BOCA RATON, Fla. – The Florida Atlantic University baseball team has sent a multitude of former players to the professional ranks over the years, and continues to dot the map across organizational levels for many MLB teams in 2017.
Fifteen former Owls are currently aligned with 12 different MLB franchises, at each possible level of those systems. Three different teams – the Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Angels – host multiple players from FAU in their organization. Here is an alphabetical listing of Former Owls in the Pros, and where they are now:
R.J. Alvarez, Texas Rangers (Triple-A – Round Rock Express)
The righthanded pitcher, who has 31 games of Major League experience under his belt, is at the highest level of the Rangers’ minor league organization. He has appeared in 30 games this year for the Express, all in relief, and is a perfect 3-for-3 in save opportunities. Alvarez has struck out 45 batters in 29 2/3 innings, with the opposition hitting just .220 against him.
Jeff Beliveau, Toronto Blue Jays (Majors – Blue Jays)
After 17 appearances to begin the year for AAA Buffalo (3-1 with a 3.09 ERA), the 30-year-old lefthander got the call to the big leagues on June 5. He immediately appeared in game that night at Oakland, pitching a scoreless inning. Overall in 15 games for the Blue Jays, Beliveau has a 1-0 record with a 3.14 ERA, and in his last 11 outings (10 1/3 innings), has given up only two runs for a 1.74 ERA, with 11 strikeouts against just two walks.
Devon Carr, Houston Astros (Class A – Quad Cities River Bandits)
In his second year in the pros, the southpaw lefthander has played for two different clubs in the Houston organization, the first four games for the Buies Creek Astros, and the last four games for Quad Cities. Three of the Carr’s four appearances for the River Bandits have been multi-inning affairs, and the last two were scoreless, including a three-strikeout inning on July 8 against the Clinton LumberKings.
C.J. Chatham, Boston Red Sox (Rookie League – GCL Red Sox)
Chatham, the highest draft pick in FAU history, saw action in 35 games in 2016, but has battled injuries thus far this year. He started the season in extended spring training before appearing in one game for the Class-A Greenville Drive, notching two RBI on May 19. He just returned to the active roster of the GCL Red Sox on July 10, and walked and scored a run against the GCL Rays in that game.
Roman Collins, Kansas City Royals (Class A Advanced – Wilmington Blue Rocks)
Collins is in his third year in the Royals’ organization and has played 84 games this year for the Blue Rocks. He is tied for second on the squad with 34 RBI, and has team highs of 17 doubles and 118 total bases. His sixth home run of the season came on July 7 as part of a 2-for-4 night at the Potomac Nationals, and he had a two-run double against those same Nationals last time out, on July 10.
Billy Endris, Arizona Diamondbacks (Class A Short Season – Hillsboro Hops)
Endris has split time this year between the Kane County Cougars and now the Hops. In 20 games with his current squad, he has two home runs and nine RBI, with the knocks coming on June 15 and July 3, both against the Everett AquaSox. In the former, a 10-3 win, he also doubled as part of a 2-for-4 night, with three runs scored.
Ryan Garton, Tampa Bay Rays (Triple-A – Durham Bulls)
Garton has been dominant for the Rays’ top minor league squad, which earned him three callups and seven appearances out of the big-league bullpen this year. In AAA, the righthander has pitched to a 1.40 ERA, with a 2-0 record, in 15 games. Over 19 1/3 innings, he’s struck out 29 batters and has a .172 batting average against him. He had a 13-game, 17-inning scoreless streak which saw his ERA drop to a season-low 0.49 on July 5.
Austin Gomber, St. Louis Cardinals (Double-A – Springfield Cardinals)
After four games for the Springfield Cardinals to close out 2016 and a successful stint in the Arizona Fall League (http://www.fausports.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/120916aaa.html), Gomber earned a AA assignment back to Springfield out of Spring Training. The southpaw currently has a 4-6 record, with back-to-back wins in his last two outings, on July 4 and July 9. His best start of the year came on May 7 at the Tulsa Drillers, where he pitched seven innings of two-hit, one-run baseball.
Alex House, Houston Astros (Class A Short Season – Tri-City Valley Cats)
House was selected in the 24th round of this most recent 2017 MLB Draft, and quickly signed with the Astros’ organization. The righthanded pitcher made his professional debut on June 28, earning the start for the Valley Cats, in Storrs, Connecticut against the Connecticut Tigers.
Stephen Kerr, Los Angeles Angels (Rookie – AZL Angels)
Kerr became the second member of the Class of 2017 to sign a professional contract, and the most recent Owl to make his Minor League debut. For the AZL Angels, he batted leadoff and played second base versus the AZL Athletics on July 6. He reached twice and scored a run in that game, and the following day, against the AZL White Sox, was 2-for-3 and got on base four times.
Seth McGarry, Pittsburgh Pirates (Class A Advanced – Bradenton Marauders)
McGarry has been extremely successful in his first turn in Bradenton, earning a recent Florida State League All-Star selection. The righthanded reliever has a 1-0 record, a 1.08 ERA, and is a perfect 9-for-9 in save opportunities. In 25 games, spanning 33 1/3 innings, he has given up only 12 hits, four earned runs, and 13 walks against 31 strikeouts. He has not been scored upon in 22 of his 25 outings, including in each of the last six and 13 of the last 14 games.
David McKay, Kansas City Royals (Rookie – Idaho Falls Chukars)
In his second season, McKay has pitched in 11 total games: six games out of the bullpen of the Lexington Legends, and five turns, all starts, since joining the Chukars. The righthander has gone at least five innings in four of the five starts, with his best coming on July 4 versus the Ogden Raptors: 7 2/3 innings, five hits, one run, zero walks and six strikeouts.
Kyle Miller, Chicago Cubs (Class A Advanced – Myrtle Beach Pelicans)
Miller began 2017 where he spent all of the previous season, with the South Bend Cubs. After four games and one start, pitching to a 1.93 ERA, the righthander earned the callup to the Pelicans. He has been a workhorse for the squad, appearing in 16 games, including three starts, with a stretch from May 14 to June 29 that saw him pitch to an ERA of 2.25 (six runs in 24 innings). His last appearance, on July 9 at the Frederick Keys, saw him strike out four batters in 3 1/3 scoreless innings.
Colyn O’Connell, Detroit Tigers (Class A Short Season – Connecticut Tigers)
O’Connell made his 2017 debut on June 22 for the Connecticut Tigers, and proceeded to reel off six straight scoreless outings to begin the campaign. In that span, covering 7 1/3 innings, he allowed just six hits and two walks, against eight strikeouts. The righthander picked up his first victory of the year on July 2, with two scoreless innings and two strikeouts at the Brooklyn Cyclones.
Brendon Sanger, Los Angeles Angels (Double-A – Mobile Bay Bears)
Sanger became the second Owl to reach AA this season with his recent promotion to the Bay Bears after leading the Inland Empire 66ers with 10 home runs, a .363 on-base percentage and slugging .485 (sixth-highest in the California League). He celebrated Independence Day with two two-run home runs in a win over the Stockton Ports, and made his AA debut with Mobile at the Birmingham Barons on July 10, drawing a walk in four plate appearances.