July 16, 2014
The All-Star break is wrapping up so it's time for the Pro Dores to get back to work for the second half. Before the break, five more Commodores were welcomed to the professional ranks with Tyler Beede (San Francisco), Adam Ravenelle (Detroit), Vince Conde (New York Yankees), Brian Miller (Tampa Bay) and Chris Harvey (Pittsburgh) all inking pro deals.
After winning a national championship in late June, four of the five newly pro Commodores have made their debuts with Beede the only yet to play. Brian Miller is pitching in the New York-Penn League for the Hudson Valley Renegades in the same league as Vince Conde, who is suiting up for the Staten Island Yankees. Ravenelle has pitched in one game for the GCL Tigers in Lakeland, Fla. Harvey signed a non-drafted free agent deal with the Pirates and is playing for the club's rookie level team in Bristol, Va. in the Appalachian League.
Miller is off to a great start in Hudson Valley, earning two saves in three appearances and has yet to give up a run in five innings. Conde has started three games in Staten Island and is 3-for-11 with three RBI.
The newest Vandy big leaguers
It was inevitable but Drew VerHagen finally got the call, he's headed to the big leagues to pitch for Detroit. The former Dore will start for the Tigers against Cleveland in Detroit's doubleheader vs. the Indians. VerHagen will become the ninth Commodore to play in the major leagues this season, extending the season's already school best mark. At Triple-A Toledo this season VerHagen is 6-7 with a 3.67 ERA in 19 starts.
One day after VerHagen received his call to the big leagues, Curt Casali received his from Tampa Bay. The former Dores' back stop is headed to the Rays to join another former Commodore in David Price. Since being traded from Detroit to Tampa Bay, Casali has rocketed through the minors and is set to become the 10th Commodore to play in the majors this season. Casali was promoted from Double-A Montgomery early in the season and had taken over the every day catching duties in Triple-A Durham before getting the good news this week. He was hitting .237 with three homers and 15 RBI in 46 games for the Bulls. He was also a part of the Dores' first-ever College World Series squad in 2011 and is the third player from that team to reach the major leagues.
Yaz on the move
Mike Yastrzemski continues to be red-hot in the Baltimore organization. The former Dore has already been promoted once this season and is set to open the second half at Double-A Bowie for his third level of the Baltimore system this summer. Yastrzemski finished his tenure in Frederick on a tear hitting .354 (17-for-48) with nine extra-base hits and 12 RBI. For the season, he has 44 extra-base hits and 63 RBI.
Zo mowing 'em down in West Michigan
His record might not show it but Kevin Ziomek is producing an outstanding first full season as a pro. The lefty has struck out 88 over 82.1 innings and sports a 2.51 ERA over 16 starts for the West Michigan White Caps. He has dominated left-handed hitters all season allowing lefties to only hit .181.
Conrad in Cali
Since being promoted to high Single-A Lancaster in the California League, Conrad Gregor has exploded hitting .358 with nine homers and 38 RBI in 42 games for the JetHawks. Gregor hit only one home run at Single-A Quad Cities (you might have heard about it, his dad caught it) but had a streak of three straight games with a home run earlier this month. The former Dore still has a sharp eye at the plate, drawing more walks (27) than strikeouts (21) at Lancaster.
Tony Kemp is good at baseball
As if his unbelievable start in Single-A Lancaster wasn't enough, Tony Kemp is doing his best to make his stay in Double-A Corpus Christi even better. Since joining the Hooks, the former SEC Player of Year is hitting .354 with nine extra-base hits and 15 runs scored in just 19 games. Over his last 10 games he has hits in eight games, including two four-hit games, with seven runs scored and six RBI. His season numbers are already ridiculous and the Hooks nearly 50 games left. For the year, Kemp has played in 91 games and already has 127 hits, 94 runs scored, 23 doubles, 7 triples, 6 home runs, 47 RBI and 33 stolen bases.
Mr. Big Leaguer
While the Commodores were busy winning a national championship in Omaha, Taylor Hill made his major league debut with the Washington Nationals. The same day the Dores took home the title, Hill made his big league debut in Milwaukee against the Brewers. The big right-hander allowed two runs over 3.1 innings of relief then tossed a scoreless frame against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Hill's season in Triple-A Syracuse has been stellar, going 9-4 with a 2.63 ERA in 18 games.
For a full list of where all the former Commodores are playing pro ball click here.