Rox Alumni Wrap Up Minor League Seasons
St. Cloud, MN – Monday marked the end to the regular season for most levels of Minor League Baseball. It was a summer that saw 14 former Rox players represent major league organizations at various levels of the minor leagues.
Outfielder Carlos Lopez (2012) had an all-star season for the Greensboro Grasshoppers (Miami Marlins) in the South Atlantic League. He finished the regular season fourth overall in the league batting title race, hitting .323. Lopez also drove in 74 runs on the year which was sixth best in the South Atlantic League. After bouncing around with the Marlins Gulf Coast League (Rookie) and Florida State League (Advanced-A) teams for the first half of the summer, Kyle Fischer (2013) was successful on the mound for Greensboro, throwing 21.1 innings, going 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA. Over the entire summer Fischer finished with 37 strikeouts in 34.2 innings. Both players will be with Greensboro as they open the South Atlantic League playoffs on Wednesday, September 3rd against the Hagerstown Suns.
Out west, the Northwest League included four former Rox players at the Short Season Class A level. Adam Martin (2012-2013) was an all-star for the Everett AquaSox (Seattle Mariners). Serving as Everett’s starting catcher, Martin batted .260 with five homeruns and 24 RBI. During the all-star game, he played against former teammate and fellow catcher Elvin Soto (2012) representing the Hillsboro Hops (Arizona Diamondbacks). Soto finished the regular season batting .256 with improved power from last season including 10 doubles, five triples and three homeruns. Joining Soto on the Hops was infielder Nate Robertson (2014). After starting the season with the Rox, Robertson was drafted and signed with the Diamondbacks organization. He went on to play 57 games for the Hops primarily at third base, and proved to be a threat on the base paths as he stole 15 bases in 18 attempts. Soto and Robertson will be with Hillsboro as they open the Northwest League playoffs tonight against the Boise Hawks.
Joining Soto and Robertson in the Northwest League playoffs will be Jason Hoppe (2013) with the Spokane Indians (Texas Rangers). Hoppe appeared in 15 games on the mound for the Indians. Over 34.1 innings he struck out 33 batters.
Also in the Short Season Class A level, the New York-Penn League included four former Rox players playing for four different organizations. Nick Tanielu (2012) represented the Tri-City ValleyCats (Houston Astros) in the all-star game, taking home the MVP award going 3 for 3 with a RBI. In 62 regular season games, Tanielu hit .300 while driving in 40 runs as the ValleyCats primary second basemen. Tanielu will be with Tri-City as they open the New York-Penn League playoffs Wednesday, September 3rd against the Connecticut Tigers.
Also spending time in the New York-Penn league this summer were former Rox players Alex McRae (2013) with the Jamestown Jammers (Pittsburgh Pirates), Clay Williamson (2013) with the Auburn Doubledays (Washington Nationals) and Lucas Long (2012-2013) with the Aberdeen IronBirds (Baltimore Orioles).
In the Pioneer League, Zach Hirsch (2012) appeared in 14 games on the mound for the Helena Brewers (Milwaukee Brewers). Over 36 innings, Hirsch finished with a 2-1 record, an ERA of 3.75 and 37 strikeouts while only walking 5 batters.
After playing all summer for the Rox, pitcher Josh Taylor (2014) signed with the Philadelphia Phillies. He was assigned to the Gulf Coast League where he posted a 2-0 record over three outings. Not allowing a run in 9.1 innings, Taylor held a perfect 0.00 ERA and struck out 13 batters and only allowing five hits. He was joined in the Gulf Coast League by Conor Keniry (2013) who played for the Washington Nationals organization. Seeing time in the west coast equivalent, Arizona League was Carlos Leal (2013) in the Milwaukee Brewers organization. Leal spent the summer learning to throw off the mound as the Brewers have converted the former catcher to become a pitcher.