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Catamount Diamond Notes: Summer Update (July 24)

Korey Anderson (above) signed a free agent contract with the San Diego Padres giving WCU seven active professional baseball players.
July 24, 2017

Cullowhee, N.C. - As the collegiate summer leagues near the end of their respective regular seasons and postseason play and the Majors focused on the trade deadline and stretch runs in the second half of the season, takes this opportunity to catch-up with some of Western Carolina’s “boys of summer,” with a look at both former and current Catamount baseball players.

White Returns to the Majors:
On Sunday, July 23, former Catamount infielder Tyler White was recalled to the Major League roster for the American League West first-place Houston Astros, which currently has the second-best record in the MLB. The promotion marks the first time this season that White has been on the MLB roster since batting .217 (54-for-249) with 16 doubles, eight home runs, and 28 RBI in 85 games last year as a rookie for Houston.

This season with the Triple-A affiliate Fresno (Calif.) Grizzlies, White has hit .299 (107-for-358) with a single-season, career-high tying 70 runs scored. His power numbers are up, too, with 19 doubles, a triple, and 19 home runs. Through 91 games this season, the Forest City, N.C., native has 69 RBI in the minors.

Anderson Signs Free Agent Deal with Padres:
Former Catamount RHP Korey Anderson saw his dream of playing professional baseball come true on July 17, 2017, as he was signed as a free agent by the San Diego Padres. Anderson made his professional debut with the rookie squad, the Arizona League (AZL) Padres, on July 22, striking out two against a walk in an inning of hitless, scoreless relief.

The Grayson, Ga., native pitched in 72 games with 16 starts, seeing a variety of roles during his collegiate career that concluded with him in a finishing role. He recorded five victories and six saves during his time in Cullowhee, posting a career ERA of 6.95 that included a career-low, 3.92 as a senior in a year that saw him make a team-high 30 relief appearances – tied for 15th in the school’s single-season record books.



Anderson’s signing gives WCU seven former players currently active in professional baseball within the Major and Minor League system – he joins 2017 entrants Brett Pope and Bryan Sammons:

- Greg Holland, MLB – Colorado Rockies (see All-Star note below):

- Tyler White, MLB – Houston Astros / Triple A, Pacific Coast League, Fresno Grizzlies (see note above)

- Garrett Brown, West Virginia Power – Class A, South Atlantic League (Pittsburgh Pirates): In his second season as a professional, Brown has moved from the New York-Penn short-season league to the South Atlantic League … He is batting .333 with three doubles, two triples, and 14 RBI in 23 games with the Power … He has played for three teams in his career, all within the Pirates organization;

- Colton Davis, Cedar Rapids Kernels – Class A, Midwest League (Minnesota Twins): In his second season as a professional, Davis has a 4-2 record with two saves in four opportunities and a 1.79 ERA … the Commerce, Ga., native has 45 strikeouts against 18 walks on the year;

- Brett Pope, West Virginia Black Bears – Class A Short, New York-Penn League (Pittsburgh Pirates): In his first season as a professional, was assigned directly to the short-season squad after being drafted in the 22nd round of the 2017 MLB First-Year Player Draft … Has 10 hits including two doubles with three RBI and two stolen bases … His first professional hit came back on June 29, 2017;

- Bryan Sammons, Elizabethton Twins – Rookie, Appalachian League (Minnesota Twins): With the rookie-league squad, has made six appearances with a pair of starts … Over his first 19.2 innings of work, has only allowed six runs – four earned – on 11 hits with 25 strikeouts against seven walks.

Additional Professional Notes:
- Former Catamount RHP Jeremy Null was released by the Chicago Cubs’ affiliate, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, on April 28, 2017 after spending six days on the temporarily inactive list … Null was a mid-season all-star in 2015 while pitching for the South Bend Cubs, earning the all-star game “Top Star” award … Null was a 15th round draft pick by the Chicago Cubs in the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft;

- Former Catamount infielder Aaron Attaway retired and was officially released by the Toronto Blue Jays organization in mid-March, 2017 … the Morganton, N.C., native played for three teams during his three-year minor league career, batting .210 … Attaway was a 20th-round draft pick by Toronto in 2014;

- Former Catamount RHP Jordan Smith was officially released by the Detroit Tigers organization in late March of 2017 after pitching three seasons … Smith was 9-9 with a 3.31 ERA with three different teams in his minor league career … Smith signed as a free agent with Detroit following the 2014 draft;

- Former Catamount infielder Bradley Strong has officially retired from professional baseball after two years of playing … Started the 2017 season with the same team he ended 2016 – the Kannapolis Intimidators – Strong was released by the White Sox before signing with the Minnesota Twins in early April, 2017 … Initially assigned to extended spring training, Strong progressed to the Fort Myers (Fla.) Miracle where he played in 25 games with a .250 (23-for-92) batting average that included two homers, four doubles, and 10 RBI … He officially retired and was released on June 27, 2017 … Strong was a 28th round draft pick by the Chicago White Sox in the 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft.

Catamount All-Star Selections:
- Former Catamount RHP Greg Holland made his third career Major League Baseball All-Star game appearance this summer – his first with the National League as a part of the Colorado Rockies organization … Holland struck out two in the NL’s 2-1 loss to the American League as he was called on in a tie game in the eighth inning … Holland, a 10th-round draft pick by the Kansas City Royals in the 2007 MLB First-Year Player Draft, leads the Majors with 31 saves in 32 opportunities entering play on July 24, and has to be among consideration for the Comeback Player of the Year, an award that has been given out annually in both leagues since 2005;

- Playing for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, Catamount senior LHP Brendan Nail was dubbed a mid-season All-Star in the prestigious Cape Cod League … the game was played Saturday, July 22 at Spillane Field in Wareham, Mass. … the Greensboro, N.C., native tossed 0.2 innings of one-hit, scoreless relief with a strikeout for the winning East squad

- Selected at first base, Catamount sophomore catcher Luke Robinson was named a South Division All-Star in the Valley League … the game was played at JMU’s Veterans Memorial Park in Harrisonburg, Va. … Robinson, who is playing this summer with the Waynesboro (Va.) Generals, scored an insurance run in the ninth inning of the South team’s 5-0 shutout victory;

- Playing for the Piedmont (S.C.) Pride, WCU redshirt freshman catcher Kitt Capell was tabbed a Southern Collegiate Baseball League (SCBL) All-Star … Capell and the other SCBL All-Stars took part in the Southeastern Collegiate Prospect Showcase which included a pro-style workout and a round-robin tournament against All-Stars from the Florida, Cal Ripken, Valley, and Sun Belt Leagues … the SCBL All-Stars split their two games at the Showcase.

Additional Summer League Notes:
- Catcher Spencer Holcomb was named the Northwoods League “Player of the Night” back on June 7 after finishing 1-for-2 as a pinch hitter with a two-run, walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth for the St. Cloud Rox;

- Catamount infielder / DH Andrew Bullock collected the first-ever RBI base hit to plate the first-ever run for the expansion Fond Du Loc Dock Spiders in the Northwoods League … Bullock had a RBI double back on May 30 … Bullock also hit the first grand slam in team history in early July in a win over the Wisconsin Woodchucks;

Following the conclusion of the summer league schedule, bios on will be updated for each returning Catamount player for the 2017-18 year.