Bryan Morgado is one of three Vols to open their professional career in the New York-Penn League (Photo by Shane Bufano)
July 21, 2010
With MLB teams back in action following the All-Star break and a number of former Tennessee players beginning their minor league careers in recent weeks, UTSports.com takes a look at the former Volunteer players currently in professional baseball. Below is the fourth installment of how the Orange and White is faring on the next level - complete with links to video highlights.
Julio Borbon - OF, Texas Rangers - Stats
Julio Borbon has been a key asset to a strong Texas Rangers ballclub this season, anchoring the centerfield position and providing speed to an already dangerous lineup. That speed was most evident on July 18, when he became the first Rangers player since 2001 to steal home in a 4-2 win over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. For the season, Borbon is hitting at a solid .275 clip with three home runs, 25 RBIs and nine stolen bases.
R.A. Dickey - SP, New York Mets - Stats
R.A. Dickey has been a model of consistency for the New York Mets since being called up on May 19, with 10 of his 12 starts qualifying as quality starts (6+ innings, three or fewer runs). Although he has yet to pick up another win after starting the 2010 campaign with a perfect 6-0 record, Dickey has continued to pitch extremely well, averaging over six innings with an ERA of 3.30 in his last five starts. For the year, he is 6-4 with a 2.73 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 79.0 innings.
Chase Headley - 3B, San Diego Padres - Stats
The San Diego Padres continue to hold a slim lead in the National League West and the play of Chase Headley, both at the plate and defensively at third base, has had a lot to do with that success. Through the first half of his third season in the big leagues, Headley is hitting .273 with seven home runs and 33 RBIs. He has been productive on the basepaths as well, swiping a career-high 12 bases to rank him third among all regular MLB third basemen. His bat has really begun to catch fire as of late, as he is hitting .327 in the month of July. Following the All-Star break, Headley blasted out of the second-half gate, going 3-for-4 with a home run, a double and four runs scored in a 12-1 victory over Arizona on July 17.
Todd Helton - 1B, Colorado Rockies - Stats
Todd Helton was placed on the disabled list on July 7 with back stiffness, but is expected to return to the Colorado lineup in the next week. A lifetime .325 hitter, Helton is batting .246 in 69 games this season with two home runs, 10 double and 16 RBIs.
Luke Hochevar - SP, Kansas City Royals - Stats
On the disabled list with a right elbow sprain since June 16, Luke Hochevar is expected to begin throwing again soon as he works to return to the Kansas City rotation for the second-half of the season. Prior to his injury, Hochevar was 5-4 for the Royals with a 4.96 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 78.0 innings, spanning 13 starts.
Mike Lincoln - RP, Cincinnati Reds - Stats
Mike Lincoln is also currently on the disabled list, having been placed there on June 2 with a strained muscle in his right side. In 19 appearances out of the bullpen for the Cincinnati Reds this season, he is 1-0 with a 7.32 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 19.2 innings of work.
Augie Ojeda - UTIL, Arizona Diamondbacks - Stats
A key player off the bench for the Diamondbacks this season, Augie Ojeda has seen action in 34 contests, playing errorless-ball at third base, second base and shortstop. Overall, he is hitting .167 with three RBIs and five walks in 42 at-bats.
J.P. Arencibia - C, Las Vegas 51s (AAA - Toronto Blue Jays) - Stats
Arguably the hottest hitter in baseball right now, J.P. Arencibia leads all professional players with 28 home runs this season as a member of the Las Vegas 51s, the Toronto Blue Jays' Triple-A affiliate. Since the beginning of June, the Pacific Coast League All-Star is hitting .390 with 20 home runs and 45 RBIs in 39 games, helping him earn Topps PCL Player of the Month honors for June. The 6-1 catcher, who had a 21-game hitting streak end on July 18, also claimed the league's player of the week honors after batting .423 (11-for-26) with four home runs and 12 RBIs from June 28-July 4. In addition to his 28 longballs this season, Arencibia also has 28 doubles, a career-high 28 walks and is hitting .321 with 71 RBIs through his first 81 games.
Chris Burke - SS, Louisville Bats (AAA - Cincinnati Reds) - Stats
After playing in 66 games with the Louisville Bats, the Cincinnati Reds' Triple-A affiliate, this season, Chris Burke was released in late June. He was hitting .238 with five home runs, 14 stolen bases and 26 RBIs. Although he has yet to officially retire, Burke is leaning towards beginning a career in coaching rather than continuing his playing career after 10 seasons in professional baseball, including six at the major league level.
Scot Drucker - RP, Toledo MudHens (AAA - Detroit Tigers) - Stats | Blog
A versatile member of the Toledo MudHens pitching staff, Scot Drucker has seen action on the mound in 28 games this season, including three starts, for the Detroit Tigers' Triple-A squad. After making his first 25 appearances of the year out of the bullpen, Drucker claimed a spot in the starting rotation on July 9. Overall, he is 2-4 on the season with a 5.80 ERA, 45 strikeouts and one save in 59.0 innings of work.
James Adkins - RP, Chattanooga Lookouts (AA - Los Angeles Dodgers) - Stats
Following a brief call-up to Triple-A Albuquerque, James Adkins is back with the Chattanooga Lookouts for the second time this season. During his stint with the Isotopes, Adkins pitched in four innings and struck out four, spanning five relief appearances.
Deunte Heath - RP, Birmingham Barons (AA - Chicago White Sox) - Stats
Deunte Heath continues to be a stellar component of the Birmingham Barons' bullpen this season, having allowed just three earned runs in his last 10 appearances for an ERA of just 1.80. He has also yielded just eight hits while striking out 23 and walking only nine in 15.0 innings during that span. For the year, Heath is 2-2 with one save and a 2.97 ERA in 33.1 innings. He is averaging 12.69 strikeouts per nine innings and opponents are hitting just .227 off of him.
Ty'Relle Harris - RP, Myrtle Beach Pelicans (High A - Atlanta Braves) - Stats
Following a successful stint with the Rome Braves, where he started the season with four saves and a 2.53 ERA in nine appearances, Ty'Relle Harris was promoted to the Atlanta Braves' Class-A Advanced squad in Myrtle Beach. Since joining the Pelicans, he is 1-2 with one save and a 4.37 ERA. Harris is also averaging 12.71 strikeouts per nine innings with 32 punchouts in 22.2 frames of work. He has also been a groundball-inducing machine with a groundout-fly out ratio of 2.18.
Kentrail Davis - OF. Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Low A - Milwaukee Brewers) - Stats
Since joining the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers following an injury-plagued stint with the Brevard County Manatees, Kentrail Davis has simply taken off. In 22 games with Wisconsin, he is hitting at a stellar .373 clip with a pair of home runs, 10 doubles and 18 RBIs. His success can likely be attributed to both his improved health and a selective eye at the plate as he has drawn 12 walks compared to just six strikeouts.
Nick Hernandez - SP, GCL Phillies (Short Season - Philadelphia Phillies) - Stats
Following a dominant start to the 2010 campaign with the Lakewood Blue Claws, Nick Hernandez suffered a temporary setback when he missed nearly two months due to shoulder weakness. The 6-4 southpaw has since returned to the mound with the GCL Phillies where he is slowly working himself back into shape. With the Blue Claws, Hernandez kicked off his second season in professional baseball by going 3-1 with a 1.61 ERA in his first eight starts. During that time he had 52 strikeouts and just eight walks in 56.0 innings and was holding opponents to a miniscule .192 batting average.
After posting a 4-2 record and 4.25 ERA in 19 appearances last summer, Danny Wiltz will miss the entire 2010 campaign as he recovers from a knee injury. He had surgery on March 10 to repair tears in his ACL and lateral meniscus.
Danny Wiltz- SP (Chicago White Sox) - Blog
Cody Hawn - 1B, Helena Brewers (Short Season - Milwaukee Brewers) - Stats
Knoxville native Cody Hawn has wasted little time getting his professional career off to a fast start as he is hitting .313 with five home runs and 30 RBIs through his first 28 games with the Helena Brewers. The sixth-round selection of the Milwaukee Brewers in this year's MLB First-Year Player Draft also has 14 doubles, giving him 19 extra-base hits, which equates to over half of his cumulative hit total of 36.
Stephen McCray - SP, Great Falls Voyagers (Short Season - Chicago White Sox) - Stats
Tennessee's top starting pitcher from 2010, Stephen McCray has made a seamless transition to a bullpen role with the Great Falls Voyagers in the Chicago White Sox organization. In eight relief appearances, the Lilburn, Ga., native holds a 2-1 record and a 3.24 ERA with 18 strikeouts and just six walks in 16.2 innings of work.
P.J. Polk - OF, Connecticut Tigers (Short Season - Detroit Tigers) - Stats
P.J. Polk has begun to accustom himself to the professional game in recent weeks, raising his batting average 67 points over his last 10 games by hitting .371 (13-for-35) during that span. For the season, Polk has a .284 batting average in 22 games for the Connecticut Tigers. He also has two home runs, six RBIs and is 7-for-8 on the basepaths.
Steve Crnkovich - SP, GCL Tigers (Short Season - Detroit Tigers) - Stats
Steve Crnkovich has been a strike-throwing machine for the GCL Tigers after signing a free-agent deal in late June. In five appearances, including four starts, the 6-4 righty has posted a 3-2 record, along with a spectacular 1.96 ERA in 23 innings. During that time he has amassed 24 strikeouts while walking just two and is holding opponents to a .181 batting average.
Blake Forsythe - C, Brooklyn Cyclones (Short Season - New York Mets) - Stats
Following just three games with his first professional team, the GCL Mets, Blake Forsythe was quickly promoted to the Brooklyn Cyclones, joining former teammates P.J. Polk and Bryan Morgado in the New York-Penn League. He has played just one game with the Cyclones, going 0-4 from the fifth spot in the lineup, but did pick up his first professional RBI with a sacrifice fly.
Bryan Morgado - RP, Williamsport Crosscutters (Short Season - Philadelphia Phillies) - Stats
Since signing with the Philadelphia Phillies in late June, Bryan Morgado has been assigned to the Williamsport Crosscutters in the New York-Penn League where he has made three relief appearances. The 6-3 southpaw has an ERA of 3.18 through 5.2 innings with eight strikeouts and six walks. Pitching against the Connecticut Tigers on July 13, Morgado was able to win a battle between former teammates as he got P.J. Polk to fly out to center.