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Hoos in the Pros: Major League Update #1

The MLB season is underway and there were 7 Hoos on opening day rosters. So we though we'd take a quick look at those guys. There's also a few guys who are close to the Majors, and are likely to play there this year. So, we included them in the major league update.

Entering his 14th MLB season, Lopez is the elder statesmen of former Hoos playing pro baseball.
Entering his 14th MLB season, Lopez is the elder statesmen of former Hoos playing pro baseball.
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

With the MLB season underway, it's time to take a look around the baseball landscape to see where all the former Hoos are playing. There were 7 Hoos on active opening day rosters in the Majors, so we'll start with them. There are also a few guys who aren't in the majors to open the season, but likely will be at some point, so we'll take a look at those guys next.

There's also a large (and growing) group of former Wahoos playing at various levels of minor league ball. Tomorrow, we'll finish up by taking a look at those guys. We'll try to let you know where they'll all be opening their seasons. Some of the minor leagues haven't begun their seasons yet, some we'll be taking some be guesses. And, of course, we'll keep you updated as the season progresses.

Current Major Leaguers

For the 7 current major leaguers, we'll go by seniority.

Javier Lopez, RP, San Francisco Giants - Lopez is now 38 years old and entering his 14th major league season. At this point in his career, he used almost exclusively against lefties and he excels in that capacity. Last season, he pitched 77 times, totaling 39.1 IP and finished with a 1.60 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP. Those are outstanding numbers. He allowed just a .112 batting average versus lefties. He's in the same role for the same team this year, and figures to be just as good. He's already pitched 4 times this year.

Ryan Zimmerman, 1B, Washington Nationals - Zimm is in his 12th season for the Nats, and is now in his second season as a first baseman after beginning his career as a third baseman (and winning a gold glove there). His biggest problem recently has been staying healthy, although he's also struggled to produce when he has been on the field. Last year, he batted just .249 though he did hit 16 HRs in just 95 games. He drove in 73 runs and finished with a 773 OPS. He's off to a good start this year, with an 845 OPS through 3 games.

Mark Reynolds, 1B, Colorado Rockies - Another guy who began his career at third and has moved to first, Reynolds is on his 5th team in the past 4 years. He's now in Colorado, where his power should translate well. Last year, playing for St Louis, he batted .203 with 13 HRs in 140 games (43 of those games were pinch hitting appearances). He also struck out 121 times in 432 ABs. Right now, he appears to be the starter at 1B for the Rockies, but he's just 2/16 through his first 4 games so we'll see how long that lasts.

Brandon Guyer, OF, Tampa Bay Rays - Getting his first extended playing time as a starter last year, Guyer batted .265 with a 771 OPS and 8 HRs. He drove in 28 runs, scored 51 times and stole 10 bases. He was also hit by a pitch 24 times, which was tops in the American League. He played all 3 OF positions for the Rays, though spent most of his time in LF. Fielding statistics aren't great, but most metrics show Guyer to be a decent OF though perhaps not suited to playing CF. He's begun the season as the primary left fielder against lefties. Other than that, he'll mostly be used as a pinch hitter.

Sean Doolittle, RP, Oakland Athletics - After missing most of last season following a shoulder injury, Doc is back at Closer for the A's. He pitched just 12 times last year, most of those coming at the end of the season, and finished with a 3.95 ERA and 1.24 WHIP with 15 Ks in 13.2 IP. So far this year, he's pitched 4 times, totaling 3.2 IP and has a 2.45 ERA and 1.36 WHIP. He has a win and a save and 4 Ks versus 1 walk. The A's signed Ryan Madson in the offseason, and it seems possible that the A's will use both as closers, depending on matchups. Doolittle is a lefty while Madson is a righty.

Phil Gosselin, 2B, Arizona Diamondbacks - After a midseason trade to Arizona, Phil finally began hitting, putting up a .382 BA and a 927 OPS in 24 games (15 starts). He HR'd 3 times, and doubled 5 times. He enters this season, as one of several players vying for playing time in the infield for the Diamondbacks. So far this year, he's started once, and pinch hit 5 times. He's 1/8 with 3 Ks.

Tyler Wilson, RP, Baltimore Orioles - Wilson made his major league debut last May and ended up pitching           9 times, including 5 starts. He finished 2-2 with a 3.50 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP. He struck out 13 and walked 11 in 36 IP. This year, he's begun the season in the bullpen, and has pitched once, coming in after a rain delay and throwing 3 innings, giving up just 2 hits, no walks, and no runs while striking out 1. He might get the odd spot start this season, but otherwise, long relief is likely his role for the time being.

Likely Major Leaguers

For this next group, we'll go in order of Major League Service Time.

Kyle Crockett, RP, Cleveland Indians - Crockett spent much of 2015 with the big club, pitching 31 times, totaling 17.2 innings. He had a 4.08 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP, to go along with 15 Ks and 7 BBs. Those numbers weren't great, but Crockett was very good against lefties and that figures to be his role going forward. He will open this season in AAA with the Columbus Cloppers, in large part because the Indians have a strong bullpen. However, they do not have a lefty in the pen right now, so Crockett will definitely get a shot at some point.

Chris Taylor, SS, Seattle Mariners - Taylor has spent part of the past two seasons in the majors, but hasn't hit either time. Last year, in 37 games and 102 ABs, he batted just .170 with a 443 OPS. His AAA numbers, though, are outstanding. His career OPS in AAA is 852. He's also stolen 30 bases over part of 3 seasons in AAA and he's stolen 8 in his major league career. He's begun the 2016 season in Tacoma, the Mariners AAA club. The Mariners have two SSs on the major league roster, but neither one is much of a hitter. The other two are probably better in the field than Taylor, but Taylor should still get a shot in bigs this year, due to his potential with the bat.

Jarrett Parker, OF, San Francisco Giants - Putting up big numbers in your first extended run in the big leagues often leads to a big league job the next year, but this was not the case for Parker. He came up for a cup of coffee in June, but then finished the season with the big club once rosters expanded in September. Parker played 17 games in September and October, and batted .347 with 6 HRs and 14 RBI. (Three of those HRs came in one game.) He had a 1.163 OPS and also stole a base. Once again, fielding statistics are hard to trust, especially in small sample sizes, but Parker is considered a good defensive OF. He struggled a bit in spring training, and so begins the season in AAA Sacramento. He's struggling there through his first 4 games, though he'll likely pick it up. He will also likely get a shot in the bigs this year, as the Giants aren't exactly loaded in the OF.

John Hicks, C, Minnesota Twins - Like Parker, Hicks came up to the bigs when rosters expanded and finished the season with the big club. Unlike Parker, Hicks wasn't particularly impressive. He batted just .063 (2/32) with a double, an RBI and a run scored. He also stole a base. He struck out 18 times. He was, to put it mildly, overmatched by major league pitching. The Mariners dropped him from their 40-man roster, and the Twins claimed him on waivers. He's beginning the season at Rochester, the Twins AAA club. Hicks' minor league hitting numbers have never been great, but he's considered a good backstop and threw out half of the baserunners who ran on him last year. Hicks is on the Twins' 40-man roster, so if either of the Twins major league catchers get hurt, Hicks will get the call.

Will Roberts, SP/RP, Cleveland Indians - This one may be a bit of wishful thinking, because Roberts hasn't yet reached the majors. However, he pitched pretty well in AAA last year and has hopefully earned a shot. He's been a starter for the entirety of his minor league career, but his shot in Cleveland is more likely as a relief pitcher. It's possible that he'd get a spot start, but there are options ahead of him for that. However, should the Indians need another arm in the bullpen, Roberts could get a look.