June 28, 2013
Cullowhee, N.C. - A combined 22 Catamount returning baseball players remain active in the various summer leagues across the nation, ranging from North Carolina and Virginia to Minnesota to California. There are also eight former Western Carolina products playing professionally across the United States and even Canada.
WCU's two latest draft picks - Julian Ridings and Tyler White - have been assigned to their first professional teams, while former teammate Preston Hatcher has inked a deal with an independent league squad and began play in mid-June.
Here is a brief update on former Catamounts in the professional ranks, as well as the returning players in the various summer leagues:
Updates on Former Catamounts in Major League Baseball:
Jared Burton - Minnesota Twins, American League Central:
Is in his second season with the Twins ... To date, has a 1-4 overall record with two saves through 34.1 innings pitched with a 3.41 ERA ... Has 32 strikeouts against 15 walks this season ... For his career, holds a 14-9 record with seven saves through 265.1 career innings with 230 strikeouts and 104 walks ... Burton was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the eighth round of the 2002 MLB First-Year Player Draft ... He was later selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft in 2006 ... the Reds released Burton prior to 2012 spring training where he made the squad with the Minnesota Twins ... Made his Major League debut on April 4, 2007.
Greg Holland - Kansas City Royals, American League Central:
Is in his second full season with the Royals after making his debut in 2010 ... Holds a 2-1 record with a career-high tying 16 saves and a 1.86 ERA through 29.0 innings of work ... He has 47 strikeouts against 11 walks this year ... For his MLB career, Holland is 14-7 with 36 saves and a career ERA of 3.25 ... Holland has been both a Pacific Coast League (PCL) Pitcher of the Week (7/26/2010) and Texas League Mid-season All-Star (2009) with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals ... Holland was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 10th round of the 2007 MLB First-Year Player Draft ... Made his Major League debut on August 2, 2010.
Read more about Holland CLICK HERE
Updates on Former Catamounts in Minor League Baseball:
Nick Liles - Winnipeg Goldeyes, American Association (Independent League):
After batting .259 through 90 games for the Richmond Flying Squirrels of the Double-A Eastern League in 2012, Liles was released by the Giants ... Signed in May with the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the American Association in Canada ... Is batting .241 (34-for-141) with five extra base hits including four doubles and a triple ... Has scored 12 runs while driving in nine and has five stolen bases ... Liles was selected by the San Francisco Giants in the seventh round of the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Read more about Liles CLICK HERE
Matt Benedict - Bradenton Marauders, Class A Advanced Florida State League:
Is in his third season in the minor leagues ... Benedict has made 15 appearances this season with nine starts, posting an 0-8 overall record with one save and a 4.98 ERA ... Through 59.2 innings thrown, has 31 strikeouts against 16 walks ... Was a 2012 South Atlantic League Mid-Season All-Star ... Benedict was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 30th-round of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Ross Heffley - Rome Braves, Class A South Atlantic League:
Started the season with the Lynchburg Hillcats, the Class A Advanced affiliate in the Carolina League where he batted .218 (36-for-165) with 10 doubles and two home runs, driving in 14 runs ... Has since rejoined the Rome Braves where he is batting .174 (4-for-23) with a double and three RBI ... Heffley was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 18th round of the 2012 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Julian Ridings - Hudson Valley Renegades, Class A Short-Season New York-Penn League:
Assigned to the short-season squad after being drafted ... Is currently batting .323 (10-for-31) with two doubles and a RBI through his first seven games ... Is a perfect 4-for-4 in stolen bases ... Started out red-hot, going 4-for-5 with two runs scored in his minor league debut ... Ridings was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 18th round of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Tyler White - GCL Astros, Rookie Gulf Coast League:
Received his assignment in late June to the rookie league, joining the Astros Gulf Coast League squad in Florida, playing at first base ... Through his first six games, is batting .375 (9-for-24) with two doubles, three runs scored and six RBI ... White was selected by the Houston Astros in the 33rd round of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Preston Hatcher - Schaumburg (Ill.) Boomers, Frontier League:
Signed with the independent league squad on June 13 ... Has made six appearances on the mound, tossing six innings of one-hit relief work with a 1-0 record ... Scored his first professional baseball victory on June 18, striking out two in an inning out of the bullpen ... Thus far, has 10 strikeouts against just three walks ... Struck out a career-high five of the six batters he faced at Traverse City on June 27.
Updates on Current Catamounts in Various Summer Leagues:
#1 Bradley Strong, St. Cloud Rox (Northwoods League):
Started the summer with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the Cape Cod League ... Played in five games to start the summer, batting just .111 (1-for-9) with a couple of strikeouts in limited at bats ... Drew three walks to add to his .333 on-base percentage and had stolen two bases in his time on the diamond ... Has since joined teammate Adam Martin with the St. Cloud (Minn.) Rox in the Northwoods League ... In three games since June 25, is batting .364 (4-for-11) with two runs scored and an RBI, while also recording a walk, sacrifice bunt and a stolen base.
#2 Aaron Attaway, San Luis Obispo Blues (California Collegiate League):
Through June 27, was batting .349 (22-of-63) through 16 games played ... Collected six doubles and two home runs for a .540 slugging percentage ... Has drawn eight walks to bolster his .453 on-base percentage and has nine stolen bases in 10 attempts ... Had scored 14 runs with 14 RBI on the summer.
#3 J.D. Long, Winchester Royals (Valley League):
In 18 games played this summer, is batting .268 (19-of-71) with three extra base hits including two doubles and a triple ... Has six multiple-hit games, all coming as two-hit performances ... Has scored nine runs with eight RBI.
#5 Luke Gragg, Winchester Royals (Valley League):
Has played in 18 games through June 27, batting .333 (18-of-54) with a pair of doubles ... On the summer, has six multiple hit games including a 3-for-4 outing back on June 26 against the Woodstock River Bandits ... Has 12 runs scored with six RBI ... Drawn 10 walks against eight strikeouts on the summer.
#6 Bryce Danielson, Waynesboro Generals (Valley League):
Through games played June 27, has made seven appearances with one start this summer, posting a 2.57 ERA ... Has 14 strikeouts against eight walks through 14 innings pitched, allowing 14 hits - only one of which has gone for extra bases ... Opponents are hitting .275 against the left-hander this summer.
#11 Adam Martin, St. Cloud Rox (Northwoods League):
Has been one of the top hitters for the Rox this summer, batting .330 (36-of-109) with 16 extra base hits including nine doubles, a triple and a team-leading six home runs - the latter of which is currently tied for second in the league ... Has played in 27 games on the summer with 10 multiple-hit games ... Is slugging .596 on the summer with a team-high 21 RBI ... Has walked nine times and been hit by a pitch three times to bolster his .397 on-base percentage ... Nearly hit for the cycle, coming just a single-shy against Mankato back on June 18 ... Collected a summer-high four hits (4-for-6) with three runs scored in a 24-12 win over Thunder Bay (Ontario).
Read more about Martin CLICK HERE
#12 Cody Jones, San Luis Obispo Blues (California Collegiate League):
Played in 17 games this summer, batting .333 (23-of-69) with nine doubles through games played June 27 ... His 23 base hits ranked him third on the team ... Had scored 12 runs while driving in 14 RBI ... Had stolen three bases in five attempts.
#14 Dykota Spiess, Thomasville Hi-Toms (Coastal Plain League):
Has started 21 of the 22 games in which he has seen action ... Is batting .200 (16-of-80) with three doubles and two home runs ... Has driven in 11 runs while scoring nine times ... He had drawn 12 walks against 17 strikeouts on the summer ... Has recorded 26 putouts and one assist in the field, playing error free defense.
#15 Jason Smith, Kernersville Bulldogs (Carolina-Virginia Collegiate League):
After sitting out the 2013 season due to injury, has played in 20 games this summer - tied for second on the team ... Is batting .184 (9-for-49) with a team-leading five doubles ... Has driven in nine runs while scoring eight times ... Has 16 strikeouts against 11 walks with a pair of stolen bases ... Had a three-hit game in a perfect 3-for-3 showing back on June 9.
#16 Colton Davis, Forest City Owls (Coastal Plain League):
Made six appearances out of the bullpen, tossing 10.1 innings while boasting a 0.87 ERA ... Surrendered six runs - only one of which was earned - on five hits with just one extra base knock ... Struck out 15 against seven walks while limiting opposing hitters to a .139 batting average ... Has since left the team to take the remainder of the summer off.
#17 William Frazier, Lake Norman Copperheads (Southern Collegiate League):
Has thrown in one game this summer, tossing a third of an inning in relief back on June 14.
#18 Reece Strong, Kernersville Bulldogs (Carolina-Virginia Collegiate League):
Played in 16 games so far this summer, batting .289 (11-for-38) with a double ... Has two, two-hit games on the summer ... Has drawn 12 walks and been hit by a pitch to add to his .471 on-base percentage and helped him score 16 runs - second on the team ... Has driven in two runs.
#19 Danny Schneider, Lake Norman Copperheads (Southern Collegiate League):
Has made five appearances out of the bullpen this summer, tossing seven innings with an 0-1 overall record ... Threw a summer-long 2.1 innings back on June 19 ... Scattered four base hits with just one unearned run allowed, limiting opposing hitters to a .190 batting average ... Countered three walks with nine strikeouts including a summer-high four in two innings of work back on June 17.
#21 Danny Bermudez, Forest City Owls (Coastal Plain League):
Has started all nine games in which he has seen action ... Is batting just .091 (2-for-22) with four RBI ... Drawn five walks with one HBP against 10 strikeouts ... Has 55 put outs and nine assists defensively.
#26 Tyler Powell, San Luis Obispo Blues (California Collegiate League):
Has thrown 10 innings in eight appearances through June 27, holding a 0-1 record with three saves coming out of the bullpen ... Had 17 strikeouts against just five walks, limiting opposing batters to just a .167 batting average against ... Had scattered six hits with three of the four runs allowed going as earned.
#27 Jacob Hoyle, Morehead City Marlins (Coastal Plain League):
Has started 19 of the 20 games in which he has seen action this summer ... Is batting .264 (19-of-72) with four extra base hits including two doubles and two home runs ... Has 21 strikeouts against five walks with an HBP ... Has additionally made two starts on the mound, posting a 0-1 overall record with a 1.12 ERA ... Has scattered four hits through the eight innings of work, striking out nine with just two walks while limiting opposing hitters to a .148 batting average against.
#28 Jordan Smith, San Luis Obispo Blues (California Collegiate League):
Has made four appearances on the mound posting a 1-2 overall record with a 1.47 ERA ... Through June 27, had 18 strikeouts against just four walks ... Scattered 13 hits through 18.1 innings of work with just three of the five runs allowed as earned ... Opponents were hitting just .191 against the right-handed hurler.
#29 Thomas Young, Waynesboro Generals (Valley League):
Has appeared in eight games, all out of the bullpen ... Through 5.2 innings pitched, has surrendered seven runs on nine hits for a 11.11 ERA in limited innings ... Countered four walks with seven strikeouts.
#36 Alex Barr, Kernersville Bulldogs (Carolina-Virginia Collegiate League):
Through June 27, leads the team with nine appearances including two games started, posting a 2-1 record with a save and a 2.10 ERA ... Has tossed 20 innings on the summer, tied for the second-most on the squad ... Has scattered 14 hits, allowing eight runs with just six earned ... Ranks second on the team with 28 strikeouts against 11 walks ... Has tallied a summer-high seven strikeouts in two different outings.
#45 Taylor Sandefur, Waynesboro Generals (Valley League):
Through games played June 27, has made five appearances on the mound including two starts ... Has tossed 18.1 innings, scattering 13 hits with only one for extra bases while allowing nine runs, seven of which were earned ... Has a dozen strikeouts against four walks, limiting opposing batters to a .203 batting average against ... Was named the Generals Player of the Week (June 17-23) after tossing five innings of two-hit relief in an 11-5 victory over Winchester on June 19 ... Additionally has two plate appearances, boasting a .500 batting average after going 1-for-2 with a double.
#46 Jeremy Null, Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox (Cape Cod League):
Right-hander has made four appearances on the season with one start, recording a save out of the bullpen ... Has tossed a combined 8.2 innings surrendering just five earned runs on seven hits with 11 strikeouts - which ranks him second on the team - against just two walks ... Holds a 5.19 ERA while limiting foes to a .219 batting average against
#47 Jonathan Waszak, Winchester Royals (Valley League):
Through games played June 27, tossed 5.1 innings through four appearances on the mound ... Countered three walks with four strikeouts, surrendering three hits without allowing a run ... Opponents were hitting just .188 against him ... Left the team following his June 20th appearance and is expected to take the remainder of the summer off.