As the minor league baseball season draws to a close and the major league September roster expansion brings exciting young talent to the next level, some of CTOWN’s own are wrapping up their seasons, with noteworthy performances. Here were some of this season’s top CTOWN alumni:
Mitch Nay (Hamilton), Toronto Blue Jays Low A Vancouver Canadiens:
After missing his entire first professional season with an ankle injury, the 2012 first round selection began his season strong, but boy did he ever finish.
After playing 64 games for the Bluefield Blue Jays of the Appalachian League (.300/.364/.426 6 HR 42 RBI), Nay got the call up to the Low A Vancouver Canadians just in time for their recent playoff run. Nay got off to a hot start in his first action of Low A ball, going 4-13 (.308) through the first three playoff games for the Canadians and batted third as the team celebrated their third consecutive Northwest League Championship.
Eric Farris (Hamilton), Minnesota Twins AAA Rochester Red Wings:
After short stints in the big leagues in 2011 and 2012, Eric Farris has yet to receive the call-up from the Twins this season. In his first year in the Twins’ system, Farris has seen a slight drop n production at the plate. After posting a line of .286/.329/.377 last season, that line has dropped to .249/.303/.313 in 2013. His glove and speed, however, have translated, as this was his third straight season with over 20 steals at all levels (he had a monstrous 70 steals in 2009). It will be interesting to see if the Twins decide to call-up the 27-year-old to see how the second baseman and outfielder fits into their future. Farris had previously spent his entire career in the Milwaukee Brewers organization.
Jamie Westbrook (Basha), Arizona Diamondbacks Rookie Pioneer League Missoula Osprey:
A second-round pick in 2013 to the hometown Arizona Diamondbacks, Westbrook was solid in his short stint for the Arizona League Diamondbacks (.292/.373/.468 8 2B 8 3B 1 HR 20 RBIs in 40 games), enough to earn a call to the Missoula Osprey of the Rookie Pioneer League. Unlike the Arizona league, which consists of mostly high school draft picks, the Rookie Pioneer league is more of a traditional rookie league for those with college experience. In the new league, the newly 18-year-old shortstop has continued his success, posting a line of .254/.315/.343 with 1 HR and 13 RBIs in 17 games. The former Basha Bear is also stepping up when it matters most, hitting .278 with runners on and .370 with runners in scoring position.
Cody Bellinger (Hamilton), Los Angeles Dodgers Arizona League Dodgers:
Another 2013 draftee (fourth round) has found a consistent role in the Arizona League within the Dodgers organization as his team’s starting first baseman. Despite his early struggles at the plate (.210/.340/.358 1 HR 30 RBI in 47 games), Bellinger has been solid with the glove and has still maintained a solid on-base percentage despite his low batting average. Bellinger will likely be called up to the Rookie Pioneer League at the beginning of next season.
Patrick Murphy (Hamilton), Toronto Blue Jays Arizona League Blue Jays:
Murphy, a 2013 third-round selection to the Blue Jays, is still recovering from Tommy John surgery that was performed last year. He was up and throwing by March, but some minor setbacks resulted in a lost season, as he did not play in a single game. It was a difficult season for the former Husky, but remained a learning experience.
“It was good to get my first season under my belt and experience everything although I was not able to play,” Murphy said. “It was very tough having to practice, travel, and do everything with the team and then have to sit on the bench for all 60 games. So that made for a long season.”
Despite the struggle, Murphy is grateful for the opportunity the Blue Jays have given him, especially given that he had his Tommy John surgery before he was even drafted.
“I met and was put on a team with a great group of guys that I look forward to taking the field with once I am fully recovered,” Murphy said.
Murphy sounded ready to head back on the field and progress in his career, putting this injury in the past.
After dealing with a minor setback and rehabbing hard lately, I am gaining ground and doing what it takes to get stronger and be ready for next season, “Murphy said.
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