June 28, 2013
By Daniel Tappana, Mizzou Strategic Communications Assistant
COLUMBIA, Mo. - As June comes to a close and the dog days of summer rapidly approaching, it is time to catch up with some former Mizzou Tiger standouts. The list grew by two via the draft, but shrunk by one via MLB. One former Tiger is currently stuck in free agent Limbo and several Tigers are on the cusp of The Show. Check out below and see how the boys of summer are doing in this week's update.
Brock Bond - San Jose Giants - San Francisco Giants A+
>Brock Bond - known for having a tough attitude - has taken it upon himself to silence critics by smoking the cover off of the ball. Since the start of the second half, Bond has nine hits in 28 at bats, good for a .321 batting average. He also has three multi-hit games, including a three hit performance on June 22nd. At the rate Bond is hitting the ball, he won't be down in A+ ball for long. You can expect Brock to move back up to AAA soon.
Blake Brown - Rome Braves - Atlanta Braves A
Despite finishing strong in the first half (five hits in 15 at bats, including three doubles and four runs scored),>Blake Brown has started the second half slowly, collecting three hits in 18 at bats. Don't get discouraged Tigers/Braves fans, Brown has a lot of potential. If he cuts back on the strikeouts and uses his power to his advantage, look for him to hit lasers to all parts of the field and keep fans on the edge of their seats.
Tyler Clark - Erie SeaWolves - Detroit Tigers AA
Evan Frey - Free Agent
The strong-armed>Tyler Clark has only pitched once since our last update, but that appearance was promising. In that appearance, Clark threw one inning and collected one strikeout. He threw 16 pitches, 10 for strikes. Appearances like these are important for Clark as he continues to build confidence in his arm and sort through command issues.
Although hitting .282 in 149 at bats,>Evan Frey
found himself a victim of roster moves. With the Aces needing a roster spot for recently DFA'd (designated for assignment) Josh Wilson and having to choose between a demotion to AA or free agency, Frey asked for his outright release. With a strong track record, you can look for Frey to sign with a team where his talent isn't blocked at the Major League level.
Eric Garcia - Lynchburg Hillcats - Atlanta Braves A+
After playing in the South Atlantic All-Star Game,>Eric Garcia received a promotion to play for the Lynchburg Hillcats, the Class A Advanced affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. Garcia was instantly thrust into the spotlight with a start at second base. Garcia walked in his first at bat and collected his first hit in the bottom of the eighth inning, a line drive single to the opposite field. In his three games in A+ ball, Garcia has two hits in 10 at bats and has collected two walks and three runs scored.
Blake Holovach - Clinton LumberKings - Seattle Mariners A
After posting strong first half numbers,>Blake Holovach has been roughed up in the second half, posting a 10.80 ERA in 3.1 innings pitched. Don't worry about the second half stats because two games is such a small sample size. So far on the season, Holovach has a 3.76 ERA in 13 games pitched. As he pitches more innings, you can expect Blake to post strong numbers on the season.
Ryan Lollis - Richmond Flying Squirrels - San Francisco Giants AA
In the midst of what would be considered by many to be an average season,>Ryan Lollis has posted numbers that show he's been underrated. Lollis has a .299 batting average with runners in scoring position and has collected 32 RBIs in those 77 at bats. Showing dependability as a hitter is keeping Lollis in the line up for the Flying Squirrels.
Doug Mathis - New Orleans Zephyrs - Miami Marlins AAA
>Doug Mathis was masterful in his one start since our last post. Mathis threw 5.2 innings and struck out six while giving up only one run. Mathis continues to eat innings in AAA and has performed considerably well for the New Orleans Zephyrs. With the trade deadline looming and the Marlins looking to trade some of their pitchers, you can look for Mathis to be called up to fill up one of those vacancies in the Marlins' MLB pitching staff.
Phil McCormick - Richmond Flying Squirrels - San Francisco Giants AA
>Phil McCormick has pitched very well as of late and hasn't allowed a run since our last update. So far on the season, McCormick has 40 strikeouts to go along with a 2.88 ERA in 31 games pitched. McCormick continues to dominate lefty hitters and has a 2.04 ERA along with 28 strikeouts so far this season. Look for the funky McCormick to move up the ladder as he continues to dominate left-handed hitters.
Brett Nicholas - Frisco RoughRiders - Texas Rangers AA
>Brett Nicholas has picked it up since our last update, collecting six hits in 18 at bats, good for a .333 batting average. Since the update, Nicholas also has two multi-hit games, including a three-RBI performance on June 21st. With Nicholas' bat on fire again in AA, it's only a matter of time before the Rangers bring him up to AAA.
Aaron Senne - Jupiter Hammerheads - Miami Marlins A+
The former Tiger hitter-extraordinaire is in the midst of an injury-plagued season for the Jupiter Hammerheads and has been on the disabled list since April 15th. He has a .080 batting on the season and just called it quits from pursuing a professional baseball career.
Matt Stites - San Antonio Missions - San Diego Padres AA
After posting video game numbers in the first half,>Matt Stites dazzled in the Texas League All-Star Game for the South squad. The San Antonio stopper struck out two North batters and closed the win for the South team. Stites continues to shine in the second half. In his three games pitched, Matt has two saves in three innings, including a 0.00 ERA and three strikeouts. With Stites shutting out opponents, you can expect a call up to AAA real soon, but with the year he's having, don't be surprised if he skips AAA altogether and joins the Padres bullpen.
Ben Turner - Augusta Greenjackets - San Francisco Giants A
The former Tiger backstop has started the second half well for the Augusta Greenjackets, posting a .261 batting average in six games. Turner also has two doubles and three runs scored. You can expect Big Ben to continue to receive playing time as he's shown he's a durable catcher with a at that gets the job done.
Jake Walsh - GCL Nationals - Washington Nationals Rookie
>Jake Walsh made his professional debut on June 26th, giving up five hits and two runs in 1.2 innings, while striking out three. Although he has the stuff to get righties out, look for Walsh to develop into a lefty specialist. Two years removed from believing his childhood dream was over, Walsh's future has never been brighter.
Rob Zastryzny - Chicago Cubs - 2nd round
>Rob Zastryzny threw 228 innings for Mizzou, including 90.2 his junior year, so he likely won't throw at all this season in pro ball. Don't worry fans, the wait will be worth it. Cubs fans will especially enjoy the big lefty because of his proven track record of big-game performances. It will also be interesting to see some rematches between Robby Baseball and former conference (Big 12) and future divisional (NL Central) rival Michael Wacha (Texas A&M) as he looks to add another layer to the storied Cardinals-Cubs rivalry.
For all the latest on Mizzou baseball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MUTigerBaseball.