June 27, 2014
DAVIS, Calif. -- As the 2014 college baseball season comes to a close, members of the UC Davis baseball team have ventured out for various assignments in summer leagues across the country.
With final exams and the Division I regular season behind them, 19 Aggies are spread out over nine different leagues this summer, with teams ranging from nearby Sacramento and Menlo Park to Holyoke, Mass., Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Anchorage, Alaska.
AGGIES IN THE PROS
At the professional level, numerous former Aggies are making their way up the ladder, including recent 10th round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians, Steven Patterson, who is playing for the Class A-Short Season Mahoning Valley Scrappers of the New York-Penn League.
In his professional debut on June 22, Patterson finished with hits in each of his first three at-bats, ending the game 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, two runs scored, and three RBI, against the Auburn Doubledays. He is hitting 7-for-14 (.500) with four runs scored, four doubles, five RBI, and a 1.319 OPS in his first three starts of the season.
In his fourth professional season, Scott Lyman, a 10th round selection by the Miami Marlins in 2011, is 3-7 overall with a 2.71 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 82 1/3 innings for the Class A Advanced Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League. He was named the Marlins' Pitcher of the Month for the month of April, the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week on May 20 following a five-hitter against Clearwater, and was one of five Hammerheads selected to the 53rd FSL All-Star Game on June 14.
Ty Kelly, a 13th-round pick of the Baltimore Orioles in 2009 before being traded to the Seattle Mariners in 2013, is hitting .267 in 74 games with the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers, slugging 13 doubles, 10 home runs, and 44 RBI, while also walking 52 times and posting an OPS of .842 this season.
Tyler LaTorre, an undrafted free agent signee of the San Francisco Giants in 2006, has split time between his current assignment at Double-A Richmond and Triple-A Fresno, hitting .209 in 27 games overall, but .300 (9-for-30) with seven walks, five runs scored, and a pair of RBI, in 10 games with the Grizzlies.
Right-hander Joe Biagini, a 26th round selection of the San Francisco Giants in 2011, has been solid for the Class A Advanced San Jose Giants, posting a 4-5 mark on the mound with a 4.03 ERA in 13 starts, striking out 56 batters in 69 innings.
A 14th-round selection by the Miami Marlins in 2008, right-hander Bryan Evans has made his way up the ladder to Triple-A New Orleans, posting a 4-4 record and a 4.85 ERA in 18 appearances, striking out 69 in 72 1/3 innings of work. Opponents are hitting just .269 against him this season.
Justin Fitzgerald, an 11th round pick of the San Francisco Giants in 2008, has been lighting up the Double-A Southern League for the Mobile BayBears in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, posting a 7-1 record and a 3.86 ERA, striking out 44 hitters in 51 1/3 innings and posting a win in five of his last six appearances. In his last outing against Jacksonville, Fitzgerald allowed just two hits and struck out 10 over six innings in a 9-2 win.
David Popkins, an outfielder for the Aggies from 2009-12 who was signed as an undrafted free agent by St. Louis following his senior season, is batting .230 in 58 games for the Double-A Springfield Cardinals in the Texas League, slugging nine doubles, four home runs, and 14 RBI.
Left-hander Dayne Quist, drafted in the 28th round by Tampa Bay in 2012, is playing for the Amarillo Sox of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, going 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits and striking out a pair in his first start of the season. He split time between the Southern Illinois Miners and Washington WildThings in the independent Frontier League in 2013, finishing 8-4 with a 3.16 ERA in 27 total appearances.
Scott Kalush, a 39th round selection in 2012, has not yet played in a game for the Class A Advanced Frederick Keys (Baltimore Orioles) this season (disabled list), while Eddie Gamboa, a 21st round selection by Baltimore in 2008 who was on the Orioles 40-man roster in the 2014 offseason after rejuvenating his career as a knuckleballer, is 4-5 with a 4.06 ERA for the Triple-A Norfolk Tides in 14 appearances, striking out 74 in 77 2/3 innings.
At the major league level, Daniel Descalso (2005-07) has appeared in 46 games for the St. Louis Cardinals this season -- his fourth full campaign at the big league level -- batting .188 with four doubles, seven runs scored, and four RBI. Despite a slow start at the plate, Descalso has been stellar up the middle defensively for the Cardinals, committing just one error in 59 chances (.983 fielding percentage) and playing a part in eight double plays -- including starting an incredible triple play against the Toronto Blue Jays on June 6 (watch the video).
All records and statistics for major and minor league players are as of June 25.