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Growth on the farm

Clark, Susdorf lead group of local products in professional leagues

Posted: August 18, 2009 10:30 p.m.
Updated: August 19, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Hart High graduate Steve Susdorf is now with the Double-A Reading Phillies.

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The deadline to sign draft picks from the 2009 Major League Baseball draft came and went Monday night and there are some Santa Clarita Valley-area players who decided not to turn professional.

Among them were Hart High graduates Matt Valaika and Cade Kreuter, Golden Valley graduate Jordan Yallen and Saugus grads Casey Stevenson and Kyle Hooper.

All have college eligibility.

A few did sign earlier and have already begun their professional baseball careers.

Of them all, Cal State Fullerton and Valencia High graduate Jared Clark has made the most noise.

The 12th-round pick of the Colorado Rockies is batting .387 with eight home runs and 29 RBIs in 35 games for the Rookie League Casper Ghosts.

The fastest-rising Santa Clarita Valley professional baseball player might now be Steve Susdorf.

The 2004 Hart High graduate has been promoted twice this year within the Philadelphia
Phillies organization.

Susdorf, between three teams, is batting .344 with six home runs and 39 RBIs.

He is currently playing for the Double-A Reading Phillies, having been promoted from Single-A Clearwater earlier this month.

“It’s a great sign,” Susdorf said of being promoted to Double-A. “Double-A is the biggest jump in competition level. It’s great to be here so quick and to see this pitching. I’d imagine the organization thinks highly of me now.”

Susdorf has gotten off to a slow start at Reading, batting .222 with a home run and two RBIs in eight games, but he said it’s been a adjustment jumping up a level.

He began the season in Single-A Lakewood after recovering from hip surgery before the season.

The former Fresno State outfielder took off after a promotion to Clearwater.

He batted .371 in 40 games there.

Along the way, he played former Hart High teammate Shane Carlson, who is currently with Single-A Sarasota in the Reds organization.

Carlson was selected in the 32nd round of the 2009 draft.

He is batting .258 in 29 games for Sarasota.

Here is a look at how some other professionals with Santa Clarita ties are doing:

Phil Bando
Arizona League Angels
Rookie League

The former College of the Canyons player is batting .278 with three RBIs in six games with the Angels. He was taken in the 45th round of this year’s draft.

Travis Babin
Kingsport Mets
Rookie League

The Saugus High graduate is 1-0 with a 3.15 ERA in 17 games, all relief appearances.

John Curtis
Winston-Salem Dash
Advanced Single-A

The former Hart High catcher is batting .248 with 18 RBIs this season in the Chicago White Sox organization. He is batting .203 in 19 games with the Dash.

Dana Eveland
Sacramento River Cats
Triple-A

The former College of the Canyons pitcher is 8-4 with a 4.95 ERA in 19 starts for the River Cats. He was with the Oakland A’s earlier in the season and posted a 1-3 record with an 8.00 ERA in seven games, including six starts.

Kyle Eveland
Sioux Falls Canaries
American Association

The former College of the Canyons infielder is batting .232 with six RBIs in 17 games with the independent-ball Canaries.
Michael Hebert

Gulf Coast League Mets
Rookie League

Hebert is 1-1 in five games this season, three starts, with a 2.45 ERA. He also has a save. The Saugus grad was taken in the seventh round last season by the New York Mets.

Virgil Hill
GCL Cardinals
Rookie League

Hill decided to sign after being taken in the sixth round of this year’s draft. The Valencia graduate is batting .230 in 41 games, with one home run, 22 RBIs and 11 stolen bases.

Tim Hutting
Sioux Falls Canaries
American Association

Hutting, a Hart High graduate, is batting .295 with four homers and 31 RBIs in 82 games with the independent team.

Jeff Icenogle
Fargo-Moorehead Redhawks
Northern League

The Hart High graduate is 3-1 with a 4.94 ERA in five starts since latching onto the independent team. Icenogle was 0-4 with a 6.79 ERA in 19 games with the Lancaster JetHawks before being released in July.

Andrew Lorraine
Orange County Flyers
Golden Baseball League

The Hart High graduate and former Major Leaguer has resumed his professional baseball career with the independent Orange County Flyers of the Golden Baseball League. He is 0-0 with a 4.22 ERA in two starts for the Flyers.

Graham Miller
Ogden Raptors
Rookie League

The former Master’s College pitcher is 1-0 with a 4.97 ERA in eight games with the Dodgers’ Rookie League team. Miller was taken in the 32nd round of this year’s draft.

Tom Milone
Potomac Nationals
Advanced Single-A

The former Saugus High standout is 9-4 with a 3.13 ERA in 23 games, 21 starts.

Michael Montgomery
Wilmington Blue Rocks
Advanced Single-A

Montgomery is having a stellar season in the Kansas City Royals organization. Last year’s first-round pick out of Hart High is 4-3 with a 2.32 ERA in 17 games this season. With the Blue Rocks, he is 2-0 with a 2.63 ERA in five starts.

Casey Mulligan
Springfield Cardinals
Double-A

Mulligan has been very impressive this year after being converted from catcher to relief pitcher. The Valencia graduate has been promoted twice and is currently 1-0 with a 4.66 ERA in seven games at the Double-A level. Overall, he is 4-2 with 14 saves and a 1.72 ERA in 50 games. He has struck out 80 batters.

Jerry Owens
Tacoma Rainiers
Triple-A

Owens has been stellar in Triple-A since joining the Mariners organization. He is batting .318 with two home runs and 32 RBIs in 80 games, with 17 stolen bases. Overall, he is batting .314 in 82 games in Triple-A. He spent 12 games with the Chicago White Sox at the beginning of the season and was 1-for-12 with a stolen base.

Chris Seddon
Tacoma Rainiers
Triple-A

The Canyon High graduate is 7-7 with a 4.35 ERA in 21 games, 20 starts, for the Mariners’ Triple-A Club.
Shawn Smith
Gulf Coast Rays
Rookie League

Smith, a 2008 Saugus grad, is 0-0 with a 2.25 ERA in eight games, all in relief.  He was 1-1 with a 7.07 ERA in eight games last year with the Princeton Rays after being selected in the ninth round of the 2008 draft.

Chris Valaika
Louisville Bats
Triple-A

Valaika has started to heat up, batting .343 in his last 10 games. Overall, he is at .215 with five homers and 28 RBIs for the Reds’ Triple-A affiliate.

Danny Worth
Erie SeaWolves
Double-A

The Valencia High graduate is batting .222 with 20 extra-base hits and 26 RBIs in 95 games in the Detroit Tigers organization. He is hitting .229 with 22 RBIs in 54 games for the Double-A SeaWolves.

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