June 27, 2014
Cullowhee, N.C. - A combined 17 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 seven former Western Carolina products playing professionally across the United States.
Two of WCU's three latest draft picks - Adam Martin and Aaron Attaway - have been assigned to their first professional teams began play in mid-June. According to the Chicago Cubs website, WCU junior right-hander Jeremy Null, a 15th round draft pick by the club, remains unsigned.
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 third season with the Twins ... To date, Burton is 1-2 with a 5.63 ERA, having pitched in 34 games with one save, coming in a sweep of the Chicago White Sox - he barehanded a bunt attempt in a one-run game, throwing out the runner at first to secure the save ... This season, he has 25 strikeouts against 15 walks with opponents hitting just .252 against the right hander ... For his major league career, Burton is 16-16 overall with a 3.47 career ERA ... 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 third season with the Royals after making his debut in 2010 ... Holland is 0-2 on the year with 22 saves in 23 save opportunities ... He has struck out 44 against nine walks with opponents hitting just .218 against him on the year in 29.2 innings of work ... For his MLB career, Holland is 14-9 with 89 saves a 2.38 ERA and 335 career strikeouts ... 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 ... He was an American League All-Star in 2013 ... 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.
Updates on Former Catamounts in Minor League Baseball:
Matt Benedict - Bristol Pirates (Rookie League, Appalachian League):
Is in his fourth season in the minor leagues, opening 2014 with the Altoona Curve in Altoona, Pa., before being reassigned to the Bradenton Marauders in Bradenton, Fla. ... Just this week, the hard-throwing right-hander was reassigned to the Bristol Pirates in Bristol, Va. ... Benedict has made 21 appearances this season with one start, posting an 0-5 overall record with a 7.54 ERA ... Through 37.0 innings thrown, has 24 strikeouts against 18 walks ... Was a 2012 South Atlantic League Mid-Season All-Star with the West Virginia Power ... Benedict was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 30th-round of the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Julian Ridings - Charlotte Stone Crabs (Class A Advanced Florida State League):
After playing last year with the Hudson Valley Renegades in short-season ball, opened this year with the Charlotte Stone Crabs based in Port Charlotte, Fla. ... Through games played on June 26, Ridings is batting .270 (17-for-63) with three doubles, two triples and a home run ... In his last 10 games, he has five multi-hit games ... He has six RBI and four runs scored, also stealing a pair of bases ... Ridings was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 18th round of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Tyler White - Quad Cities River Bandits (Class A Midwest League):
After progressing through three stops in his first season as a professional, White opened the 2014 season with the Class A affiliate, Quad Cities River Bandits based in Davenport, Iowa ... Through games played on June 26, White is batting .297 (60-for-202) with 15 doubles - second on the team - a triple and seven home runs ... In 60 games played, he has 36 RBI and scored 30 runs ... White was selected by the Houston Astros in the 33rd round of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Adam Martin - Everett AquaSox (Class A Short Season Northwest League):
Former Catamount catcher Adam Martin was assigned to the Everett AquaSox based in Everett, Wash. ... Through games played June 26, the Marietta, Ga., product is batting .222 (6-for-27) with four RBI and a run scored ... Belted his first professional home run on Thursday (June 26) on a no-doubt, solo shot over the fence in left field ... Currently in a rotation with three others behind the plate, the versatile Martin has proven his worth early to the squad by throwing out nearly all of the would-be base stealers against him ... Martin was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 10th round of the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Aaron Attaway - Bluefield Blue Jays (Rookie League - Appalachian League):
Former WCU middle infielder Aaron Attaway has been assigned to the Bluefield Blue Jays base in Bluefield, W.Va. ... Bluefield's season just opened recently, back on June 19 ... Through games played on June 26, Attaway has seen action in five at shortstop ... the Morganton, N.C., product is still in search of his first professional base hit (0-for-11) but has driven in a run ... Attaway was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 20th round of the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Updates on Current Catamounts in Various Summer Leagues:
#1 Bradley Strong, St. Cloud Rox (Northwoods League):
Returning to the Northwoods League for a second-consecutive year, Strong is hitting .212 (18-for-85) in 21 games played this summer ... He has three doubles and a home run ... Strong has scored 13 runs to go along with eight RBI ... the Richlands, Va., product has 10 stolen bases to date this summer.
#3 J.D. Long, Alexandria Aces (Cal Ripken League):
In 16 games played this summer, Long is batting .286 (18-for-63) with three doubles and three runs driven in from his infield position ... He has drawn eight walks and added four stolen bases through games played on June 26 ... Long has a pair of three-hit games including two, 3-for-5 outings.
#4 Jason Smith, New Market Rebels (Valley League):
Has played in 15 games through June 26, hitting .109 (5-for-46) with four runs driven in ... Has reached base eight times via the base on balls.
#8 Dale Urquhart Jr., Thomasville Hi-Toms (Coastal Plain League):
Has played in 15 games this summer making 14 starts in the outfield ... Is batting .163 (7-for-43) with a double and two RBI ... He has walked eight times and been hit by a pitch four times to bolster his .345 on-base percentage
#9 Reece Strong, Aldie Senators (Valley League):
Splitting time between the infield and some time on the mound this summer ... In 15 games played, he is batting .204 (10-for-49) with a double and four runs scored ... He has drawn six walks and stolen two bases ... On the mound, has made four relief pitching appearances with a 1.42 ERA in 6.1 innings ... He has struck out five against two walks, tossing a summer-long 2.2 innings in his debut back on June 7.
#17 Matt Smith, Licking County Settlers (Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League):
Through seven games this summer, is batting .200 (3-for-15) which did include a two-hit showing back on June 20 ... Has additionally made three relief appearances on the mound this summer, tossing 2.2 innings ... Holds a 10.12 ERA in limited time on the hill.
#18 B.J. Nobles, Newark Pilots (Perfect Game Collegiate League):
Has made four relief appearances this summer with five innings pitched and one save to his credit ... Has six strikeouts against five walks, allowing just three hits and one run surrendered
#20 Taylor Durand, Falmouth Commodores (Cape Cod League):
On a temporary contract to start the summer in the prestigious Cape Cod League, Durand has made five relief appearances with just one earned run allowed in six innings for a 1.50 ERA ... Has four strikeouts against four walks and has surrendered just two base hits.
#21 Danny Bermudez, Alexandria Aces (Cal Ripken League):
Is off to a tremendous start this summer, ranking third on the team with a .333 batting average (19-for-57) with five doubles and two home runs ... Has six multi-hit games including a pair of three-hit outings so far ... Having played in 17 of the team's 18 games to date, he ranks second on the squad with 10 RBI, adding a pair of sacrifice flies.
#22 Korey Anderson, Alexandria Aces (Cal Ripken League):
Has appeared in four games this summer, all in a relief role ... Has tossed 7. Innings with a 1-1 record and one save ... Has five strikeouts against four walks ... Has recorded two-or-more innings of work in three of his outings ... Opponents are currently hitting .292 against Anderson this summer.
#27 Jacob Hoyle, San Luis Obispo Blues (California Collegiate League):
Playing on the West Coast, Hoyle has carried his strong junior campaign over to the summer ... Through June 26, he ranks third on the SLO Blues squad with a .328 batting average (21-for-64) with a team-high tying seven doubles and two home runs ... He ranks second on the team with 18 RBI with 10 hits with runners in scoring position
#34 Nate Williams, Alexandria Aces (Cal Ripken League):
Has made five appearances on the summer with a 1-0 record with a save and a 2.25 ERA ... Earned his victory back on June 19 with a long outing of 3.2 innings of one-hit relief, countering five walks with five strikeouts ... Opponents are batting just .144 against Williams this summer.
#36 Alex Barr, Kernersville Bulldogs (Carolina Virginia Collegiate League):
Through four appearances including two starts, holds a 2-0 record with a save in one save opportunity for the Bulldogs ... Has yet to allow an earned run, countering four walks with nine strikeouts ... In 9.1 innings on the mound, has scattered six hits ... Opponents are hitting just .176 against him this summer.
#38 Dylan Prevatte, Newark Pilots (Perfect Game Collegiate League):
Opened the summer with the Pilots, starting three games ... Struggled finding a rhythm with the wooden bat, going 0-for-9 at the plate with three strikeouts ... Walked twice and reached once on a HBP.
#39 Dillon Bray, Kernersville Bulldogs (Carolina Virginia Collegiate League):
Has made five relief appearances this summer with a 1-0 record and 1.00 ERA ... Has tossed seven innings with one earned run allowed through seven frames ... Countered four walks with six strikeouts while limiting opponents to a .185 batting average against.
#44 Pierce Suttles, Lake Norman Copperheads (Southern Collegiate League):
Has played in 12 games through June 26, batting .216 (8-for-37) with four doubles and three RBI ... Had a two-hit game back on June 14, collecting his fourth double ... Has made one pitching appearance, tossing a inning in relief back on June 7 with a hit and two walks allowed.
#47 Jonathan Waszak, Wilson Tobs (Coastal Plain League):
Is having a strong summer on the mound in eastern North Carolina ... Has made eight appearances including one start, boasting a 1.54 ERA through 11.2 innings of work ... Counters nine walks with nine strikeouts and is limiting opponents to a .227 batting average against ... Has only allowed five runs this summer - two earned ... Through June 24, has made seven-straight appearances without allowing an earned run.