the end of the minor league seasons in early September and the
expanding of big league roster limits to 40 players, there is always
a flurry of call ups this time of year. With a number of players
making their Major League debuts, there is always healthy number of
former Perfect Game participants being added the list of PG alums who
have played Major League Baseball.
list now stands at 340 total players, with at least 61 having made
their debuts this year.
number of top prospects/PG Alumni were called up earlier this summer,
including such players as OF Mike Trout (Angels), RHP Jacob Turner
(Tigers), 2B Brett Lawrie (Blue Jays), RHP Blake Beavan, 3B Kyle
Seager (Mariners), LHP Wade Miley and 1B Paul Goldschmidt
just in the past 10 days, at least 25 Perfect Game alumni have been
called up to the Major Leagues for the first time. Here’s a quick
look at who they are and where they come from.
Dylan Axelrod (White Sox/30th round, 2007,
UC-Irvine): Axelrod has shown outstanding command all through
the minors and went 9-3, 2.69 in 150 IP, with 132 K’s and only 35
walks in AAA. He could be summarized as a prototypical UC Irvine
Joe Benson (Twins/2nd round, 2006, Joliet
Catholic HS, IL): Debuted on Tuesday after a .284-16-67/.879 OPS
season while repeating in AA. Benson has impressive physical tools
but one should be a bit worried about his going from 27 home runs in
2010 to 16 while repeating the same level.
Brad Brach (Padres/42nd round, 2008,
Monmouth): Brach was an underachiever in college but has been
anything but as a pro. The 25 year old has saved 75 games over the
last two minor league seasons, including 34 this year between AA and
Corey Brown (Nationals/1st round comp by
Oakland, 2007, Oklahoma State): Brown was called up and made his
debut Tuesday after what ironically was by far his worst professional
season; .238-14-39/.727 OPS at AAA.
Andrew Carignan (A’s/5th round, 2007, U.
North Carolina): Injuries have restricted the hard throwing
Carignan to 102 profession innings before his call up, including 39
this year (1-0, 8 SV, 1.85). He was a primary catcher out of high
school in Connecticut , so his time on the mound has been really
limited. He did top out at 93 mph at the 2003 PG Northeast Top
Adron Chambers (Cardinals/38th round, 2007,
Pensacola JC): The left handed hitting Chambers debuted Tuesday
after hitting .277-10-44/.783 OPS/22 SB’s in AAA. He looks like a
reserve outfielder with some speed.
Danny Farquhar (Blue Jays/10th round, 2008,
Louisiana-Lafayette): Farquhar has racked up 54 saves over the
past three minor league seasons, including 14 in AAA this year (4-5,
4.70). He had a sterling career as a starter in college but is a
sub-6’ right hander, so his move to the bullpen was pretty standard
Tim Federowicz (Dodgers/7th round, 2008 by
Boston, U. North Carolina): Talk about first impressions;
Federowicz hit .325-6-17/1.058 OPS after being acquired in a
three-way trade with Boston and Seattle at the trading deadline on
Taylor Green (Brewers, 25th round, 2005,
signed the following spring as a draft and follow): A Canadian,
Green has been dogged by injuries in his minor league career but has
always been able to hit, which he did to a tune of .336-22-91/.993 in
AA and AAA this summer.
Jared Hughes (Pirates/4th round, 2006, Long Beach State):
Hughes had been a starter since his debut in 2006 but blossomed in
2011 when he was promoted to AAA after three years in AA and moved to
the bullpen. He went 3-1, 2.11 with 45 K’s in 42 innings after the
switch. PG’s ranking comment on Hughes in 2002 said: Consistent
low to mid 90s, up to 95-96. Good breaking ball. Looks like a big
league pitcher! It just took him 10 years to go from looking to
Corey Kluber (Indians/4th round, 2007 by San
Diego, Stetson): Debuted September 1 after a 7-11, 5.56 season
at AAA that did feature 143 K’s in 150 innings. The Texas native
appears to be more of a fill guy at this point.
Jeff Locke (Pirates/2nd round, 2006 by
Atlanta out of Kennett HS, NH): Locke was part of the Nate
McLouth trade last year and looks to have solid back half of the
rotation potential (8-10, 3.72, 153 IP/139 K’s in AA/AAA). Locke
was an unknown rising junior from New Hampshire when he exploded onto
the prospect map as a rising junior when he threw 91-93 at the 2004
WWBA 17U Championships for Farrah’s Builders.
Steve Lombardozzi (Nationals/19th round,
2008, St. Petersburg JC): Lombardozzi has made a rapid climb up
the Nationals minor league ladder after signing in the 19th round only 3 years ago. He hit .309-8-52 with 30 steals in the
minors. Here’s a PG report written on Lombardozzi before his
senior year in high school:
Son of the former ML second baseman,
there are plenty of resemblances. Bat is his best tool, has a simple
line drive approach and stays on the ball a long time. High average
approach but he doesn’t project much power. Hits to all fields and
will fight off tough pitches. Limited to second base defensively,
has a quick release and good feet but his arm is short for the left
side of the infield. Betting he is an over-achiever type like his
dad, can play the game.
Martin Maldonado (Brewers/27th round, 2004
by the Angels, Naguabo, Puerto Rico): A defensive specialist,
Maldonado hit .287-11-59/.809 OPS this year, the first year in his
eight year minor league career he has put up respectable offensive
Chris Marrero (Nationals/1st round, 2006,
Monsignor Pace HS, FL): Marrero was an Aflac All American as a
third baseman and has taken a slow but steady climb through the
Nationals system. He compares roughly with Marlins 1B Gaby Sanchez,
also a Miami native, and is the cousin of top 2012 prospect Devin
Marrero (Arizona State).
Devin Mesoraco (Reds/1st round, 2007,
Punxsutawney HS, PA): Mesoraco made his debut after a
.289-15-71/.855 OPS season in AA. He’s a good lesson for young top
prospects. He had 2 ½ very mediocre seasons in the lower minors,
blossomed in 2010 and reached the Majors in his 5th season. He dealt with failure and had patience and kept working
hard. Young “stars” should expect the same.
Efren Navarro (Angels/50th round, 2007,
UNLV): Only 3 players were picked after Navarro in the 2007
draft, so reaching the big leagues is an especially impressive feat.
He hit .317-12-73/.856 in AAA, the only year in his career he’s
ever hit with any real power.
Jordan Pacheco (Rockies/9th round, 2007, U.
New Mexico): Pacheco ironically made his debut as a third
baseman even though he had only played 5 games at that position since
his first year in the minors. He was a second baseman in college
before converting to catcher as a professional. So much for
developing a player at the position he’ll play in the big leagues.
Chris Parmelee (Twins/1st round, 2006, Chino
Hills HS, CA): Another Aflac All American who was drafted only 5
picks after Marrero in the 2006 first round, Parmelee has been
consistent in the minors but has never hit for the power he projected
out of high school. His 2011 season in AA (.287-13-83/.801 OPS)
ranks as one of his best efforts.
Brad Peacock (Nationals/41st round, 2006,
Palm Beach Central HS, FL): Peacock had one of the most notable
performances of any minor league pitcher in baseball this year; 15-3,
2.39 with 177 K’s and only 98 hits allowed in 146 innings pitched.
He was a 5-11/160 primary shortstop in high school who topped out at
84 mph in Jupiter in 2005 playing for Hammertime.
Addison Reed (White Sox/ 3rd round, 2010,
San Diego State): Getting drafted by the White Sox is one of the
best ways to get to the big leagues quickly, it seems, as he is the
organization’s second pitcher from the 2010 draft to make the move,
joining 1st round LHP Chris Sale. But Reed deserves it,
he plowed through all 4 full season levels over the past 5 months
(2-1, 1.26, 78 IP/43H/14 BB/113 K’s).
Josh Satin (Mets/6th round, 2008,
California): Satin has hit at every level of the minors and hit
.323-12-76/.903 this year at AA/AAA. It’s reasonable to assume
he’s going to continue to hit. Interestingly, Satin was a player
in college who tore it up in the Cape Cod using wood bats but never
hit as well as expected using metal during the spring.
Chris Schwinden (Mets/22nd round, 2008,
Fresno Pacific U.): I confess to not recognizing the 24 year
old’s name before yesterday. His 8-8, 3.87 148 IP/139 K
performance in AAA this year is very consistent with his previous
efforts. He is the first player in Fresno Pacific history to reach
the big leagues, understandable since the NAIA program has only been
in existence for six years.
Nate Spears (Boston/5th round, 2003 by the
Orioles out of Charlotte HS, FL): Spears is a 26 year old minor
league veteran who hit only .248-8-45 in AAA this year, so he’s
well past prospect status but he can provide a versatile extra body
on the Red Sox bench when a starter needs resting before the
Eric Surkamp (Giants/6th round, 2008, North
Carolina State): Surkamp dominated AA ball this summer, striking
out 170 hitters in 148 innings (11-4, 1.94) and has already picked up
his first big league win.