ZooKeepers In The Pros

The Asheboro ZooKeepers have had four former players advance to the Major Leagues. Two, Trevor Richards and Mike Wright, are still active.

There are a number of candidates who may very well add to that number very soon. Here’s a look at the former Asheboro ZooKeepers who were still active in minor league baseball this past season and how they performed.

Trevor Richards (Tampa Bay Rays)

After going 3-12 for the Miami Marlins with a 4.50 ERA in 23 games, 20 as a starter, he was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays, where he finished 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA in seven games, including three starts. In 23 ⅓ innings pitched for the Rays, he gave up 23 hits, walked just five and fanned 24. He was not on the Tampa Bay playoff roster.

Mike Wright (Free agent)

He spent time with the Baltimore Orioles and the Seattle Mariners, going 0-1 with a 7.98 ERA in 19 games. He threw 29 ⅓ innings, allowing 44 hits, while walking 12 and striking out 30. He elected to become a free agent after this past season.

T.J. Nichting (Baltimore Orioles)

He spent his summer in the Eastern League, playing 105 games for Bowie, helping get the Baysox into the league’s championship series. The switch-hitter posted a .256 average at the plate with six home runs and    34 RBI. A total of 24 multi-hit games were put together by the former Asheboro outfielder with a pair of three and four-hit games.

Peyton Williams (Atlanta Braves)

After just one appearance in the Gulf Coast League, he spent the majority of his first professional  season with Danville of the Appalachian League, the advanced rookie affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. There, he was 2-3 with a 6.38 ERA, getting into 12 games, including three as a starter. He gave up 22 hits in 24 innings while walking nine and striking out 21.

Luke Tendler (Boston Red Sox)

Playing for the Portland Sea Dogs of the Double-A Eastern League for the second straight year, Tendler hit .235. In 122 games with the Boston Red Sox affiliate, he recorded 23 doubles, 11 home runs and 58 RBIs. His minor league career batting average is .265. He also had eight assists from the outfield.

Austin Bossart (New York Mets)

He started this past season with the Reading Fightin Phils before being traded to the New York Mets and being assigned to the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, also of the Eastern League. He hit .195 with seven home runs and 28 RBIs for Reading before hitting .200 with six doubles for the Rumble Ponies.

Bryan Blanton (New York Yankees)

Playing for Charleston of the South Atlantic League (A), Tampa of the Florida State League (Advanced A) and Staten Island in Short A, he pitched in 22 games, finishing 2-2 with an impressive 2.91 ERA. Coming out of the bullpen, he threw 46 ⅓ innings, giving up just 28 hits. He walked 20 and fanned 67.

Nic Perkins (Washington Nationals)

The catcher played for the Washington Nationals’ Rookie League team in the Gulf Coast League and the Hagerstown Suns of the South Atlantic Class A League. Combined, he hit .215 in 66 games, scoring 45 times.

Devin Sweet (Seattle Mariners)

Starting out with the Class A West Virginia Power, he finished the season with the Modesto Nuts of the Class A Advanced California League,  putting together an incredible season. He went a combined 8-5 with a 2.76 ERA. In 127 ⅓ innings pitched, he fanned a whopping 157 batters, while walking just 27. He appeared in 34 games overall, starting 15.

Brady Feigel (Oakland A’s)

He pitched for the Stockton Ports of the California Advanced A League this past season, finishing 5-11 with a 4.42 ERA. He, however, had a very impressive strikeout-to-walk ratio with 35 walks and 119 strikeouts in 134 1/3 innings. He is currently pitching in the Arizona Fall League.

Ethan DeCaster (Detroit Tigers)

He spent most of the season shuffled between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo. He went 4-3 with a nice 2.70 ERA in 44 games pitched. He gave up 64 hits in 73 ⅓ innings, while walking 15 and striking out 71.

Mason Fox (San Diego Padres) 

He split time at three different levels with the Padres, starting with the Tri-City Dust Devils in the A-Short Northwest League, moving to the Fort Wayne TinCaps of the Midwest League (A-Full) and finishing with the Lake Elsinore Storm in the A-Advanced California League. He went a combined 3-0 with a 0.55 ERA in 24 games, recording four saves. He gaveup just 16 hits in 32 ⅔ innings with 16 walks and 56 strikeouts.

Clark Brinkman (Detroit Tigers)

He kept his bags packed all season as he played for the Connecticut Tigers of the A-Short New York Penn League, the GCL Tigers of the Rookie Gulf Coast League, the Lakeland Flying Tigers of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League and the West Michigan Whitecaps of the Midwest League (A-Full). Combined, he hit .246 in 38 games with two home runs and 10 RBIs.

Ted Cillis (Kansas City Royals)

Playing for the Lexington Legends of the Class A South AtlanticLeague, he went 1-2 with a 3.12 ERA in 19 games. He pitched 34 ⅔ innings, giving up 39 hits, while walking eight and fanning 21.

Craig Brooks (Chicago Cubs)

He started out with the Tennessee Smokies of the Double-A Southern League and advanced to Triple-A, where he played for the Iowa Cubs of the Pacific Coast League. He was a combined 4-0 with eight saves and a 3.79 ERA. He pitched 41 times, hurling 59 ⅓ innings, giving up 42 hits with 38 walks and 94 strikeouts.

Connor Justus (LA Angels)

He played shortstop, second and third base for the Double-A Mobile BayBears of the Southern League. He hit .184 in 115 games, scoring 40 runs.

Vito Friscia (Philadelphia Phillies)

In his first professional season with the GCL Phillies East of the Rookie Gulf Coast League, the catcher/first baseman hit .275 in 43 games. He had three home runs and 18 RBIs.

Bryce Tassin (Detroit Tigers)

He came out of the bullpen for the GCL Tigers East of the Rookie Gulf Coast League and the Connecticut Tigers of the New York Penn A-Short League. He was 4-1 with a 1.97 ERA in 17 games with two saves. He pitched 32 innings, giving up 25 hits with nine walks and 34 strikeouts.

Randy Norris (San Francisco Giants)

The outfielder spent time with the San Jose Giants of the Advanced A California League, the AZL Giants Orange of the Rookie League and Augusta GreenJackets of the Class A South Atlantic League. He hit .241 in 53 games, recording one home run, 20 RBIs and seven stolen bases while scoring 23 runs.

Matthew Gorst (Boston Red Sox)

The pitcher worked mostly out of the pen for Triple-A Pawtucket of the International League and the Portland SeaDogs of the   Double-A Eastern League. He started three games and appeared in a total of 40. He was 3-8 with a 4.21 ERA with two saves.   He threw 62 innings, giving up 52 hits. He walked 30 and fanned 53.

Hunter Smith (Boston Red Sox)

He had one appearance with the Portland SeaDogs of the Double-A Eastern League before spending most of his summer   with the      Salem Red Sox of the Class A Carolina League. He was 3-4 with a 5.51 ERA in 24 games, including two starts. He   gave up 57 hits     in 49 innings with 25 walks and 52 strikeouts.

Ivan Pelaez (Tampa Bay Rays)

Playing for the Montgomery Biscuits of the Double-A Southern League, he was 3-3 with a 4.31 ERA in 36 games, including three starts. He gave up 62 hits in 56 ⅓ innings pitched with 10 walks and 33 strikeouts.

Jacob WIlson (Washington Nationals/Korea Baseball Organization)

The Washington Nationals sold Wilson‘s rights to the Korea Baseball Organization’s Lotte Giants midway through the season. With a 1.023 OPS over 54 games at Triple-A Fresno this past season, Wilson had been one of the affiliate’s more productive hitters, but the 28-year-old utility man wasn’t in line for a promotion to Washington anytime soon. Wilson has yet to make his MLB debut since being drafted in the 10th round by the Cardinals in 2012. In Korea, he hit .251 with nine home runs and 37 RBIs for the Giants.

Oscar Sanay (Mexican League)

Playing for Pericaos de Puebla, Algodoneros Union Laguna and Acereros del Norte of the Tripla-A Mexican League, he hit .277 in 63 games with 24 runs scored, two home runs and 18 RBIs.