Friday, April 24, 2009

Former Aggies in the Minors

This is part of a Friday Doubleheader post!! Get excited! I was thinking about all the former Aggies in the minor leagues after reading an article on current Aggie catcher Kevin Gonzalez by my part-time colleague Rich Croome. So, in a bout of curiosity, I looked up all the former Aggies I could find from the past couple of seasons to see how they were doing now. Here's that roundup:

  • Jose Duran, former Aggie shortstop, already has a brother who played in the majors last season with Texas. Duran was drafted after his only season with the Aggies by the Brewers and played in 36 games at second base in the rookie-level Pioneer League in 2008. Duran hit just .221 with 38 strikeouts in 136 at-bats and is now apparently in extended spring training.
  • Parker Dalton was a second baseman for the Aggies back in 2007. He was drafted by the Dodgers in the 24th round of the 2007 draft and is currently in the Midwest League (Class A ball). He's hitting .294, but has only appeared in five games. He's repeating the level at Class A this season after hitting .231 in 83 games in 2008.
  • Kirkland Rivers was a valuable bullpen arm for the Aggies. I was glad to see the Astros drafted him in the middle rounds last season. He pitched in 19 games in 2008 with short season Tri-City Valley Cats and sported a 5.25 ERA but had 21 strikeouts and only three walks. While not currently assigned to a roster, he's most likely in extended spring training (that's code for I have no idea where he's at).
  • One of my favorite former Aggies for his fielding acumen, shortstop Brandon Hicks was picked in the third round of the 2007 draft by the Braves. In two seasons of professional ball, he's yet to hit over .240, but has played consistently for his defense alone. The Braves are hoping his bat will come around eventually, but for now he's Adam Everett-lite.
  • Left-handed pitcher Kyle Nicholson was drafted in the 7th round by the Giants in 2007. He had a strong 2008, making 11 starts with an ERA of 1.15 and a 54-3 K/BB ratio. After the season, he was named Short Season Pitcher of the Year by He's gotten rocked in his three starts this season in the Sally League.
  • Lefty David Newmann, who was picked by Tampa Bay in the fourth round of the 2007 draft, had Tommy John surgery the year before he was drafted (2006) and then tore a knee ligament in 2008 during spring training, missing the entire season. He finally pitched for Tampa Bay this season, posting a 7.07 ERA and a 12-8 K/BB ratio.
  • The Ruggiano brothers, Brian and Justin, are both playing in the minors right now. Brian was drafted in the 23rd round in 2008 by the Dodgers and hit .241 in rookie league play last season. He's currently in extended spring training. Justin, on the other hand, played in 43 major league games last season for Tampa Bay. He's currently with their Triple-A affiliate in Durham and is batting .151 in 12 games.
  • Finally, Blake Stouffer was drafted last season by the Washington Nationals. He played with both the short season team and the Low A affiliate Hagerstown last season but he's not currently on a minor league roster. Either he's injured or he's just in extended spring training, but I'm not sure which.

That's it for now...check back later this afternoon for a rundown of the Astros farm teams.

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