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May update on the Diamond Dawgs in the pros

March 21, 2012; Jupiter, FL, USA;St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Mitchell Boggs (41) throws in the seventh inning against the New York Mets during a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
March 21, 2012; Jupiter, FL, USA;St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Mitchell Boggs (41) throws in the seventh inning against the New York Mets during a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Welcome to another installment of the monthly (if I'm not too lazy) update on how our former Diamond Dawgs are doing in the Major and Minor Leagues. Our last installment was after about a week, so the guys have had a lot more time to compile some numbers and do work. Well, with 16 names to get to, let's not dilly dally and get to the updating.

We'll start with St. Louis Cardinals reliever Mitchell Boggs. In addition to growing some obviously sweet facial hair, the former starter in Athens has not only settled in to a role in the NL Central leading Cards bullpen, but a significant role at that. He's been handling the job of primary set up man. In 16 games so far, the Dalton native has posted a 2.70 ERA. He's logged 16 and 2/3 innings, allowing only 15 hits and 7 walks, to 19 strikeouts (10.3 K/9). He's yet to allow a HR, and is setting himself up for a pretty nice payday when he reaches his first year of arbitration eligibility this winter.

Chicago White Sox starting 2B Gordon Beckham may be playing himself out of a job unfortunately. A trip to the minors, or to the bench, is what happens to young players who put up a triple slash (average, on base, slugging) line of .206/.276/.328 at the plate. Through 39 games, he only has 3 HRs, with 10 walks and 29 strikeouts. The last two years have been rough for the 25 yr old Atlanta native.

Fellow Atlanta area high school product and former Dawg SS, Jeff Keppinger, has produced well enough at the plate to work his way in to the Tampa Bay Rays lineup. He's played mostly 2B, but also some 3B and one game at 1st. In 29 games and 88 at bats, he's hit .295 with 2 HR, and a .728 ops (on base plus slugging).

Clint Sammons, who like Keppinger matriculated at Parkview HS, is playing C for the Miami Marlins AAA affiliate in New Orleans. Never known for his bat, the defensive stalwart, has only played sparingly since returning from the DL (torn meniscus) a week ago. A triple slash line of .211/.262/.333 means it probably takes multiple injuries for him to possibly reach the bigs.

The Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit) have bounced former Diamond Dawgs ace Brooks Brown between their starting rotation and the bullpen. He's struggled through 10 games (4 starts), with a 5.79 ERA, allowing 33 hits and 19 walks (to only 18 Ks) in 28 innings. His splits show a great job pitching when no one is on, but once someone reaches base things fall apart. A little work on pitching out of the stretch (as well as improved control/command) might help the Statesboro native take that last step up to the majors.

The Wesleyan School's Stephen Dodson is the 3rd Diamond Dawg in AAA, working in relief for the Colorado Spring Sky Sox, of the Rockies organization. Through 13 games, he has just a 3.38 ERA, but his peripherals indicate some problems. In 13 1/3 innings, he's allowed 25 hits, and 10 runs (half unearned, hence the low ERA), and has just 4 strikeouts to go with 6 walks.

Leading off our trio of AA Dawgs, Justin Grimm has been pitching brilliantly for the Frisco Rough Riders of the Texas Rangers. He's thrown 50 innings in 9 starts, with a 2.34 ERA and 45 Ks compared to 11 walks. He got roughed up in his last outing, but that's been one of just two bad starts all season. The former 5th round pick may be angling for a promotion sometime later this summer if he can keep up his form.

Hull native and star closer Josh Fields has not taken to the pro level like most thought. Drafted in the 2nd round by the Braves, before returning and ultimately being a 1st round pick for Seattle, Fields is now in the Red Sox organization after coming over with Erik Bedard in a midseason trade last summer. They've assigned him to AA Portland (Maine) Sea Dogs, and while he's done well, he's also 26. In 12 games and 16 1/3 innings, he's got 22 Ks to 7 walks, allowing 18 hits and a 3.31 ERA. Impressive, but he's up there in age for his level.

Our remaining AA Dawg is with Fields' former organization, the Mariners. 1B Rich Poythress is on the disabled list, with a sprained left foot, for the Southern League Jackson (Tn) Generals, and has only 1 HR in 112 at bats through 31 games so far this year, although he's done a good job getting on base (.352) and has a respectable average (.259).

After 3 in the majors, 3 in AAA, and 3 in AA, of course there was a triple set of Perno products at the high A level in minor league baseball. I say were, because Nathan Moreau has retired from the Frederick Keys of the Baltimore Orioles. I can't find any info on why, whether it was an injury, or just tired of the grind, or what have you. We wish the Parkview product the best of luck as he moves on to the next stage of his life.

Trevor Holder is struggling for the Potomac Nationals of the Carolina League (and the Nationals organization, obviously. He had done well in 4 straight outings, before getting blasted his last time out, in his first start of the year. Through 9 games, Holder has thrown 21 innings.

The Modesto Nuts C Bryce Massanari has also struggled with the Colorado Rockies high A affiliate. He's hitting .234, with a .298 obp and .351 slg, whiffing a disturbing 39 times in 94 at bats over 25 games.

After a hot start, OF Zach Cone has cooled off in a big way. He's warmed back up lately, with 10 hits in his last 10 games, but playing for the Texas Rangers low A Hickory Crawdads, he's hit .243/.282/.443 in 35 games and 140 at bats, playing mostly RF.

Jeffrey Walters is joining Cone in the Sally, with the Savannah Sand Gnats of the New York Mets organization. In 9 games out of the Gnat bullpen, he's gone 3-0, has 17 strikeouts in 16 1/3 innings to only 3 walks, allowing only 8hits and 4 runs (all unearned).

1B Chase Davidson (Astros) and P Berry Tanner (Athletics, formely Cecil Tanner in Athens) have yet to begin their seasons.

As always, if I've missed anyone or messed up some info, please tell me so in the comments, or just give your own opinions on how these former Diamond Dawgs are doing.