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Hoos In The Pros: Minor League Update #3

After looking at the big leagues earlier, now we’re looking around the minors leagues at all of the former Hoos.

Joe McCarthy - UVA Baseball (Credit:
Joe McCarthy - UVA Baseball (Credit:

Earlier, we looked at the former Hoos in (or near) the majors. Now, we’re looking around the minors at all the former Hoos. These guys are in alphabetical order. In parenthesis for each player is his current team.

David Adams, Toronto Blue Jays (Buffalo) – After a few down years, Adams is finally playing well again at AAA. He’s got a 712 OPS, but that includes a 350 OBP, which is pretty good. He’s still a decent 2B, but isn’t hitting for any power. He isn’t on the Marlins 40-man roster, so he’s still a longshot to get back to the big leagues.

Stephen Bruno, Chicago Cubs (Tennessee)– When a 25 year old enters his 3rd year in a row at AA, he isn’t really much of a prospect. Bruno fits the bill, but he’s done reasonably well at AA over the past 2 years. This year, he began the season on the DL, returned and didn’t hit much, then went back on the DL. He hasn’t played since June 10th.

Branden Cogswell, Oakland Athletics - Cogswell has not played this year after suffering an injury before the season began. He didn’t much last year in High-A ball.

Brandon Downes, Kansas City Royals (Wilmington)– Downes is in High-A ball this year, after hitting reasonably well in Low-A last year. He’s batting just .224 with a 648 OPS. The strikeout has been his problem, as he’s K’d 130 times in 339 ABs. He does have 7 HRs and 38 RBI to go along with 10 steals.

Derek Fisher, Houston Astros (Corpus Christi) – A move up to AA has agreed with Fisher, as he’s continued his strong play from last year. Though his BA is just .251, he’s got 14 HRs and 52 RBI to go along with 19 steals and a 820 OPS. He also struggles with strikeouts, though he also draws a lot of walks and his .378 OBP is 3rd on the team.

Reed Gragnani, Boston Red Sox (Salem) – After finishing last year in AAA, Gragnani began this year on the DL. He’s healthy now and he’s working his back to the upper minors. He’s played a handful of games of Rookie ball and High-A ball on his road back. He’s starting to get it together, with an 888 OPS and a HR in 8 games of AA ball.

Nick Howard, Cincinnati Reds (Daytona) – Howard struggled with his command for basically 2 seasons before finally being shut down earlier this month. He hadn’t pitched since mid-June. The nature of the injury has not been released yet, but something was clearly wrong. Howard had walked 81 men in 58 IP, which is ridiculous.

Danny Hultzen – Hultzen actually pitched this year, twice throwing an inning of Rookie ball. He looked ok, walking one and giving up one ER on 3 hits. He did not strike anybody out. He hasn’t pitched since, and where he is on his rehab is unknown. Hopefully, he’s still working his way back.

Nate Irving – Irving does not appear on any roster that I can find. After 2 years of struggling in short-season ball, he may have called it quits.Nate Kirby, Milwaukee Brewers – Kirby is still rehabbing after last season’s Tommy John surgery. He will not pitch this season.

Branden Kline, Baltimore Orioles – Read the above entry for Kirby, only replace Kirby with Kline.

Artie Lewicki, Detroit Tigers (Erie) – After beginning the season at High-A ball, Lewicki was moved up to AA in June. In 4 starts there, he’s 1-2 with a 4.66 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. His K:BB ratio is 23:5, and he’s given up just 19 hits in 19 IP. So the peripherals do not match the high ERA. With some better luck, he should see his numbers get better.

Whit Mayberry, Washington Nationals (Potomac)– Picked up by the Nats a few weeks ago, Mayberry is pitching well in High-A ball. He is 2-1 with a 5.09 ERA, but a 1.13 WHIP and 18:3 K:BB. He’s given up just 23 hits in 23 IP. The ERA is high, but that’s artificial based on his other numbers. DC area fans who want to see him pitch can head to G Richard Pfitzner Stadium in Woodbridge to see the Potomac Nationals play.

Joe McCarthy, Tampa Bay Rays (Charlotte) – Already getting a promotion this year, McCarthy is putting up the same numbers in High-A that he did in Low-A ball. He’s batting .329 with an 874 OPS over 23 games. In Low-A, he batted .288 with an 850 OPS in 43 games. He has stolen 16 bases between the 2 leagues, with 3 HRs and 40 RBi.

Mike Papi, Cleveland Indians (Akron) – Beginning the season back in High-A ball, Papi was raking with an 820 OPS and 7 HR in 40 games. He moved up to AA ball and has struggled with a 682 OPS and just 2 HRs. He’s batting just .208 and has 36 Ks in 42 games.

Josh Sborz, Los Angeles Dodgers (Rancho Cucamonga) – Repeating High-A California League, Sborz has been very good. He’s 7-4 with a 2.68 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP. He’s got 95 Ks in 97 IP and just 28 walks. He could see a promotion to AA before too long.

Kenny Towns, Los Angeles Angels (Inland Empire) – In 10 games at High-A ball, Towns batted .269 with one double. He didn’t walk. He had a 577 OPS. He hasn’t played since June 7th. I can’t find any information on whether he’s hurt or if he’s just done.

Brandon Waddell, Pittsburgh Pirates (Altoona) – Moving up to AA Altoona, Waddell has struggled a bit. He is 6-5 with a 4.43 ERA and 1.57 WHIP. He’s got 51 Ks and 35 BBs in 69 IP. He simply doesn’t miss enough bats to be effective. Maybe he’d be better suited in the bullpen, as he’s been better against lefties than against righties. He still doesn’t miss enough bats though.

Cody Winiarski, Chicago White Sox – Winiarski made his first appearance of the season last week. He started a rookie league game and gave up 3 hits and 2 ER while retiring just 1 batter. He began the season on the DL, but I still have not found any information on the nature of the injury. And I have no idea what he’s up to know after that one disastrous start.