Coming out of Cali, Holdzkom holds own abroad

John Holdzkom, RHP, Pirates
Hometown: Pasadena, California

Holdzkom's long, winding and rapidly accelerated path to the Majors all started for the 6-foot-7 righty in southern California.

Holdzkom played high school baseball for Rancho Cucamonga High School, and he was drafted out of there by the Mariners in the 15th round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft.

Instead of signing with Seattle, however, Holdzkom opted to play at Salt Lake Community College in Utah for a season, and the Mets took him in the fourth round of the 2006 Draft.

Holdzkom, who has a palmball in his arsenal, has some international roots as well. His father is from New Zealand, and Holdzkom as well as his brother, Lincoln, have pitched for the New Zealand team during qualifying for the World Baseball Classic.

In addition to his experience in New Zealand, Holdzkom has also pitched in the South Australian Baseball League.

Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.