June 12, 2012
The New England Collegiate Baseball League opened play last Wednesday and the Cape Cod Baseball League is scheduled to begin on June 14. Twelve Huskies have been placed on to summer ball teams for action over the next two months, four each in both the NECBL and CCBL.
In the professional ranks, 10 former Huskies have appeared in games in the minors this season, with more on the way. One such player, Brian Esposito, who spent cups of coffee in “The Show” in 2007 and 2010, is playing in Triple A, while a pair of players attack Double A and a large group of players to recently sport the navy and white are spread throughout Single A.
The majority of individual success has come from players drafted out of Connecticut in the 2010 and 2011 MLB drafts. Mike Olt, who erupted in the Arizona Fall League at the end of 2011, has continued to swing a hot bat for the Frisco RoughRiders, the Texas Rangers AA affiliate, in 2012.
Olt, a third baseman and the third ranked prospect by MLB.com in the Rangers’ farm system, leads the Texas League in home runs (19), runs batted in (54), total bases (140), slugging percentage (.622) and OPS (1.036). His 19 homers are four more than any other player in the league, while he also ranks fifth in batting average at .311.
The first Connecticut player drafted in the first round since Charles Nagy in 1988, Olt came on strong towards the end of his time with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the Carolina League after bouncing back from a broken collarbone in 2011. He opened this month by slugging two home runs in three-consecutive games, while batting .727 (8-11) with nine RBI between June 1 and 3. Over his last 10 games, Olt is batting .395 (15-38) with eight HRs, 18 RBI and a 1.515 OPS for the RoughRiders.
Down in A ball, Nick Ahmed, Greg Nappo and George Springer have each been named to the all-star team in their respective leagues. Competing at Advanced-A, Ahmed and Springer will face one another in the Carolina/California League All-Star Game on June 19. Ahmed is the everyday shortstop for the Lynchburg Hillcats, affiliate of the Atlanta Braves out of the Carolina League, and holds a .253 batting average, scored 43 runs and stolen 20 bases. Springer is batting .292 and playing center field for the Lancaster JetHawks, Houston Astros affiliate in the California League. He has smacked 12 homers, scored 50 runs and driven in 42 to go with a .536 slugging percentage.
Left-handed pitcher Greg Nappo was named to the South Atlantic All-Star team as a reliever from the Greensboro Grasshoppers, affiliate of the Miami Marlins. He is 0-3 with a 2.12 earned run average, primarily out of the bullpen. Nappo lasted just three innings in his only start of the season at Hagerstown (May 22), but returned to the mound for his first save of the season in his next outing at Delmarva (May 26) when he struck out seven batters in three innings of work. For the season, he has 37 Ks in 34 innings and has walked just 14.
Minor League Notes:
- John Andreoli of the Daytona Cubs (A-Adv.) is batting .324 (12-37) over his last 10 games with 10 runs scored
- Matt Barnes of the Salem Red Sox (A-Adv.) has started the month of June with a 2-0 record and has tossed 13 shutout innings in his last two starts, including a seven-inning complete game