Chasing the Big League Dream

UABSPORTS.COM Mike Wright posted a 10-5 record in 20 games with the Frederick Keys and Bowie Baysox in 2012.
Mike Wright posted a 10-5 record in 20 games with the Frederick Keys and Bowie Baysox in 2012.

Oct. 3, 2012

Thirty-five former East Carolina baseball players have been drafted since 2005 and 16 of them, plus one player who signed as a free agent, were still active in the minor leagues in 2012. Eight players received promotions during the season with six reaching the Double-A level. Here is a look at how former Pirate lettermen fared in the minor leagues this past season:

Shawn Armstrong - RHP - Akron Aeros (AA)
Drafted in the 18th round by the Cleveland Indians in 2011 ... Began 2012 season in Low-A with Lake County appearing in a pair of games ... Promoted to High-A Carolina Mudcats, where he shined out of the bullpen ... Appeared in 26 games posting a 1-3 record with one save ... Posted a 2.06 ERA with 52 strikeouts in 43.2 innings ... Called up to Double-A Akron in June appearing in 17 games posting a 1-0 record with three saves and sporting an impressive 0.89 ERA in 20.1 innings ... Helped Akron to the Eastern League Championship tossing 1.1 scoreless innings in the title game ... Assigned to the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League.

Kevin Brandt - LHP - Princeton Rays (Rookie)
Selected in the 18th round by the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012 ... Began career Appalachian League appearing in 12 games making four starts ... Owned a 2-2 record sporting a 2.25 ERA with 43 strikeouts to just six walks in 36.0 innings.

Jharel Cotton - RHP - AZL Dodgers (Rookie)
Taken in the 20th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012 ... Appeared in five games making one start ... Picked up first career win in final outing with Ogden of the Pioneer League against Missoula tossing five scoreless innings ... Assigned to the Dodgers' Arizona Rookie League team for the fall.

Devin Harris - OF - Augusta Green Jackets (A)
Selected in the 48th round by the San Francisco Giants in 2010 ... Started out in San Jose (High-A) batting .185 with four homers and 20 RBI before getting called up to Fresno (AAA) for one game ... Reassigned to Augusta (Low-A) in June where he batted .245 with eight home runs, eight doubles, four triples and 39 RBI in the South Atlantic League.



Chris Heston - RHP - Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA)
Drafted in the 12th round by the San Francisco Giants in 2009 ... Named Eastern League (EAS) Pitcher-of-the-Week (May 29), EAS Mid-Season and Post-Season All Star ... Took home EAS Pitcher-of-the-Year honors after leading the league with a 2.24 ERA ... Posted a 9-8 record with 135 strikeouts against just 40 walks in 148.2 innings ... Surrendered three runs or fewer in 21 of 25 starts.

Seth Maness - RHP - Springfield Cardinals (AA)
Selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 11th round in 2011 ... Helped the Springfield Cardinals to the Texas League Championship ... Named Florida State League Mid-Season All-Star while at Palm Beach (High-A), where he was 3-1 with a 2.15 ERA in seven starts ... Promoted to Double-A Springfield in May where he posted an 11-3 record in 20 starts with a 3.27 ERA ... Struck out 83 while walking just nine and earned Texas League Post-Season All-Star accolades.

Clayton McCullough - Manager - Vancouver Canadians (Short-Season)
Concluded sixth year as a Minor League manager guiding Vancouver to the Northwest League (NWL) title ... Named NWL Manager-of-the-Year in 2012 ... Led four of his last five clubs to post-season appearances ... Named Florida State League Manager-of-the-Year in 2011.

Dustin Harrington - SS - Tennessee Smokies (AA)
Drafted in the 34th round by the Chicago Cubs in 2010 ... Spent first half of the season with Dayton (A) appearing in 42 games, where he batted .198 with four doubles, three triples and eight RBI ... Promoted to Double-A Tennessee in July batting .256 with a pair of doubles and a triple in 24 games.

Brad Mincey - RHP - Greensboro Grasshoppers (A)
Drafted in the 28th round by the Miami Marlins in 2011 ... Spent the entire season in Greensboro as a reliever helping the Hoppers to the Northern Division title ... Appeared in 45 games posting a 3-2 record with seven saves ... Fanned 58 while walking 17 in 69.1 innings and sporting a 2.73 ERA.

Mark Minicozzi - 3B - Richmond Flying Squirrels (AA)
Selected in the 17th round by the San Francisco Giants in 2005 ... Split time between Augusta (A) and Richmond (AA) ... Batted .250 with two home runs and 10 RBI in 15 games with the Green Jackets before his promotion ... With Richmond belted eight homers, smacked 19 doubles, drove in 45 runs and batted .284 in 81 games.

Kyle Roller - 1B - Tampa Yankees (A)
Drafted in the eighth round by the N.Y. Yankees in 2010 ... Played entire season in Tampa where he belted 18 home runs (second in league), laced 22 doubles, five triples and collected 85 RBI (third in league), while batting .266 in 121 games ... Named Florida State League (FSL) Post-Season All-Star ... Earned FSL Player-of-the-Week honors on August 13th.

Seth Simmons - RHP - Visalia Rawhide (A)
Taken in the 40th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2011 ... Started season in South Bend (Low-A) sporting a 1.76 ERA in 66.1 innings ... Posted a 4-3 record with one save in 37 games with 80 strikeouts ... Promoted in August to Visalia (High-A) appearing in nine games out of the bullpen with an 0-2 record and 18 strikeouts in 11.2 innings.

Corey Thompson - 3B - Bristol White Sox (Rookie)
Selected in the 31st round by the Chicago White Sox in 2011 ... Appeared in seven games where he batted .300 with a double and four RBI.

Ryan Wood - RHP - Idaho Falls (Rookie)
Drafted in the 11th round by the Kansas City Royals in 2009 ... Missed entire season due to injury.

Zach Woods - RHP - Staten Island Yankees (Short-Season)
Played for the New Jersey Jackals (Independent League) before signing a contact with the N.Y. Yankees in August ... Posted a 4-3 record with a 2.62 ERA with the Jackals ... Fanned 108 batters while walking just 21 in 79.0 innings ... Appeared in four games for Staten Island (Short-Season) recording one save with five strikeouts in 3.2 innings.

John Wooten - 1B - Burlington Bees (A)
Selected in the 37th round by the Oakland Athletics in 2012 ... Started season with Vermont (Short-Season) where he was named team MVP after batting .286 with four home runs, 16 doubles and 38 RBI in 67 games ... Promoted to Burlington (Low-A) in August appearing in five games, batting .118 with a triple and one run scored.

Mike Wright - RHP - Bowie Baysox (AA)
Drafted in the third round by the Baltimore Orioles in 2011 ... Split time between Frederick (High-A) and Bowie (AA) ... Posted a 5-2 record with 35 strikeouts in eight games with a 2.91 ERA with the Keys ... Promoted to Double-A in July where helped Bowie reach the playoffs for the first time since 2008 ... Posted a 5-3 record in 12 games ... Fanned 45 while walking 17 in 62.1 innings with a 4.91 ERA ... Assigned to the Mesa Solar Sox of the Arizona Fall League.

Zach Wright - C - Cedar Rapids Kernels (A)
Taken in the 12th round by the Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim in 2012 ... Batted .268 with six home runs, seven doubles and 23 RBI in 52 games ... Hit his first professional home run on June 14 against the Burlington Bees.