It’s been too long since I blogged about baseball.
With the Hudson Valley Renegades’ opening day around the corner (the season opens June 19 at Aberdeen) the roster is starting to take shape as the parent club, the Tampa Bay Rays, pick players in the MLB draft.
There are still plenty of rounds to go – I’ll be updating this post throughout the week – but I thought it’d be worthwhile to take a look at Tampa Bay’s picks, especially the college players, to get an idea of who might be playing at Dutchess Stadium this summer.
Of course, some of these players may opt not to sign or may be assigned to another minor league team, so there’s no guarantee that these guys wind up playing for Hudson Valley.
Commissioner of Major League Baseball Rob Manfred, left, helps outfielder Garrett Whitley from Niskayuna High School in Niskayuna, N.Y., put on his Tampa Bay Rays jersey at the 2015 MLB baseball draft Monday, June 8, 2015, in Secaucus, N.J. Whitley was chosen by the Rays with the 13th selection. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Garrett Whitley, OF, Niskayuna H.S.
Whitley will almost certainly sign with the Rays after going No. 13 overall, but he won’t play for Hudson Valley this summer. In fact, if he excels in rookie ball this year he might skip the New York-Penn League entirely. But it’s possible he plays here next summer or the year after that.
Brandon Lowe, 2B, Univ. of Maryland, 3rd-year Soph.
Lowe was a big part of the Terps success this season, but he suffered a broken fibula in the final game of the season. As a third-year sophomore he was draft eligible, but may decide to return to school. Either way, his injury will apparently keep him off the diamond this summer.
Brandon Koch, RHP, Dallas Baptist Univ., Jr.
Koch was one of five closers nominated for the Stopper of the Year award. He went 3-2 with 14 saves in 26 appearances this spring and he’s striking out 15.91 batters per nine innings. If he signs, Koch could certainly be part of the Renegades relief corps.
Joe McCarthy, OF, BL/TL, Univ. of Virginia, Jr.
A Scranton, Pa. product, McCarthy would be a quick trip away on I-84 should be get assigned to the Renegades this summer. It might be a while before McCarthy gets here, as the Cavaliers are still alive in the College World Series after dispatching Maryland in the Super Regional. Through today, McCarthy was hitting .225 through 26 games, all of which were starts. He does walk more than he strikes out (20 BBs to 15 Ks) and he was a first team All-ACC selection as a sophomore. McCarthy missed the first 35 games of the season after undergoing offseason back surgery.
Benton Moss, RHP, Univ. North Carolina, Sr.
Moss was a 15th round pick of the Giants in last year’s draft, but he opted to go back to college. He was a first team All-Academic honoree this season, which probably explains his choice. He went 7-1 with a 3.44 ERA in 13 appearances this season and ranks second in UNC history in strikeouts and fifth in innings pitched. He’s only pitched 68 innings so far in 2015, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him in the Renegades’ starting rotation this summer.
Jake Croneworth, 2B, BL/TR, Univ. Michigan, Jr.
Croneworth has started every game in his college career, which also involved some time on the mound. He hit .338 over 64 games this season with 18 doubles and six home runs. He’s another player who drew more walks than strikeouts. He could be Hudson Valley’s starting second baseman (or a utility guy) this summer.
Reece Karalus, RHP, Santa Clara Univ., Jr.
Mostly a reliever – he did make five starts this season – Karalus went 3-6 with a 2.82 ERA and nine saves for Santa Clara this spring. He struck out 68 against 10 walks over 60 2/3 innings pitched.
Danny De La Calle, C, BR/TR, Florida State, Sr.
A college senior, De La Calle should be an easy sign and could get most of the at-bats as Hudson Valley’s catcher. He played previously at Miami-Dade College and played for the Brewster Whitecaps in the Cape Cod League last summer.
Sam Triece, RHP, Washington State Univ., Sr.
A senior reliever, Triece should be part of the Renegades bullpen this year. He went 5-0 with a 2.66 ERA in 31 appearances this season, three of which were starts. In 50 2/3 innings, he allowed 41 hits, struck out 59 and walked 25.
Ian Gibaut, RHP, Tulane Univ., Jr.
Another college reliever with a solid strikeout-to-walk ratio, Gibaut had nine saves for the Green Wave this spring. He struck out 51 against 23 walks over 46 1.3 innings.
David Olmedo-Barrera, OF, BL/TR, Cal State-Fullerton, Jr.
Olmedo-Barrera was a 40th round pick of the Oakland A’s following his senior year of high school, but he opted to go to college. He hit .328 with eight doubles, 10 homers and 45 RBI in 58 games this spring.
Nicholas Padilla, RHP, Grayson County (Tx.) College, Fr.
A Bronx native, Padilla joined one of the premier junior college programs out of high school. According to the NJCAA website, he went 1-1 over 23 2/3 innings this spring with 18 strikeouts and an 1.90 ERA (those stats could be missing some games, however). He could sign…or he could wind up at a Div. I school in the future.
Tyler Brashears, RHP, Univ. Hawaii, Jr.
The Rainbow Warriors’ No. 1 starter this season, Brashears went 8-5 with a 1.86 ERA with 68 strikeouts and 19 walks over 101 2/3 innings this season. He could go back to school but if he signs, look for him to come out of the bullpen as the Rays’ organization is typically pretty cautious about innings with young pitchers.
Ethan Clark, RHP, Crowder (Mo.) College, Soph.
Clark went 5-2 with a 4.04 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 62 1/3 junior college innings this spring. Another guy who could go pro or stick around in college ball with a Div. I team next year.
Brett Sullivan, SS, BL/TR, Univ. of the Pacific, Jr.
Sullivan hit .275 with seven home runs and 28 RBI in 47 games for the Tigers this year. He played for the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod League last summer, so he’d fit right in talent-wise in the New York-Penn League. His older brother Tyler Sullivan was picked by the White Sox in the 14th round.
Landon Cray, OF, BL/TR, Seattle Univ., Jr.
A Washington State native, Cray’s uncle was longtime MLB first baseman Paul Sorrento, who ended his career with Tampa Bay. Cray hit .324 with 30 RBI and 40 runs scored in 50 games.
Porter Clayton, LHP, Dixie (Utah) State, Jr.
Clayton had previously pitched at the Univ. of Oregon, but transferred to Dixie State for his junior year. He didn’t play in 2012 or 2013 while he served a mission with the Church of Latter Day Saints. He was 5-5 with a 5.20 ERA in 15 starts this year, striking out 60, walking 36 and giving up 69 hits over 71 innings pitched. Clayton could be part of the Renegades’ rotation should he choose to sign.
Matt Dacey, 3B, BL/TR, Univ. of Richmond, Jr.
A North Jersey native, Dacey played high school ball at Don Bosco before redshirting his freshman year at Michigan. He hit .313 with 17 home runs and 52 RBI for the Spiders. Will he sign or does he hope the power comes back his senior year and he’s drafted higher in 2016?
Reign Letkeman, RHP, Big Bend (Wa.) CC, Soph.
An Alberta native, Letkeman went 7-4 with a 1.59 ERA this past season.
Noel Rodriguez, RHP, Paradise Valley (Az.) CC, Soph.
In 76 2/3 innings this year, Rodriguez went 7-2 with a 3.64 ERA, striking out 82 and giving up 74 hits. He is a Colorado Mesa University commit, but could always sign and wind up in Hudson Valley this summer.
Kyle Teaf, SS, BL/TR, Univ. of South Florida, Sr.
Teaf started nearly every game at shortstop over the past four seasons at South Florida. This spring, he hit .301 with eight doubles and six triples. He never hit for much power in college but is yet another guy who projects as a solid defender and someone who has a good eye at the plate.
Timothy Ingram, RHP, SUNY Old Westbury, Sr.
Ingram was the 2015 Skyline Conference pitcher of the year. He had won the award in 2014 as well. Ingram went 8-3 with a 1.82 ERA, striking out 92 and walking 20 over 69 1/3 innings. He looks like a candidate for the Renegades, although there’s a big gap between the NY-PL and the Skyline Conference.
Ty Jackson, RHP, Lewis-Clark (Id.) State, redshirt Jr.
A dual threat at Lewis-Clark, Jackson went 8-1 with a 1.76 ERA this year and also hit .322 with nine home runs and 54 RBI. Lewis-Clark won the NAIA championship this year, the 17th in school history. He has some college eligibility left, so he might not sign.
Collin Chapman, RHP, Lamar Univ., redshirt Jr.
Another redshirt junior, Chapman only made nine appearances this year, five of which were starts. He’s had some injury problems earlier in his college career.
Blake Butera, 2B, BR/TR, Boston College, Sr.
A team captain at BC, Butera is a Louisiana native who holds school records in at-bats (774) and walks (112). He’s another good defense, solid eye, not much power middle infielder in the Rays’ system.
Bryan Bonnell, RHP, Univ. Nevada-Las Vegas, Jr.
Played for Yarmouth-Dennis in the Cape Cod League last summer, so the talent is there despite his 1-5 record and 7.39 ERA this past season at UNLV. He gave up 47 hits in 28 innings in college this year.
Kewby Meyer, OF, BL/TL, Univ. of Nevada, Sr.
A Hawaii native, Meyer finished his college career ranked second in career doubles (69) and fourth in hits (273) for the Wolfpack. He ended his career as the active NCAA leader in doubles. Signing shouldn’t be a problem and his experience makes him a near-lock for a spot in the Renegades’ outfield this season.
Thirty eighth round
Steven Sensley, 1B, BL/TL, Louisiana State-Eunice, redshirt Fr.
Sensley hit .374 with 21 home runs and 80 RBI (!) in 57 games for Eunice, the NJCAA Div. II national champion, this past season. He’s got another year of JUCO eligibility left, so does he go back to school to try to move up in the draft and get a bigger bonus in 2016 or is he ready for the pros?