April 29, 2014
Five former Commodores are on active major league rosters with another set to make it six Dores in the big leagues this weekend. Joining the six big leaguers are another 20 former Dores on active minor league rosters.
Sonny Gray - The pride of Smyrna, Tenn. is a national phenomenon after turning in his first complete game shutout on ESPN's nationaly televised game between Oakland and Texas last night. The right-hander was dominant over all nine innings to improve to 4-1 on the year coming up with a new pitch along the way, a slider.
What did Gray say about the new slider?
Gray's rise to the big leagues was quick, just three years ago he was leading one of the greatest Vanderbilt teams of all time to the school's first ever College World Series. On his way to Omaha, Gray racked up 27 wins (two fewer than school leader and Vandy legend Jeff Peeples) and 317 strikeouts to become one of only five Commodores to record 300-plus strikeouts in his career. In June of 2011, the A's made Gray the 18th overall pick in a loaded draft that has already seen nine of the first 18 picks make their MLB debut.
With Gray dealing on the national stage in Oakland, the rest of the nation is finding out what Vandy Nation has known for a long time: Sonny Gray is special.
293 days ago Gray made his big league debut, now he's one of the games best.
Mike Minor - The lefty is set to make his season debut for the Atlanta Braves this weekend.
Kevin Ziomek - In his first full year as a pro, Ziomek is in Single-A West Michigan following in the foot steps of former Commodores and Detroit farmhands Aaron Westlake, Will Clinard and Connor Harrell. Ziomek picked up his first win as a pro over the weekend.
Taylor Hill - Hill has been on fire in his first five starts of the season for Triple-A Syracuse (Washington) going 3-1 with a 2.35 ERA. The right-hander has turned in three quality starts, including last week's win at Louisville when he allowed one run over seven innings.
Curt Casali - Casali has been a steady backstop for the Double-A Montgomery Biscuits this season hitting .333 with a home run and 13 RBI in 19 games. The former Dore went 3-for-3 with a home run and four RBI against Mississippi last week.
Grayson Garvin - The big lefty landed back on the disabled list last week with a back injury. Garvin was off to a stellar start with Double-A Montgomery posting a 2.89 ERA and a 7:1 strikeout to walk ratio in four starts.
Tony Kemp - The 2013 SEC Player of the Year is at Single-A Lancaster (Houston) playing on one of the most talented teams in the minors and still standing out. Kemp has already stolen 10 bases, hit three triples and thrown in a pair of home runs for the JetHawks.
To check out where the former Vandy Boys are in pro ball check out our Dores in the Pros page here.