May 30, 2014
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Yesterday, MUTigers.com took a look at former Mizzou baseball players who are making their mark in the major leagues. But even with five current big leaguers, Mizzou is also very well-represented in the minor leagues with several guys close to breaking into the majors. Below is a look.
Rob Zastryzny- Daytona Cubs- Chicago Cubs A- Starting Pitcher
2013 Mizzou Baseball ace Rob Zastryzny has struggled in his first full season in the minor leagues. Zastryzny has started eight games and is 1-3 with a 7.03 ERA. He has worked 32.0 innings in those eight starts, striking out 32 batters. The native Canadian's best outing came on April 12 when he struck out five batters in 5.2 innings, giving up one earned run on seven hits and a walk, earning the win against the Tampa Yankees. After giving up runs in his first six starts, Zastryzny has not allowed an earned run in his last two starts.
Jake Walsh- Hagerstown Suns- Washington Nationals A- Relief Pitcher
Jake Walsh has pitched effectively out of the bullpen this season. In 14 appearances, Walsh has allowed an earned run in only three appearances. Walsh has returned to his role as the closer and posted a 1.93 ERA in 18.2 innings of work, with four saves. Hitters are hitting a mere .141 against the crafty lefthander. On May 9, the former Tiger struck out the side and earned the save pitching a scoreless ninth inning against the Hickory Crawdads. The 6-3 Texas native has pitched 2.0 innings or more in five of his outings, making him a go-to guy out of the bullpen for the Suns.
Blake Holovach- Clinton LumberKings- Seattle Mariners A- Relief Pitcher
Blake Holovach has settled into the long reliever role in his second full season. In 15 games, he has pitched 33.1 innings, going 4-1 with a 4.32 ERA and 29 strikeouts. Holovach has pitched 3.0 innings or more in five of his last 10 appearances. On May 19, the 23-year-old pitched three scoreless innings, striking out two batters while only giving up one hit, earning the victory.
Ben Turner- San Jose Giants- San Francisco Giants A Advanced- Catcher
After spending some time on the seven-day disabled list, Turner has returned the lineup and hit safely in each of his three games back. He has played in 36 games this season, hitting .238 with two home runs and 14 RBIs. The St. Charles native has 30 hits and 18 runs on the season, walking 13 times.
Eric Garcia- Lynchburg Hillcats- Atlanta Braves A Advanced- Second Base
Eric Garcia has started to heat up recently, hitting safely in seven of his last 10 games. The former Tiger is now hitting .261 on the season with a home run and 11 RBIs. Garcia has 30 hits and 22 runs on the season with four doubles and three triples. On May 12, the left-handed hitter had two doubles, two RBIs, and two runs.
Blake Brown- Rome Braves- Atlanta Braves A- Outfield
Blake Brown has hit .196 with a home run and 11 RBIs in 43 games this season. The Illinois native has 28 hits, eight doubles and 13 runs. The speedy Brown has stolen six bases in eight attempts.
Phil McCormick- Richmond Flying Squirrels- San Francisco Giants AA- Relief Pitcher
Reliever Phil McCormick has appeared in 16 games this season, going 1-3 with a 3.76 ERA. The lefty has struck out 22 batters in 26.1 innings of work. Opposing hitters are batting only .236 against him. In his only victory of the season, McCormick pitched 2.1 scoreless innings on April 29, striking out two batters, allowing three hits.
Matt Stites- Reno Aces- Arizona Diamondbacks AAA- Relief Pitcher
Stites has split his time between the Diamondbacks' AA and AAA affiliate. Stites has occupied the closer role in the minors, picking up eight saves this season. In his eight appearances with Reno, Stites has yet to give up an earned run, striking out nine batters in 8.0 innings of work, earning five saves. The Missourian's ERA on the season is 2.25 through 20.0 innings.
Tyler Clark- Lakeland Flying Tigers- Detroit Tigers A Advanced- Relief Pitcher
Tyler Clark has posted a 3-3 record with a 3.24 ERA this season. The Springfield, Mo., native has pitched in 12 games, working 16.2 innings. The righty has struck out 15 batters while giving up nine walks. Clark has posted scoreless outing in eight of his 12 appearances. His best outing came on May 9, where he earned the victory, pitching 2.0 innings, striking out four batters on one hit and two walks.
Brett Nicholas- Round Rock Express- Texas Rangers AAA- Catcher
Brett Nicholas has hit .244 in 44 games, hitting three home runs and 17 RBIs. The former Tiger has 38 hits, 14 runs, and seven doubles. Nicholas also has 16 walks on the season, posting a .330 OBP. On May 24th, the former Tiger had a three hit game, one of which was a double.
Ryan Lollis- Richmond Flying Squirrels- San Francisco Giants AA- Outfielder
The Texas native and former Tiger is hitting .247 with a home run and 10 RBIs in 35 games. Lollis has 24 hits, 15 runs, two doubles, two triples, and has two stolen bases on the season. In a game on May 11th, Lollis hit a grand slam for his only homer on the season.
Evan Frey- Colorado Springs Sky Sox- Colorado Rockies AAA- Outfielder
Evan Frey has played in 22 games this season, hitting .245 with five RBIs. The left-handed hitter has 12 hits, five runs, and five walks on the season. In a game on May 10th, Frey went 3-for-4 with three singles and two runs.
Doug Mathis- Durham Bulls- Tampa Bay Rays AAA- Pitcher
After being signed by Tampa Bay, Mathis has appeared in 11 games for their AAA affiliate, the Durham Bulls. He has posted a 2-3 ERA with a 4.73 ERA, starting two games for the Bulls. Mathis appeared in two games for the Texas Rangers' AAA affiliate Round Rock Express at the beginning of the season. The righty has 24 strikeouts in 30.2 innings of work this season.
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