’s 13th-round selection out of Glendale Community College in 2019. Taken 406th overall off the board, eight players have made the majors after being drafted at the spot, but none with more than 1.0 WAR (Ron Wotus).
After the draft, Holcomb joined the Rookie-level GCL Astros, and struck out 14 batters in 20 innings. He also surrendered a 1.800 WHIP and a 6.30 ERA. After taking 2020 off, he split the 2021 season between the Low-A Fayetteville Woodpeckers and the High-A Asheville Tourists. His WHIP remained near the same level, at 1.750, but Holcomb did manage to strike out 53 in 44 frames at the higher level.
The 2022 campaign would begin for Holcomb with the Woodpeckers, although he didn’t appear in any games. After two months, he was sent down to the rookie-level FCL Astros Orange. On June 23, he struck out six over three shutout innings, allowing three hits and no walks in a 3-1 win over the FCL Cardinals. On July 25, he pitched four shutout frames, striking out six and giving up just one hit in a 7-2 loss to the Cardinals.
Holcomb appeared in nine games in total for the rookie ball club, starting three of them. Opponents slashed .275/.363/.440 over 125 plate appearances, and collected 1.500 WHIP against him. He struck out 24, walked 13, and went 4-2 with a 5.34 ERA. The Astros granted his release on August 6.
Newly a free agent, Holcomb signed on with the Frontier League’s Lake Erie Crushers, and struck out 23 in 17 1⁄3 innings to close out the year, although he still walked nearly a batter per inning.