17 Hogs on the Baseball Farm
Sam Bates – LF – Idaho Falls Chukars (R, Kansas City Royals)
In his first season in the minors, left fielder Sam Bates played in five games for the Idaho Falls Chukars, the Rookie ball affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. He batted .222 with one home run and three RBIs. The Chukars’ season does not start this year until June 20.
DJ Baxendale – RHP – Fort Myers Miracle (A, Minnesota Twins)
After dominating Rookie and Class A, the Minnesota Twins promoted pitcher DJ Baxendale to the Class A Advanced Fort Myers Miracle. In 17 appearances last year, he collected two saves in 18.2 innings pitched, allowing just two earned runs on 13 hits for a 0.96 ERA.
He also had 31 strikeouts and only two walks. So far this season, Baxendale is 2-0 in three starts with a 1.04 ERA. He has three walks and 15 strikeouts in 17.1 innings and opponents are batting .164 against him.
Michael Bolsinger – RHP – Mobile BayBears (AA, Arizona Diamondbacks)
Entering his fourth season in the minors, pitcher Michael Bolsinger was 14-11 with a 2.95 ERA, 79 walks and 210 strikeouts. This season, his second in Class AA, Bolsinger has a 1.93 ERA, two walks and six strikeouts in one appearance.
Zack Cox – 3B – Jacksonville Suns (AA, Miami Marlins)
Third baseman Zack Cox was traded from the St. Louis Cardinals organization to the Miami Marlins organization for relief pitcher Edward Mujica at last season’s trade deadline.
Most of his first three seasons were spent in Class AA and AAA. In those three seasons, he
batted .285 with
23 home runs and 112 RBIs in 247 games. This season, he owns a .340 batting average and has four doubles, a triple, five RBIs and 11 walks.
Geoffrey Davenport – LHP – Mahoning Valley Scrappers (A, Cleveland Indians)
Left-handed pitcher Geoffrey Davenport began his minor league career last year with the Class A Short-Season Mahoning Valley Scrappers, posting a 2-3 record and 3.41 ERA. He also had 20 walks and 33 strikeouts. The Scrappers’ 2013 season doesn’t start until June 17.
Brett Eibner – CF – NWA Naturals (AA, Kansas City Royals)
Since being drafted in the second round by the Kansas City Royals in 2010, center fielder Brett Eibner has risen from Class A to Class AA. However, he continues to struggle with striking out.
As of April 22, Eibner has struck out 277 times in 211 career games. Entering the season, he was batting .203 with 27 home runs and 84 RBIs, which was good enough for the Royals to send him to their AA affiliate Northwest Arkansas Naturals in Springdale, Ark. to start the season.
After starting the season 0-for-20, Eibner has turned it around, earning Texas League Player of the Week honors April 22 for his 11-for-26 performance the previous week. He is now batting .200 with two doubles, two home runs and three RBIs for the Naturals.
Dallas Keuchel – LHP – Oklahoma City RedHawks (AAA, Houston Astros)
Left-handed pitcher Dallas Keuchel got a taste of the major leagues last year, starting 16 games and going 3-8 with a 5.27 ERA, and is on the Astros’ 40-man roster this year, but he started the season at Class AAA Oklahoma City.
Entering this season with a 25-29 record and 3.79 ERA in four seasons, Keuchel has appeared in four games for the RedHawks this season, allowing four earned runs in 10.2 innings.
Daryl Maday – RHP – Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA, San Francisco Giants)
Entering this season with a 41-43 record and 16 saves with a 3.78 ERA, pitcher Daryl Maday has moved into a bullpen role for Class AA Richmond.
He has appeared in seven games this season and allowed three earned runs on seven hits and four walks, while striking out eight in 7.2 innings of work.
James McCann – C – Erie SeaWolves (AA, Detroit Tigers)
After being named a midseason All-Star in the Florida State League at Class A Advanced Lakeland last season, the Detroit Tigers promoted catcher James McCann to Class AA Erie, where he begins this season.
Entering this season, he was batting .226 with three home runs and 46 RBIs in 123 games. This season, he is batting .339 with five doubles and eight RBIs.
Blake Parker – RHP – Iowa Cubs (AAA, Chicago Cubs)
Right-handed pitcher Blake Parker appeared in seven games for the Chicago Cubs last season, but posted a 6.00 ERA, so he began this season at Class AAA Iowa.
Now in his seventh minor league season, Parker owns a 3.02 career ERA and 61 saves. This season, he has only allowed two earned runs and three hits in seven innings.
Matt Reynolds – SS – St. Lucie Mets (A, New York Mets)
MLB.com ranked shortstop Matt Reynolds as the New York Mets’ No. 18 minor league prospect before this season and he has shown improvement from his first season.
He is batting .278, compared to .259 in 2012, and has two doubles, a triple, a home run and 11 RBIs. Last season, he hit three home runs and collected 13 RBI in 42 games.
Kyle Robinson – RF – Great Falls Voyagers (R, Chicago White Sox)
Right fielder Kyle Robinson has spent the previous two seasons in Rookie ball and Class A, posting a .255 batting average, hitting seven home runs and collecting 68 RBIs in 110 games.
He will begin this season in Rookie ball with the Great Falls Voyagers, whose season starts June 20.
Nolan Sanburn – RHP – Vermont Lake Monsters (A, Oakland Athletics)
In his first year in the minors, pitcher Nolan Sanburn was 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA for the Class A Short-Season Vermont Lake Monsters.
He walked eight batters and struck out 19 in 18.2 innings. Sanburn will be with Vermont again this season. The Lake Monsters’ season starts June 17.
Nick Schmidt – LHP – Colorado Springs Sky Sox (AAA, Colorado Rockies)
Since being drafted in the first round in 2007, pitcher Nick Schmidt has struggled to live up to expectations.
Entering this season, Schmidt was 28-30 with a 4.52 ERA, 171 walks and 366 strikeouts. However, he showed some promise last season, going 5-3 with a 3.29 ERA for the Class AA Tulsa Drillers and earning Texas League All-Star honors.
This season, he is 1-1 with a 3.07 ERA, eight walks and 14 strikeouts in 14.2 innings of work.
Jess Todd – RHP – Toledo Mud Hens (AAA, Detroit Tigers)
Right-handed pitcher Jess Todd has had success in six minor league seasons and has appeared in two major league seasons.
However, he is 0-1 with a 7.62 ERA in MLB games, so the Detroit Tigers started him at Class AAA Toledo this season. Todd has allowed five hits, two earned runs and struck out six in 7.1 innings this year.
Duke Welker – RHP – Indianapolis Indians (AAA, Pittsburgh Pirates)
Entering the season on the Pittsburgh Pirates 40-man roster, pitcher Duke Welker is 2-0 and has yet to allow an earned run in 10 innings at Class AAA Indianapolis.
He has struck out 12 batters and only walked three, while giving up two hits. In his first five seasons in the minors, he was 13-35 with a 4.29 ERA and 18 saves.
Andy Wilkins – 1B – Birmingham Barons (AA, Chicago White Sox)
After being named an All-Star in Rookie ball in 2010 and Class A Advanced in 2011, first baseman Andy Wilkins has struggled in Class AA.
Last season, he batted .239 for Class AA Birmingham and he is batting .254 this season. In 320 career minor league games, Wilkins has 46 home runs and 204 RBI.