Heartland players in the Minor Leagues

Heartland players in the Minor Leagues

(KFVS) - There are several players in the Minor League Baseball League either from the Heartland or played college ball here. This is an update on their current season stats and where they are playing.

Joey Lucchesi pitched two years for SEMO (2015, 2016) earning OVC Pitcher of the Year both years. He was drafted in the fourth round by San Diego in 2016. This year he has started 14 games for the Lake Elsinore Storm, a Class A Advanced affiliate of the San Diego Padres. He started out hot, with a 1.09 ERA through six games, though it's increased to 2.52 the last eight games. Lucchesi was chosen as an all star though he didn't play because he had a previous start just a couple days before the all star game. On July 7, he was assigned to the San Antonio Missons, the Padres Double A team. He's got 109 strikeouts through 95.1 innings pitched total for 2017.

Alex Winkelman also pitched two years for SEMO (2014, 2015) and was drafted by the Astros in the 21st round in 2015. This year he's started eight games for the Buies Creek Astros, a Class A Advanced affiliate of the Houston Astros. His incredible 1.39 ERA got him promoted to the Double A club Corpus Christi Hooks on May 23. He's having a rough time with the Hooks going 0-5 with a 4.96 ERA.

Tanner Murphy was a standout player for the Malden Green Wave. He was drafted after high school by the Atlanta Braves in the 4th round in 2013. He's worked his way up through the system, recently being promoted to the Class A Advanced Florida Fire Frogs on May 22. He's struggling a bit at the plate with an average of .207 with five doubles, one home run and 12 runs batted in.

Christian Cavaness is from Cape Girardeau and played baseball at Cape Central. He went on to play baseball at Lindenwood in college and was eventually signed (undrafted) by the Minnesota Twins in 2015. Currently he's with the Cedar Rapids Kernels, a Class A Twins affiliate. He's batting .239 through 65 games, with six triples and four home runs.

James Naile was a standout pitcher for Charleston. He played college ball at UAB and was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 2015. Currently, he's started six games and pitched in nine total with a 3.22 ERA. He's with the Double A club, Midland Rockhounds but has been sidelined with an injury, last pitching May 14.

Shae Simmons has already played in 33 major league games in his career. A Scott City and SEMO graduate, Simmons has been fighting injuries and is hopefully close to returning with a MLB club. He's currently with the Tacoma Rainiers, the Triple A club with the Seattle Mariners. He's thrown just 3.2 innings and has given up three earned runs.

Former SIU Salukis pitcher Chad Whitmer was selected in the 10th round of this year's draft by the New York Yankees. He's thrown six innings with the Gulf Coast League Yankees and has only given up one run, six hits and has nine strikeouts.

Another former Salukis pitcher, Sam Coonrod, is making his way through the minors. He was drafted in the 5th round by the San Francisco Giants in 2014. Currently he's with the Richmond Flying Squirrels, the Double-A affiliate. In 16 games this year, his ERA is 4.29 with 74 strikeouts.

Former SEMO standout, Brandon Boggetto, has absolutely been tearing it up so far in the minors. Drafted in the 25th round by the Washington Nationals this year, Boggetto has a batting average of .313 with seven doubles and a homer through 20 games.

Clay Chandler went undrafted this year but was signed by the Seattle Mariners. He was a great pitcher for SEMO, following in Lucchesi footsteps, and has not allowed a run through 5.2 innings pitched this year. Add to that just two walks and eight strikeouts.

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