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Down the stretch for the minors

Posted: August 7, 2014 10:08 p.m.
Updated: August 7, 2014 10:08 p.m.

Golden Valey graduate Chipper Smith is playing well for the Double-A Jacksonville Suns in the Miami Marlins organization. Photo by Roger C. Hoover/Jacksonville Suns

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This is the home stretch for professional baseball’s minor leagues.

The last time we checked in with our local minor leaguers, we divided them into categories to analyze where their careers stood.

This time we categorize them by what level they’re playing at.

The purpose of this is twofold — for you to navigate this more easily, but also so that we set up our next minor league report in September after the season ends.

In that one, we’ll analyze where they stand after a full minor league season.

One player missing from this report is Hart High graduate Chris Valaika, who is now on the Chicago Cubs.

However, here are the current minor leaguers with Major League affiliations.


Trevor Brown (Catcher, Hart High graduate, Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies/San Francisco Giants)

Brown is 11-for-35 (.314) in Fresno in 10 games. He spent a majority of the season in High-A San Jose and slashed (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) at .215/.259/.282 with two home runs and 22 RBIs.

Mike Montgomery (Pitcher, Hart High grad, Triple-A Durham Bulls/Tampa Bay Rays)

Montgomery was the toast of the town in Durham just a month ago. He pitched a scoreless inning in the Triple-A All-Star Game in front of his home crowd and prior to the All-Star Break he was 9-1 with a 3.21 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched). Since the All-Star Break, he is 0-3 with a 9.88 ERA in four starts. He has lasted a combined 13 2/3 innings in those outings, allowing batters to hit .381 off him. Prior to the break, they hit just .216. Major League rosters will expand to 40 men on Sept. 1 and Montgomery appeared at midseason to be destined to make his big league debut at some point this year. Now, that’s a question mark.

Steve Susdorf (Outfielder, Hart High grad, Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs/Philadelphia Phillies)

It appears that Susdorf’s career is in limbo. On July 10, he was released by the Phillies organization. Susdorf, in his seventh pro season, made his Major league debut in 2013 with the Phillies and had one hit in seven at-bats. He slashed at .276/.336/.368 in 84 games this season with two home runs and 29 RBIs.

Danny Worth (Infielder, Valencia High grad, Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens/Detroit Tigers)

Worth is slashing at .236/.328/.323 this season with Triple-A Toledo. He is just 3-for-26 since the All-Star Break. The odds of Worth returning to the Major Leagues this season aren’t good. He isn’t on the team’s 40-man roster and has struggled since being designated for assignment in June. Worth was 7-for-42 (.167) in 18 games with the Tigers this season.


Buck Britton — (Third baseman, Canyon High, Double-A Bowie Baysox/Baltimore Orioles)

The 28-year-old older brother of current Baltimore Oriole and former Canyon High player Zach Britton is slashing at .325/.370/.475 in 160 at-bats with Bowie with five home runs and 20 RBIs. Buck played briefly at Canyon.

Brian Hernandez (Infielder, College of the Canyons, Double-A Arkansas Travelers/Los Angeles Angels)

Hernandez is slashing at .293/.335/.370 with four home runs and 43 RBIs for the Angels’ Double-A team. Prior to the All-Star Break, he was at .314/.351/.413 with the four homers.

Chipper Smith (Pitcher, Golden Valley High grad, Double-A Jacksonville Suns/Miami Marlins)

Smith has settled in as a starter for Double-A Jacksonville with a 3-3 record, 4.02 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 11 starts. Most impressive is batters are hitting just .208 against him. At three levels this season, Smith is 5-6 with a 2.96 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 91 1/3 innings.


Charlie Gillies (Pitcher, West Ranch/College of the Canyons/The Master’s College, High-A Lakeland Flying Tigers/Detroit Tigers)

In his third pro season, Gillies has pitched at two levels — Rookie League and High-A (where he currently plays with the Lakeland Flying Tigers). Overall in three minor league games, he is 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP in 10 innings.

Tyler Glasnow (Pitcher, Hart High grad, High-A Bradenton Marauders/Pittsburgh Pirates)

If Tyler Glasnow doesn’t repeat as Pittsburgh Pirates Minor League Pitcher of the Year it will be a shock. The soon-to-be-21-year-old has been arguably the High-A Florida State League’s most dominant pitcher. In August (two starts), he has allowed four hits, walked six and struck out 16, while allowing no runs. Glasnow is 9-5 with a 1.53 ERA with 122 strikeouts in 100 innings. He has surrendered just 58 hits (opposing batters are hitting .171 against him), but he has walked 51 batters.

Cory Jones — (Pitcher, College of the Canyons, High-A Palm Beach Cardinals/St. Louis Cardinals)

Jones has started five games and has a 7.00 ERA in 18 innings.

Christian Lopes (Infielder, Valencia High, High-A Dunedin Blue Jays/Toronto Blue Jays)

Lopes has been much better in the second half of the season with a .256/.345/.405 line. On the season he’s at .243/.328/.360 with three home runs and 29 RBI in 85 games.

Tim Lopes (Infielder, Valencia High, High-A High Desert Mavericks/Seattle Mariners)

Little brother is slashing at .225/.307/.312 with two home runs and 34 RBIs in 94 games in the California League.

Casey McCarthy (Pitcher, Hart High grad, High-A Jupiter Hammerheads/Miami Marlins)

McCarthy, 25, has been all over the map this year, pitching at four different levels — including one relief outing for Triple-A New Orleans. McCarthy has a 3.03 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in 35 2/3 innings with his current team in Jupiter. He has 25 strikeouts to 11 walks.

Juan Perez (Infielder, College of the Canyons, High-A Bakersfield Blaze/Cincinnati Reds)

Perez is slashing at .264/.302/.425 with 11 home runs and 59 RBIs. This is Perez’s second season with the Blaze. Last year he slashed at .251/.299/.380 with eight homers and 45 RBIs.

Pat Valaika (Shortstop, Hart High grad, High-A Modesto Nuts/Colorado Rockies)

Valaika has spent most of the season with Modesto and has been its starting shortstop. He is slashing at .246/.292/.383 with six home runs and 34 RBIs in 240 at-bats. The tougher competition in the Cal League has made a difference on Valaika’s numbers. He started the season with Low-A Asheville and slashed at .370/.407/.575 in 127 at-bats.

Zach Vincej (Shortstop, Saugus High grad, High-A Bakersfield Blaze/Cincinnati Reds)

Like he was at Saugus High, Vincej has been steady with Bakersfield this season. He’s slashing at .271/.338/.339 with 19 doubles, one home run and 37 RBIs. He’s hitting .287 after the All-Star Break. However, Vincej has made 21 errors on the season.


Scott Barlow (Pitcher, Golden Valley grad, Low-A Great Lakes Loons/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Barlow has been up and down for the Dodgers’ Low-A team in Midland, Mich. He allowed one run and three hits while striking out seven in a start on Tuesday. Overall, he is 5-5 with a 4.50 ERA and 1.36 WHIP in 18 games (16 starts) with 86 strikeouts in 88 innings.

Kyle Hooper (Pitcher, Saugus High grad, Low-A Great Lakes Loons/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Hooper has been a member of a stellar bullpen in Midland, Mich. He has pitched in 18 games (26 2/3 innings) and has a 3.71 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. He also has 33 strikeouts.

Troy Neiman (Pitcher, College of the Canyons, Low-A Asheville Tourists/Colorado Rockies)

In his second pro season, Neiman has been outstanding. He is 6-1 with a 1.70 ERA, a 0.94 WHIP and 79 strikeouts in 69 innings.

Rookie League

Trey Williams (First baseman, Valencia High grad/College of the Canyons, Rookie League GCL Phillies/Philadelphia Phillies)

Williams is one of the most intimidating hitters the valley has seen, but he has yet to find his groove in two pro seasons. This year he is slashing at .180/.268/.288 with two home runs and 12 RBIs.

2014 Draft Picks

Brennan Bernardino (Pitcher, Valencia graduate/College of the Canyons, Rookie League Billings Mustangs/Cincinnati Reds)

In 15 games in relief (19 1/3 innings), the left-hander has been impressive. He has a 0.47 ERA, is limiting opposing batters to a .197 average and has struck out 24 batters and walked six.

Steven Farnworth (Pitcher, West Ranch graduate/College of the Canyons, Low-A Batavia Muckdogs/Miami Marlins)

In 12 games (23 innings), Farnworth is 1-1 with a 5.09 ERA, 1.39 WHIP and 14 strikeouts.

Shane Zeile (Catcher, Valencia graduate, Rookie GCL Tigers, Detroit Tigers)

The fifth-round pick is 2-for-9 (.222) having missed all of July.

Roberto Ramos (First baseman, College of the Canyons, Rookie League Grand Junction Rockies/Colorado Rockies)

In 20 minor league games, the 2014 16th-round pick is slashing at .188/.254/.313 with two home runs and eight RBIs in 64 at-bats.

Ivan Vela (Shortstop, College of the Canyons, Rookie League Ogden Raptors/Los Angeles Dodgers)

The 21st-rounder has gotten off to a stellar start in his first pro season, slashing at .338/.407/.500 with a home run and 17 RBIs in 80 at-bats.


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