MUSTANGS IN THE PROS (pdf)
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Last week was Moving Day for a trio of former Cal Poly baseball players in the professional ranks.
Middle infielder Kyle Marinconz took his .267 batting average at Hagerstown with him to the Potomac Nationals of the Hi-A Carolina League on July 29 and has responded with a 6-for-16 performance at the plate in his first five games.
Marinconz hit safely in 15 of 18 games from July 12-27 and hit .277 in July at Hagerstown.
Mike Miller, also a middle infielder, requested and was granted his release from Triple-A Pawtucket, then signed a minor league contract with the Minnesota Twins on August 3.
Miller didn't have to walk far because Rochester was playing at Pawtucket, so he made the short walk down the hallway at McCoy Stadium to join his new Red Wings teammates. Hitting .256 in 54 games for Pawtucket after a blazing start in which he hit .381 in April, Miller was 1-for-9 in his first two games with Rochester.
Right-handed pitcher Erich Uelmen earned his fifth win of the season July 28 at Salem, then was promoted from Myrtle Beach to the Double-A Tennessee Smokies of the Southern League.
Uelmen was 5-3 with a 3.05 ERA for the Pelicans this season, including a 3-1 mark and 1.88 ERA in five July starts, prior to the promotion. In his first Double-A start, however, Uelmen gave up five runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings and was tagged with the loss as Tennessee dropped a 6-0 decision at Mississippi on Saturday.
Spencer Howard, another former Mustang right-hander, made his move two weeks ago, promoted from Clearwater to Double-A Reading of the Eastern League on July 25.
He struck out eight of the first nine batters he faced in his first Double-A start July 26 and gave up two runs and three hits over 3 1/3 innings in his second start Friday against Altoona. Both were no-decisions for the Templeton High School graduate.
Cal Poly's lone Major Leaguer is Seattle Mariners outfielder Mitch Haniger, who was placed on the injury list June 6 after undergoing surgery for a ruptured testicle.
Haniger was cleared for partial resumption of baseball activities July 15, and he's been swinging off a tee and playing catch consistently since, according to Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. He likely will begin batting practice next week and will play in a few rehab games before returning to the Mariners' lineup.
In 64 games with Seattle, Haniger is hitting .219 with 16 home runs and 34 RBIs.
Owning the best batting average among former Mustangs in the pro ranks this summer is first baseman Brian Mundell at Albuquerque of the Pacific Coast League. Mundell has hit safely in 18 of his last 21 games with five two-hit contests in his last eight starts, lifting his average to .332 with 26 doubles, nine home runs and 46 RBIs.
Outfielder Nick Torres carries an eight-game hitting streak and a .311 average into his next game for Puebla of the Mexican League. Torres is 14-for-29 (.483) during the streak with three doubles and five RBIs and is 12th in the Mexican League in doubles (26), 10th in home runs (23) and 15th in RBIs (77).
Middle infielder Peter Van Gansen hit .309 in 19 July games at Amarillo with four doubles, a triple and two home runs, both solo shots against Northwest Arkansas on July 29. Van Gansen sports a .287 average for the Sod Poodles, hitting safely in 12 of his last 16 games.
The five Mustangs in Triple-A are outfielders Zack Zehner and Nick Torres, first baseman Brian Mundell and middle infielders Mark Mathias and Mike Miller.
Zehner hit .315 in 22 July games with seven home runs and 21 RBIs at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and sports a .282 overall mark. He had an 11-game hitting streak snapped July 21 but went 3-for-3 with two solo home runs in his next game July 24 at Columbus.
Mathias has a .273 mark at Columbus with 44 RBIs in 92 games.
Both Zehner and catcher Nick Meyer (St. Lucie) are on the seven-day injury list. Meyer has played two rehab games in the Gulf Coast League while Zehner has not played since July 26.
The ex-Mustangs in Double-A are Uelmen, Van Gansen, Howard and right-hander Chase Johnson (Richmond).
Seeking a shot as a professional baseball player, Michael Clark posted a 2-0 mark and 1.50 ERA in six games with the Healdsburg Prune Packers of the California Collegiate League. Clark (click here for highlight video) struck out 17 batters over 18 innings and earned wins against the Lincoln Potters and San Francisco Seals in July.
Follow all the former Mustangs in the professional ranks by clicking the link at the top of the page.
Photo of Erich Uelmen courtesy of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans