The Cavalier baseball family got more good news yesterday as MLB teams were announcing the players they were placing on their 40-man rosters. Former Cavaliers John "Jazz" Hicks and Tyler Wilson were selected by the Mariners and O's to be placed on their rosters.
Both were likely placed on their respective 40-man rosters due to the upcoming Rule 5 draft. I won't begin to try and explain the draft, but it essentially means that the M's and O's thought the two were likely to be selected by other teams and saw them as a valuable commodity. It doesn't mean that either Wilson or Hicks will be playing with the big league club this season, but they are now significantly closer. Placement on the 40-man means an easier selection to the big league club if the need arises.
More importantly, it means the two will be paid much better than they have been paid during their previous seasons in the minors.
Hicks had a strong 2014 in the Mariners system. He started the season by getting invited to the big league spring training, and used that as a spring board. He began the year at AA Jackson before being called up to AAA Tacoma. Overall, he hit .290 with a .351 on base percentage and a .403 slugging percentage. It's likely Jazz begins the season at AAA and could be called up should one of the Mariners' catchers go down.
Much like Hicks, Tyler Wilson began the year at AA Bowie before being moved up to AAA Norfolk. He posted winning records and strong ERAs at both levels. Combined, he was 14-8 with a 3.67 ERA and nearly a a strikeout per inning pitched. Also similar to Hicks, he'll likely begin the season back at AAA Norfolk. The O's won the AL East last year and should be competitive again this season. It could take an injury to get Wilson to the bigs, but he could see a few spot starts with the big league club and hope to impress.
With the two selections, there are now eleven former Cavaliers on big league 40 man rosters. The Mariners alone have three on their roster with Danny Hultzen, Chris Taylor, and Hicks; they could have four at some point soon with Andrew Carraway at AAA Tacoma. Although there are eleven now, I would anticipate Mark Reynolds signing with a club in the near future to bring the total to twelve.
The Hoos are dominating on the field at the college level and slowly but surely taking over the big leagues as well.