Tuesday, May 03, 2005

ND Alumni in Pro Baseball Update

Aaron Heilman, New York Mets: In his third year in the Bigs, Heilman is 2-2 with an ERA of 4.65 in 5 starts, including one complete game shutout.

Brad Lidge, Houston Astros: A brilliant setup man, Lidge was thrust into the closer role in 2004 with the trades of Billy Wagner and Octavio Dotel. He responded by setting a new record for strikeouts by a reliever and almost singlehandedly keeping Houston in the NLCS. This year Lidge is 5 for 5 in saves with an ERA of 0.93 and 16 K's in 9.2 IP.

Brant Ust, Wilmington Blue Rocks (Red Sox High A): After reaching the AAA level in the Tigers organization, Ust signed a free agent contract with the Blue Rocks, where he is hitting .122 in 14 games this year.

Brian Stavisky, Midland RockHounds (A's AA): Stavisky has taken his promotion from A ball well, hitting .295 and slugging .449 this season.

Chris Michalak, ??? (Blue Jays): The Joliet native, who prepared for his first MLB start by watching Rudy, is currently in the Toronto organization.

Chris Niesel, Lake County Captains (Indians Mid-Level A): Lake County is a great place to start for a 2004 pick. Niesel is 2-1 in 5 starts with an ERA of 5.55.

Christian Parker, Tulsa Drillers (Rockies AA): Parker, who has made one career MLB start is 1-1 with an ERA of 1.09 in 5 starts.

Craig Counsell, Arizona Diamondbacks: The perennial postseason hero is hitting .274 this year as the starting second baseman for the Diamondbacks.

Danny Tamayo, Omaha Royals (Royals AAA): Considered a great prospect in the Royals organization, Tamayo has started the year 1-2 with an ERA of 4.32.

Grant Johnson, Mesa Cubs? (Cubs Rookie League)

Javy Sanchez, Beloit Snappers (Twins Mid-Level A): A 2004 draftee, Sanchez is hitting .244 for Beloit this season.

JP Gagne, Tri City Dust Devils (Rockies Mid-Level A)

Matt Macri, Modesto Nuts (Rockies High A): Drafted out of high schoolby the Twins the same year as Joe Mauer (and the same year they passed on Mark Prior for money reasons), Marcri instead went to ND, where the much-vaunted prospect had an up and down career. He's apparently gotten it back on track, as he hit .284 in his first 25 pro grames.

Paul O'Toole, West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx (Cubs AA): One of 3 catchers carried by the Cubs' AA affiliate, O'Toole is hitting 0.59 in 34 at bats this year.

Ryan Kalita, ? (Cubs)

Steve Sollman, Brevard County Manatees (Brewers High A): Sollman takes home the honor of having the highest placement of any of the 2004 picks. The second baseman is hitting .235 through 23 games.

Steve Stanley, Midland RockHounds (A's AA): After hitting .432 in AA last year (one of the highest, if not the highest average in all of AA baseball last year), Stanley had a cup of coffee with Oakland's AAA club, but couldn't crack the Mendoza line. Back in AA, Stanley is hitting .265 after a bit of a slow start. (Interesting aside: I was in a bookstore a couple weeks ago, and thumbed through Moneyball just look for Stavisky and Stanley references. At the time he was drafted, Billy Beane thought that Stanley was already a better all-around center fielder than Terrence Long.)