Baseball
    Catching Up with Trojans in the Minor Leagues
    Mike O'Neill
    Mike O'Neill

    June 27, 2013

    LOS ANGELES - 22 Trojan alums are currently living out their dreams of playing professional baseball, from rookie ball all the way up to Triple-A.

    One of the brightest young talents the Trojans have produced is outfielder Mike O'Neill, currently of the St. Louis Cardinals Double-A team, the Springfield Cardinals. O'Neill just competed in the Texas League All-Star game after an impressive first half of the season. The Riverside, Calif., native, drafted in the 31st round of the 2010 MLB First Year Players Draft by the Cardinals, boasts the third-best batting average in the league, .322. He has an even more impressive on-base percentage of .433, which ranks second in the Texas League. The 25-year-old has also drawn 49 walks to just 17 strikeouts as the Cardinals leadoff hitter. Click HERE to see O'Neill's current stats.

    TRIPLE-A

    Five Trojan alums are one step away from the majors in Triple-A. Left-handed pitcher Brad Boxberger, who made his major league debut in 2012, has played six games in the big leagues for the San Diego Padres this season. He currently is in Triple-A, competing for the Tucson Padres, where he has appeared in 22 games, striking out 47 in 30.1 innings of work. To see Boxberger's complete stats, click HERE.

    Second baseman Grant Green of the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats is pounding on the door of his big league parent club, the Oakland A's. So far this season, Green is batting .316 through 71 games, while driving in 45 RBIs with nine home runs. Green was the A's first round (13th overall) pick in the 2009 MLB First Year Players Draft. Click HERE to see Green's complete stats.


     

     

    Nick Buss, the eighth round selection of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2008 MLB First Year Player's Draft, is having an outstanding season for the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes. The left-handed hitting centerfielder is batting .296 with 55 RBIs through 71 games. He also has 49 strikeouts and 11 home runs on the season. Click HERE to see Buss' complete stats.

    Outfielder Roberto Lopez is also competing in the Pacific Coast League for the Triple-A affiliates of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Salt Lake Bees. Lopez, who was drafted in the 25th round of the 2008 MLB First Year Players' Draft, is batting .290 through 69 games so far this season. He has driven in 26 runs with five home runs, two triples and 12 doubles. For Lopez's complete stats, click HERE.

    Jeff Clement, the third overall pick of the 2005 MLB First Year Players' Draft as a catcher by the Seattle Mariners, is working to resurrect his career as a first baseman in the Minnesota Twins organization. After reaching the big leagues last season for the Pittsburg Pirates, Clement has driven in 32 runs through 70 games for the Triple-A Rochester Wings. Overall he is batting .209 with an impressive 12 home runs. For Clement's complete stats, click HERE.

    DOUBLE-A

    Four Trojan alums are currently playing in the ranks of Double-A, including designated hitter Keith Castillo, first baseman Ricky Oropesa, left-handed pitcher Anthony Vasquez, and the aforementioned O'Neill.

    Castillo, who signed with Tampa Bay as an undrafted free agent in 2011, is currently batting .268 in their Double-A affiliate Montgomery Biscuits of the Southern League. He has driven in eight runs, while knocking five doubles and one home run. For Castillo's full stats, click HERE.

    Oropesa, the San Francisco Giants third round pick in the 2011 First Year Player's Draft, is currently suiting up for the Richmond Flying Squirrels of the Double-A Eastern League. Through 62 games, the Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native is batting .209 with five home runs, five doubles and 21 RBIs. For a complete listing of Oropesa's numbers, click HERE.

    Vasquez, who was drafted in the 18th round of the 2009 MLB First Year Players Draft by the Seattle Mariners, reached the big leagues in 2011, where he earned seven starts. In November 2012, Vasquez underwent emergency surgery to remove a ruptured blood vessel in his brain and has bounced between Double-A and Single-A as he works to come back from the surgery. After one game in Double-A Jackson, Vasquez has had three starts in the Single-A Clinton LumberKings of the Midwest League. For his complete numbers, click HERE.

    CLASS-A ADVANCED

    Right-handed pitchers Austin Wood and Andrew Triggs, infielder Hector Rabago and outfielder Joe De Pinto have competed in high-A ball this season.

    Triggs is competing for the Wilmington Blue Rocks of the Class-A Advanced Carolina League, an affiliate of Kansas City. The righty has appeared in 23 games out of the pen, and through 35.2 innings of work has struck out 40 batters. He is 2-2 on the year with a 3.53 ERA. Click HERE for Triggs' complete stats.

    Wood made five starts for the Inland Empire 66ers of the California League before being placed on a rehab assignment with the AZL Angels. In 21.2 innings of work for the 66ers, Wood struck out 18. For Wood's complete stats click HERE.

    Rabago, currently on the 7-day disabled list, has only played one game for the Tampa Yankees of the Florida State League. In his one appearance he went 1-for-3. For his complete stats, click HERE.

    De Pinto started the season at Double-A, but after just five games was reassigned to the Winston-Salem Dash of the Carolina League. Through 27 games in High-A ball he is hitting .239, tallying seven RBIs and eight doubles in 92 at-bats. For De Pinto's complete stats, click HERE.

    CLASS-A

    Pitchers Robert Stock, Martin Viramontes, Chad Smith and second baseman Matt Foat are all currently suiting up for Class-A teams. Stock, Viramontes and Smith are all playing in the Midwest League, while Foat is in the South Atlantic League.

    Stock, who was originally drafted as a catcher before being converted into a pitcher boasts a 1.45 ERA through 10 appearances for the Peoria Chiefs, the Class-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Through 12.1 innings of work out of the bullpen, the Westlake Village, Calif., native has 13 strikeouts and two saves. For Stock's complete stats, click HERE.

    Viramontes, of the Milwaukee Brewers affiliate Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, has appeared in 12 games out of the bullpen for one save. In 22.2 innings of work he has amassed an impressive 34 strikeouts. For Viramontes' complete stats, click HERE.

    Smith, who is suiting up for the West Michigan Whitecaps, an affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, has a 3-3 record with a 2.06 ERA through 24 games played. The Thousand Oaks, Calif., native has struck out 36 through 39.1 innings of work with one save. Click HERE for Smith's complete stats.

    For the Hagerstown Suns, the Class-A team of the Washington Nationals, Foat is currently batting .271 through 18 games. He has driven in nine runs on 16 hits with two doubles. For Foat's complete stats, click HERE.

    SHORT SEASON CLASS-A

    Fresh off the Trojans' 2013 season, outfielder Greg Zebrack and infielder James Roberts have been assigned to short season class-A ballclubs in the NY-Penn League. Brandon Garcia, who started his professional career in 2012 in the Texas Rangers organization, is in short-season class-A ball for the Spokane Indians of the Northwest League as a catcher, after pitching and appearing as a designated hitter for the Trojans.

    Zebrack is suiting up for the Auburn Doubledays, the short-season affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Through five games, the Northridge, Calif., native is batting .200, driving in two runs on three hits in just 15 at-bats. For Zebrack's complete stats, click HERE.

    Roberts has appeared in two games for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, the short-season A ball affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The Cupertino, Calif., native is hitting .429, with one RBI and three hits. For Roberts' complete stats, click HERE.

    In four games for the Spokane Indians, Garcia has tallied one double. He has also drawn two walks. For Garcia's complete stats, click HERE.

    ROOKIE BALL

    The 2013 21st round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Adam Landecker has begun his professional career for the GCL Pirates of the Rookie Gulf Coast League. Pitcher Jordan Hershiser, the 34th round selection of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2012 MLB First Year Players Draft is also competing in rookie ball for the Ogden Raptors.

    Landecker is currently batting .250 through five games for the GCL Pirates. He is 5-for-20, with one double and one triple with three RBIs. For Landecker's complete stats, click HERE.

    Hershiser is playing in the Rookie Pioneer League for the Ogden Raptors. He has appeared in one game, throwing three complete innings while striking out four. He also made one appearance earlier in the season for the Great Lake Loons of the Class-A Midwest League. For Hershiser's complete stats, click HERE.