In our latest Pawdcast we did a quick update on a few of the more recent UH baseball alumni and how they are fairing at their level of professional baseball.
I realized in doing a bit of background that there were more Cougar players than we had time to talk about on air, so I figured this kind of update would be perfect for the written medium. I'd like to add that PRay from the Cougar message board CoogFans does these more frequently than I will be able to and if you're interested in this topic please bookmark this CoogFans thread.
Before we get into the numbers, here is a handy, dandy guide for some of the terms if you're less of a giant baseball weirdo than we are.
The highest level of minor league baseball (below MLB) is AAA. The next highest level after that is AA, then High A (also called A-Adv), Mid A (also called A-Full), Short Season A, RK-ADV (Rookie-Advanced) and Rookie ball. Think of professional baseball as a giant pyramid and the MLB is the very top of that pyramid.
So without further ado here are current Cougars in professional baseball and relevant hitting/pitching statistics.
Connor Wong's gaudy home run total (15) will come as no surprise to anyone who watched his last season in red & white. Also, nobody will be surprised by Wong's versatility as he has played multiple positions on the field for the Dodgers' High A ball affiliate in Rancho Cucamonga.
Jake Scheiner is starting to figure things out a bit after joining the Seattle Mariners' organization in the Jay Bruce trade. After playing shortstop and 3rd base, Scheiner seems to be primary a 3B in the professional ranks.
This year's UH draftees: Jared Triolo and Joe Davis, both got assigned to Short Season A-ball as is typical for collegiate players in their 1st year. Both have flashed potential as Triolo already has 12 extra base hits and in his first 10 games Davis has an OPS over .900.
Also, Connor Hollis kicking butt as an undrafted guy in the Rays' system makes us happy.
Pitchers, part 1:
Because there are so many Cougar alums plying their trade as pitchers in the professional ranks, we had to break this up into 2 parts.
Three of these pitchers have seen extended runs on MLB teams: Daniel Poncedeleon, Austin Pruitt and Kyle Dowdy.
Like he did last year, Poncedeleon has been an incredibly effective spot starter and long reliever out of the bullpen for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Pruitt, a member of the 2013 Cougar weekend rotation with Ponce, has made 7 appearances as the Rays' long reliever as well. Out of all the pitchers in this update I believe Pruitt has the most MLB service time.
Finally, Dowdy was selected by the Texas Rangers in the most recent Rule 5 draft as he was not on the 40-man roster of his original organization (Detroit). He's made 13 appearances for the Rangers, primarily as a long guy and is currently on a rehab assignment. Notably the Rangers will eventually have to decide to bring him back to the 25-man roster or give him back to the Tigers.
After dealing with serious arm problems its great to see flamethrower Patrick Weigel back with the Braves' AAA affiliate and on the Braves' 40-man roster. John King is also putting up freakishly low walk numbers as part of a great season so far with the Rangers' High A ball affiliate in eastern Carolina.
Pitchers, part 2:
As we mentioned on this week's Pawdcast, 2 guys from the 2018 draft class: Aaron Fletcher and Trey Cumbie are having good seasons so far. Fletch was promoted to the Nationals' High A ball affiliate at the end of May and hasn't allowed an earned run since his first start with the Potomac Nationals. Cumbie was striking out nearly 14 batters per game for the Rays' Mid A ball affiliate before earning a recent promotion to the Charlotte Stone Crabs in High A ball.
You may notice the absence of stats for Cougar baseball's highest draftee in many years Seth Romero. He will be sitting out 2019 after having Tommy John's surgery.
Also, 3 pitchers from this past year's Cougar team: Fred Villareal, Devon Roedahl and Ryan Randel have been assigned to teams in their respective organizations.