It’s hard to believe we’re already halfway through the Major League Baseball season, so it’s time to see how our former UAB Baseball players are doing.
After a great 2016 season that saw James Naile go through four levels of the Oakland Athletics minor league system, he started the 2017 season at Double-A and has continued to impress.
He is 1-1 with a 3.22 ERA in 9 games (6 starts). He’s struck out 29 batters in 36.1 innings, while allowing 33 hits and 13 walks for a WHIP of 1.27.
Naile led the A’s organization in innings last year with 156.2. He also won a Gold Glove award for his stellar defense.
He still has a chance to reach the majors as a starting pitcher, but his quickest path to the show is as a relief pitcher.
Unfortunately, Naile was put on the disabled list back on May 31 retroactive to May 19, and he hasn’t pitched in a game since May 14. There has been no update on his health status since, so it’s unclear when he could be back.
Adam Lau was very good for the Boston Red Sox A and High-A teams last year. He combined for a 3.68 ERA in 63.2 innings with 68 strikeouts. He actually walked mores batters (42) than he allowed hits (40).
He was assigned back to the Red Sox High-A team to start the 2017 season. He’s having another solid year posting an ERA of 3.81 in 22 games. He’s still striking out over a batter an inning with 44 K’s in 37.1 innings, but his WHIP is up to 1.62.
His last outing was on June 27. He’s earned the role as a long reliver typically throwing two innings in each appearance.
And the newest member of the UAB baseball players in the major leagues is Brewer Hicklen. After getting drafted in the seventh round, he signed for $337,500 with the Kansas City Royals.
He was assigned to their rookie league team in Arizona. He got a hit in his first game, but is just 1-7 in his first two major league games with 5 strikeouts. He has scored a run and driven in a run.
Hicklen will get things going though, and I can’t wait to watch his career path.
The MLB Draft Tracker does not show that Garrett Whitlock has signed with the New York Yankees after they drafted him in the 18th round. Selfishly, I hope Whitlock decides to come back for another year, but we’ll keep an eye on the situation and let you know if he does sign with the pinstripes.
Make sure you keep up with your former UAB baseball players all summer. And follow us on Twitter @The_DailyDragon for updates.