Former Mountaineers Ready for Spring Training
By Jeff Vickers (@BGSGameday_Jeff)
Spring training for Major League Baseball will be underway in less than 2 weeks. The Baseball season for the West Virginia Mountaineers begins February 13th. For the 7 Mountaineers that turn pro last season, they will have to wait a little longer to play ball. Minor League spring training will not begin until the 1st week of March. When the time comes, the former WVU standouts will be preparing to battle for roster spots in their 1st full season of Professional Baseball.
Here is a rundown of how the boys did in the Short Season last year, and what they have looking forward to this season.
Bobby Boyd – Center Fielder
Taken in the 8th round by the Houston Astros
Bobby started his professional career with the Tri-City Valley Cats, the Astros’ Single-A Short Season Team, in Troy, NY. Boyd batted .333 in 42 games for the Valley Cats before being promoted the the Single-A Quad City River Bandits. For the season Boyd finished 2014 batting .297, 6 doubles, a triple and stole 19 bases in 25 attempts, in 62 games.
More than likely Bobby will at least start the season with Quad City, but sometime during the season he could find himself promoted the the Advance Single-A team, the Lancaster Jethawks. If Boyd is to play at Quad City, he will get to play in one of the nicest, most scenic stadiums in all of Minor League baseball, Modern Woodman Field.
Harrison Musgrave – Pitcher
Taken in the 8th Round by the Colorado Rockies
Harrison spent all of 2014 with the Grand Junction Rockies, the Colorado Rockies Rookie league Affiliate. The former Mountaineer southpaw finished with a record of 2-4 and had an earned run average of 5.44. His 48 innings pitched were 4th most on the team. Harrison appeared in 13 games, 11 of those were starts, striking out 50 batters and walking 14.
The Single-A, Asheville Tourist will most likely be the team which Harrison start 2015 with. Asheville is in the South Atlantic League, when also includes Charleston’s own WV Power Baseball team, and the Tourist will be defending SAL champions this season. Unfortunately, Asheville will not be making a trip this year to Charleston to play the Power.
John Means – Pitcher
Taken in the 11th Round by the Baltimore Orioles
John spent his 2014 playing for the Gulf Coast Orioles (Rookie league) and the Aberdeen Iron Birds (Single -A Short Season). John finished the season with a record of 1-4 and an earned run average of 3.46 in 10 starts. Means pitched 39 innings between the 2 teams in 2014 striking out 36 while only walking 2 batters.
Delmarva should be John’s destination to start the 2015. The Shorebirds are another South Atlantic League Team. If you live around the Charleston area you can catch the Shorebirds in town twice in 2015, once in May and again in August.
Sean Carley – Pitcher
Taken in the 14th Round by the New York Yankees
Carley is now one of 3 former Mountaineers in the Yankees Organization, joining former teammate Billy Fleming in the Minors, and Relieve David Carpenter who is with the NY Yankees. Carley spent 2014 with the Gulf Coast Yankees (Rookie League) and the Staten Island Yankees (Single-A Short Season). in 12 appearances in 2014, 6 starts and 6 relief appearances, Carley went 1-4 with a 5.19 Earned run average, striking out 20 batters and allowing 4 base on balls. Carley finished out the season strong, allowing 2 earned run over his final 10 innings pitched while striking out 13 batters and walking none.
Sean could find him self going to the Yankees Advanced Single-A club in Tampa, or playing for the Charleston (SC) River Dogs, of the South Atlantic League. If Carley is assigned to Charleston, he would return to WV Power park, the sight of where he “East Bound and Downed” Baylor last season, May 9th-12th.
Ryan McBroom – 1st Baseman
Taken in the 15th Round by the Toronto Blue Jays
McBroom spent the entire 2014 season playing for the Blue Jays’, Short Season, Single-A Affiliate Vancouver Canadians. Ryan finished the season batting .297, with 23 doubles, 11 home runs, and 59 runs batted in. Ryan was among the team leaders in several categories: 3rd in games played (70), 2nd in hits (81), 2nd in runs batted in (59), tied for 1st in doubles (23), led the team in home runs (11).
McBroom will most likely start 2015 playing for the Single-A Lansing Lugnuts, but if his 2014 performance is repeated in 2015 he could very well find himself promoted to the Advanced-A Dunedin Blue Jays.
Corey Walter – Pitcher
Taken in the 28th Round by the Oakland Athletics
Corey spent 2014 with the Arizona League Athletics (Rookie League) and the Vermont Lake Monsters (Single-A Short Season). In 21 appearances, Corey pitched 27 innings, striking out 27 batters and had an earned run average of 2.33.
After spring training Corey will most likely be on his way to Wisconsin to play for the Beloit Snappers, the Athletics Single-A affiliate.
Fleming is the only Mountaineer from last season’s team that signed as a free agent, non-draft pick, but Billy did not let that stop him from starting his pro career off on the right foot. In 2014 Fleming played in 31 games for the Gulf Coast and Staten Island, hitting .330 with 7 doubles and successfully stealing 18 of 19 bases.
Like his team mate Sean Carley, Fleming looks to start 2015 off hot and progress through the Yankees’ farm system. Fleming also could join Carley with the Charleston River Dogs, and find him self back in West Virginia in the May 9-12 series against the Power.