There are 24 baseball players with ties to the Santa Clarita Valley playing pro ball in major league baseball’s affiliation system. Last week we gave you the updates on players in Rookie Ball through Single-A. Today we give you the 11 players in High-A through the majors.
Two players are in High-A ball, with both of them still playing within an hour or so drive.
Former COC shortstop Brian Hernandez is the starting third baseman for the Inland Empire 66ers, part of the Los Angeles Angels organization. Hernandez is hitting .278 with 3 home runs and 54 RBIs.
Another former COC shortstop, Juan Perez, is now the shortstop with the Bakersfield Blaze in the Reds system. Perez is hitting .245 with 4 home runs and 24 RBIs.
Former Saugus two-sport star Casey Stevenson is playing Double-A ball in the Yankees organization. Casey is playing first base for the Trenton Thunder in the Eastern League where he is hitting .255 with 1 home run and 11 RBIs.
Four players are one step away from the majors in triple-A.
Former Valencia Viking star Danny Worth has been back and forth between the majors with Detroit and their triple-A affiliate Toledo for the past three years. As a shortstop with the Mud Hens, Worth is batting .229 with no home runs and 7 RBIs. He was out two months from mid-April to mid-June with a foot injury, so is just now working his way back into playing action.
Former Hart outfielder Steve Susdorf has been with the Phillies triple-A affiliate Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs for two years but has been unable to break through that major league ceiling. This may be the year as Susdorf leads the Iron Pigs in hitting at .337 with a home run and 24 RBIs. But he has also had to share outfield duties so he has not been playing every game.
Two players who were the two-pitcher starting rotation for the Hart Indians in 2008 round out our players in triple-A.
First is Mike Montgomery, the No. 8 prospect in the Tampa Bay Rays organization. The 6-foot-4 lefty is 4-4 with the Durham Bulls with a 3.98 ERA in 11 starts. In his outing against Columbus, Montgomery went 7 innings, gave up one earned run, and LOST.
Trevor Bauer is now with the Cleveland Indians affiliate Columbus, and yes, the same Columbus Clippers Montgomery lost to. The former teammates have not gone against each other, but as for Bauer, he is the Indians No. 2 prospect and has been up with the major league club three times this season, most recently pitching against the White Sox, where he got rocked unfortunately, on June 29th. With Columbus, Bauer is 4-2 with a 4.06 ERA.
Santa Clarita has three players currently in the major leagues, though one is on the disabled list.
Former Hart shortstop Chris Valaika had been playing first base and second base for the Miami Marlins until he broke his wrist on May 7th against the Padres. On July 4th he was sent to High-A Jupiter to begin a rehab assignment. In his first game back he went 1-for-1 with a walk. The Marlins hope to activate him in shortly.
Oakland A’s left handed pitcher Tommy Milone from Saugus is 8-8 in 19 starts with a 4.11 ERA. The A’s are in first place in the American League West Division.
During the off season, the Kansas City Royals traded Mike Montgomery to Tampa Bay for another former Hart pitcher, James Shields, who is 4-6 in 19 starts with a 3.12 ERA. An all-star in 2011, Shields has now spent 8 years in the majors, with this being the first in a Royals uniform.
There is one other player in a major league, though not in the United States. Former COC pitcher Dana Eveland signed a one-year deal in the Korean Baseball Organization with the Hanwha Eagles.