Every week I check up on some players that I follow in the minors. It seems like every week that I also find someone else interesting to look up. I usually just pull them up on milb.com, and that is it. This week I decided to share my findings. Bus Leagues Baseball has a great series called the ‘Z’ Meter in which they track their favorite players. This may be a complete ripoff of that series, but it is done lovingly. I do the research, but I have never published the results on my blog. This is just a good way for me to keep up on the players that I am following. I may update this every couple of weeks. The first three players were all part of the Notre Dame pitching staff in 2006.
Tom Thornton – Currently playing for the Gary Railcats in the Northern League.
Jeff Manship – Promoted to the Twins AAA affiliate in Rochester. Has a 4-2 record with a 3.22 ERA with the team. He has pitched 50+ innings in his eight starts with the team.
Jeff Samardzija – Started his first big league game this week against the Phillies. Gave up seven runs in 3 1/3 innings. He was shipped off to Triple A Iowa immediately after the game.
Craig Cooper – Former Irish first baseman that is now playing in the AA Texas League. He still gets on base. He is hitting .313 with a .404 on base percentage for the San Antonio Missions. He has a sweet swing, and has posted great numbers at every level. It is amazing to me that he is only at AA after all these years. He only has 9 home runs, so maybe it is the power numbers that are holding him back.
Mitch Hilligoss – One of the best shortstops to come out of Purdue. Apparently that is not translating to the pros though. He is still in high A ball in his fourth professional season. He is currently on the disabled list, but is hitting .235 with 0 home runs and only 14 RBI’s in 50 games this season. His minor league highlight was in 2007 when he hit safely in 38 consecutive games which was a South Atlantic League record at the time.
Dan Black- Dan was a late round pickup by the White Sox in this year’s draft. He played in three game for the Bristol Sox going 4-12. He was then sent up to the low A ball Kannapolis Intimidators. He is hitting .226 with one home run in 133 plate appearances. Part of Dan’s game at Purdue was the long ball. It will be interesting to see if he can get that going in the minors. Another thing that Dan has going against him is that they are not sure of where to play him. They are playing him at third instead of first at Kannapolis. No matter what the situation I hope that he can get it going and help the Sox.
A.J. Pollock – Here is another former Irish player that I enjoyed watching. He is a center fielder that can cover a lot of ground. He was picked #17 in this year’s draft which was the highest that an Irish player has ever been picked. He is batting .267 with an OBP of .303 in 43 games in South Bend. If he can get the bat going it will be a quick ascent for this young man.
Rossmel Perez – Perez is a switch hitting catcher that is very good behind the plate. I have really noticed him over the last month while attending Silverhawk games. His season numbers are low so I would guess that he has turned it around lately. He seems to be the guy you want up at the plate in the key situation.
Dexter Carter – Came into the Padres organization from the White Sox in the Jake Peavy deal. He is currently playing for the Fort Wayne TinCaps. I just missed seeing him pitch in South Bend by one day last week. I would have gone, but I was at the Road to Wrigley. He has given up 9 earned runs in three starts for the TinCaps. He has only pitched 15 innings in those three starts. He has time on his side.
Evan Sharpley – Evan is a former Notre Dame quarterback that also plays baseball. He stepped into the starting QB role when Jimmy Clausen was having a rough start, and added some stability to the Irish in 2007. He is batting .333 for the Mariners in the Arizona Rookie League with an OBP of .429. He also has 7 home runs and 29 RBI’s. It will be interesting to see where he ends up from here.
Dayan Viciedo – Has spent the year with the Birmingham Barons in the Southern League. He struggled at the beginning of the season, but has been coming around lately. Hitting .268 with 10 home runs and 64 RBI’s in 113 games this season.
Tyler Flowers – Tyler came to the Sox in the off season as part of the Javier Vasquez deal. In 21 games he is hitting .292 with an OBP of .354. He has shown power in other leagues, and he could be the backstop of the future for the Sox.
Zach Stewart – Zach was one of the players that I watched in the Road to Wrigley game. After the game his mother and I traded a few emails. Zach has climbed the ranks this season quickly. He was sent from the Reds AAA team the Louisville Bats to the Las Vegas 51’s in the Scott Rolen deal. In 4 appearances he has given up 6 hits and 4 runs (1 earned) in 3 innings pitched.
Jake Peavy – This is some guy that we picked up in the Clayton Richard deal. He has one outing for the Charlotte Knights this season pitching three innings. In those three innings he gave up one hit, and struck out 5. He might be a decent prospect.
Jack Egbert – I met Jack in Louisville when the Knights were in town, and he was a great guy. He is 6-8 with a 4.37 ERA in 26 games for the Charlotte Knights.
Bobby Borchering – He was the first pick of the Diamondbacks in the 2009 draft. He just signed this week and will be sent to rookie ball. He is a power hitting third baseman that was drafted out of high school. I would think that he will be with the Silverhawks next season. Will he be the next Mark Reynolds?
Jared Mitchell - The first round pick of the White Sox out of LSU. He was the Most Outstanding Player of the College World Series. He may part of the future of the White Sox outfield. At Kannapolis he is hitting .308 with an OBP of .443 in 24 games. He also has 9 doubles and 2 triples in that time. He has speed!
DJ LeMahieu – A teammate of Mitchell’s at LSU that is playing for the Peoria Chiefs. He is hitting .278 for Peoria after tearing up the Arizona League.
This is raw, but is a work in progress. The list of players that I am following will grow I am sure over time. This is kind of like the first act in a play. The characters had to be introduced.