After arguing for the umpteenth time with someone about this, I finally went to MLB.com and got his bio..so O'Leary and anyone else out there who want to blame his mechs for his injuries need to refer to this first..then take a shut the heck up pill and get over it.
And for those who didn't think he was "so" dominant...check yourself here.
I suspect this thread will be referred to again. I'm going to link it to the General Forum also...
College and misc
Mark William Prior...he and his wife Heather reside in San Diego, CA with their daughters Amanda and Caitlin...earned high school All-America honors at University of San Diego High School, graduating in 1998 after going 10-5 with a 0.93 ERA as a senior...along with earning all-state honors, he was named the San Diego County Player of the Year by the San Diego Union-Tribune...spent his freshman year at Vanderbilt University, earning Baseball America freshman second-team All-America honors before transferring to USC...as a sophomore in 2000, he earned Pac-10 Honorable Mention honors after going 10-7 with a 3.56 ERA in 23 games (19 starts) for the Trojans...in 2001, he earned numerous All-America selections and won seven national Player of the Year awards after going 15-1 with six complete games, three shutouts and a 1.69 ERA during his junior year at USC...helped lead the Trojans to the College World Series, limiting opponents to a .201 average, and fanning 202 batters in 138.2 innings...surrendered only 18 walks and five homers...won the Golden Spikes Award, the Rotary Smith Award and the Dick Howser Trophy (National Collegiate Baseball Writers' Association)...was named the Player of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches' Association, Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and The Sporting News...received a degree in business at the University of Southern California in 2004.
Had a solid first professional campaign, reaching the majors in May after just 9 minor league starts ... went 11-8 with a 3.01 ERA in 28 overall starts for the Cubs, Iowa (AAA) and West Tenn (AA) ... in 167.2 combined innings, he held opponents to a .218 average (137-629) ... fanned 226 batters while issuing 56 walks ... with the Cubs, he went 6-6 with a 3.32 ERA in 19 starts ... had six double-digit strikeout contests, as he fanned 147 batters in 116.2 innings at the major league level ... began his pro career at West Tenn, where he was 4-1 with a 2.60 ERA in six starts ... won the Southern League's Pitcher of the Week Award for the first two weeks of the campaign ... on April 27 at Chattanooga, he fanned a West Tenn-record 15 batters in a 10-1 win ... allowed 1 run and 3 hits in 8.0 innings ... was promoted to Iowa May 4 - where he went 1-1 with a 1.65 ERA in 3 starts ... made his Triple-A debut May 7 vs. Tucson and picked up the win in a 6-1 affair, fanning 10 batters in 7.2 innings ... struck out the side on 10 pitches in the first inning and hit a pair of solo homers off Tucson's Horacio Estrada ... was recalled from Iowa May 22 and made his first big league start that evening - a 7-4 victory over Pittsburgh ... worked 6.0 innings and allowed 4 hits, 2 runs and 2 walks while striking out 10 ... his strikeout total was the highest for a Cubs pitcher making his big league debut since the advent of divisional play in 1969 ... his first strikeout victim was Brian Giles in the first inning ... had 3 double-figure strikeout outings in his first 5 big league starts, becoming the first pitcher to accomplish that feat since Los Angeles' Fernando Valenzuela in 1981 ... over his final seven starts spanning 43.2 innings, he struck out 61 batters while issuing only 8 walks ... on August 4 against Colorado at Wrigley Field, he threw the first complete game of his professional career in a 4-1 victory ... allowed 5 hits, 1 run and 2 walks while striking out 13 batters ... made his final start of the season August 31 vs. St. Louis ... strained his left hamstring running the bases in that contest ... his first 4 ML hits were all doubles ... on June 1 vs. Houston, he recorded his first big league hit - a 2-run two-bagger off Roy Oswalt.
Was selected to the National League All-Star team during his first full major league season - and went on to go 18-6 with 3 complete games and a 2.43 ERA in 30 starts ... finished 3rd in the N.L. Cy Young Award voting - the highest finish for a Cubs pitcher since Greg Maddux won the award in 1992 ... tied for second in the NL in wins ... was second in strikeouts (245) and third in ERA ... led the NL in road ERA (2.08) and was fifth in home ERA at 2.85 (Carlos Zambrano also ranked among the league Top 10 in both categories) ... only two Cubs pitchers over the previous 30 seasons finished a season in the NL Top 10 in ERA both at home and on the road - Rick Reuschel (1977) and Greg Maddux (1992) ... went 10-1 with a 1.52 ERA in 11 starts after returning from the disabled list August 4 (14 ER/82.2 IP) ... over the span, he gave up 67 hits and 16 walks while fanning 95 batters ... was selected the NL's Pitcher of the Month for August ... in five starts during the month, he went 5-0 with a 0.69 ERA (3 ER/39.0 IP) ... was the first Cubs hurler to win the award since Mike Morgan in May 1992 ... he then went on to win the league's Pitcher of the Month Award for September - becoming just the second Cubs hurler to win the award in back-to-back months (Rick Reuschel, June-July 1977) ... in six final starts, he went 5-1 with a 2.27 ERA ... in consecutive wins September 16 vs. New York (3-2) and September 21 at Pittsburgh (4-1), he struck out 27 batters in 16.1 innings ... for his effort over the 2-start stretch, he was named the NL's co-Player of the Week (with St. Louis' Edgar Renteria) for the week of September 16-September 21 ... won seven consecutive starts August 5-September 6 - becoming the first Cubs pitcher to have a seven-game winning streak since Kevin Tapani in 1998 (August 4-September 15) ... had a 0.57 ERA over a six-start span August 5-September 1 (3 ER/47.0 IP) ... registered the lowest six-start ERA total for a Cubs pitcher since the advent of divisional play (in 1969) - surpassing the 0.64 ERA registered by Rick Reuschel from June 15-July 7, 1977 (3 ER/42.0 IP) ... on August 5 in San Diego, he returned to a big league mound for the first time since July 11 - when he was injured in a collision with Atlanta's Marcus Giles ... was on the disabled list July 12-August 4 (right shoulder contusion) ... in the August 5 affair, he picked up the victory in a 3-0 contest - his first win since June 14 ... on August 10 at Los Angeles, he threw his third career complete game in a 3-1 victory ... he allowed 5 hits, 1 run and 1 walk while striking out 9 batters ... followed up that outing with a second straight route-going effort in a 2-1 win vs. the Dodgers August 15 at Wrigley Field ... in a combined 6-0 shutout August 20 at Houston, he pitched 5.0 no-hit frames before allowing a double to Adam Everett leading off the bottom of the 6th ... in back-to-back victories over St. Louis August 26 (7-4) and September 1 (7-0), he allowed 1 run and 8 hits in 16.0 innings ... in 211.1 innings on the mound, he issued only 50 walks ... his strikeout-to-walk ratio for the campaign was 4.9-to-1 ... the only pitcher in the NL with a higher strikeout-to-walk ratio was Arizona's Curt Schilling - at 6.1 strikeouts for every walk (194 strikeouts, 32 walks) ... since the end of World War II, only two Cubs starters finished a season with higher strikeout-to-walk ratios - Fergie Jenkins and Dennis Eckersley ... Jenkins accomplished the feat twice, recording a 7.3-to-1 ratio in 1971 (263 strikeouts, 37 walks) and a 4.6-to-1 ratio in 1970 (274 strikeouts, 60 walks) ... Eckersley had a 6.2-to-1 ratio in 1985 (117 strikeouts, 19 walks) ... opened a season in the majors for the first time and went 4-1 with a 1.70 ERA in five April outings ... on April 9 against Montreal at Wrigley Field, he hurled his first big league shutout in a 3-0 contest ... in his 9.0 innings of work (113 pitches, 89 for strikes), he allowed 4 hits and no walks while striking out 12 batters ... on June 26 vs. Milwaukee (no decision, 5-3 loss), he struck out 16 batters in 8.0 innings of work without issuing a walk ... the strikeout total tied for the 2nd-highest single-game total in Cubs history - as he fanned the final 6 batters he faced ... was the youngest Cub to go to an All-Star Game since Greg Maddux, who was three months past his 22nd birthday when he went to the 1988 Midsummer Classic ... did not pitch in the game, though, due to the right shoulder injury he suffered during his baserunning collision.
Mark posted a winning record despite spending the first two months of the season on the disabled list with right achilles tendinitis ... went 6-4 with a 4.02 ERA in 21 starts ... struck out 139 batters while issuing just 48 free passes and held opponents to a .251 batting average ... opened the season on the disabled list and did not see action until May 20, when he made the first of two rehabilitation starts in Lansing (A) ... also saw action in one game in Iowa (AAA) before being activated from the disabled list ... made his Cub season debut June 4 vs. Pittsburgh, allowing 2 hits and striking out 8 batters in 6.0 innings of work ... was not involved in the decision in a 2-1 loss to the Pirates ... won his first big league game of the year June 14 in Houston, working 5.0 shutout innings ... the first five outs he recorded were strikeouts ... missed a start in July after leaving the contest July 15 with discomfort in the posterior area of his right elbow ... earned his first win at Wrigley Field since Game 2 of the 2003 NLCS on August 26, defeating Houston 8-3 ... ended the campaign on a strong note, going 2-0 with a 2.17 ERA in five starts in September ... allowed 30 hits and 7 walks while striking out 43 batters over the span ... struck out 16 batters September 30 against Cincinnati, tying a career-high ... was not involved in the decision as the Cubs lost 2-1 in 12 innings - despite allowing just 1 run on 3 hits over 9.0 innings ... in a 24.1-inning stint from September 20-30, he posted a 0.74 ERA, giving up 2 runs in three games.
Mark recorded his second career double-digit wins season - going 11-7 with a 3.67 ERA - despite battling injuries for the second straight year ... opened the season on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation and was activated April 12 ... returned to the DL on May 28 after suffering a fracture in his right elbow ... suffered the injury on May 27 when he was hit by a line drive off the bat of Colorado's Brad Hawpe ... struck out 188 batters in 166.2 innings of work and limited the opponents to a .227 average ... led the National League in strikeouts per 9.0 innings (10.2), ranked fifth in opponents batting average against and ranked ninth in strikeouts ... surrendered more than 3 earned runs on just three occasions - and was 11-4 with a 2.83 ERA (48 ER/152.2 IP) in his remaining 24 starts ... had six double-digit strikeout games, striking out a season high 11 batters on August 9 ... earned his first win of the campaign in his first start, hurling 6.0 scoreless innings in an 8-3 defeat of San Diego on April 13 ... also notched a pair of hits and scored a run in the contest ... opened the year with a three-game winning streak, allowing just 2 earned runs over his first 19.0 innings of work ... rebounded from his second stint on the DL with a win, pitching 6.0 shutout innings in a 2-0 win on June 26 at U.S. Cellular Field ... retired 18 of the 19 batters he faced ... Pablo Ozuna was the lone batter to reach base, singling in the third inning ... pitched in the same game as Kerry Wood for the first time in their careers, earning the win in a 5-4 decision on August 14 in St. Louis.