After a record-setting year for Josh Holliday and the Oklahoma State baseball program, it's a perfect time to delve into the stat book and check out how the recent and past Cowboys are doing at the next level.
You may or may not be surprised by some of their statistics, but keep in mind that at this level, everyone can play. Everyone can field, hit and do it all--for the most part. Those who can't, get weeded out pretty quick. Here's a breakdown.
Zach Fish, OF, Great Falls Voyagers: The 11th-round pick by White Sox in this year's MLB Draft and Big 12 Player of the Year isn't having the same success at this level. There was some speculation about him leaving early. Some thought he was ready, some said he wasn't, but only Zach truly knows the answer to that question. He's hitting .167 with five RBIs and is still looking for his first home run. Let's not get too carried away despite his stats, he still has light tower power. It's a matter of him making the proper adjustments, we hope.
Brendan McCurry, RHP, Beloit Snappers: It's obvious he didn't pay attention to where he was drafted, at least his numbers aren't showing it. He's continued his dominance on the bump boasting a 1.35 ERA with a 1-0 record and 10 strikeouts and ZERO walks. Yes, ZERO walks. Not a bad start for McCurry to say the least.
Vince Wheeland, RHP,Tri-City Valley Cats: Unfortunately, Wheeland has dealt with some adversity to begin his professional career, as he's been roughed up a bit. This is just a guess, but it may be due to the fact that he's not an overpowering pitcher. Don't get me wrong, he has great stuff, but at that level if you're not locating, you'll probably get whip-lash from the constant head turning to watch the ball land in gaps or go over the fence. In six appearances, he's winless with a 11.37 ERA. I believe it's only a matter of time before he figures it all out.
Tanner Krietemeier, OF, Rome Braves: TK got a late start to his pro career, after dealing with a slight heart issue according to his Twitter, but he's had early success. He's batting .313 with three doubles and four RBIs. If you can hit, managers will find a way for you to be in the lineup--and that's certainly something he did well over his collegiate career. I think he'll move up quickly because of his bat.
Jason Hursh, RHP, Mississippi Braves: In his second year in the Braves organization, Hursh is 6-6 with a 3.88 ERA. His stats aren't exactly eye-popping, but the fact that he's already at the double-a level, speaks to how highly the people within the organization think of him. Give him another two years maybe and he'll be in the bigs, at the LEAST in spring training.
Those are just some of the recent Cowboys that have started their professional career. Here is a brief summary of two Cowboys who are currently on MLB rosters.
Jordy Mercer, SS, Pittsburgh Pirates:After dealing with a position battle for the past two years, Mercer finally earned the every day short stop role. He's done well in it, too. Mercer's hitting .250 with six home runs and 28 RBIs. Also, he's fourth on the team in doubles (14) and fifth in hits (73).
Andrew Heaney, LHP, Miami Marlins: It's been about a month since Heaney made his MLB debut. Four starts later, he's still searching for his first win at the big-league level. It's been a bumpy 0-3 road so far for the southpaw, but don't expect that to be for too long. He was phenomenal at every level leading up to this point. In 20 innings pitched, he's allowed 15 earned runs--which is part of the problem. He's already learned that the pitches he thinks hitters can't get to, well, they do. He's got some learning to do, but I think he wins his next start., which will likely be against the Giants or Braves.
That was a shortened list of former OSU baseball players who have made it to the next level. If anything, what you can take away from this is that the game of baseball truly is an unforgiving sport. It doesn't discriminate, but the rewards of the game are everlasting. Hopefully, some Pokes will be able to relish the spotlight in the near future.