GatorCountry.com latest “Down on the Farm” notebook features good and bad news for former Florida Gators baseball players playing professionally.
Each week, Gator Country names a player of the week as well. While Tommy Toledo, Kevin Chapman and Patrick Keating were all certainly deserving after being named to All-Star teams for their overall success this season, the GC Player of the Week is Durham Bulls shortstop Cole Figueroa. The Tallahassee native who was drafted out of UF in 2008 went 12-for-26 (.462) with two triples and seven RBI while playing seven games for the Tampa Bay Rays AAA affiliate.
Former Gators first baseman Matt Laporta was sent down to AAA just three weeks after being called up to the majors.
While LaPorta being demoted is the bad news, several other former Gators had big weeks.
Let’s start with the three Gators in the majors:
Pitcher Darren O’Day plays for the Baltimore Orioles. O’Day is 1-0 in his last six appearances for the second-place Orioles. O’Day has lowered his ERA to 1.67 on the year and now has a 4-0 record in 31 games.
Infielder Mark Ellis plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ellis is currently on the disabled list after injuring his leg and requiring surgery to relieve pressure in late May. The Dodgers are currently in first place in the NL West division. At last check, Ellis was expected to miss six weeks, so he could return in early July.
Catcher David Ross plays for the Atlanta Braves. Ross appeared in four games last week and hit a home run against the New York Yankees. Ross also had four hits in 14 at bats for the second-place Braves.
The Gators now have 15 players in the minor league with the recent demotion of Laporta.
With the exception of Figueroa who was already highlighted at the top of this story, here is how they performed:
First baseman Matt Laporta plays for the Columbus Clippers, the AAA ball club of the Cleveland Indians. Since being sent down to AAA, Laporta is batting .308 with two home runs and five RBI. Laporta also has an on-base percentage of .413 in just 10 games.
Pitcher Bryan Augenstein plays for the Durham Bulls, the AAA ball club of the Tampa Bay Rays. In two appearances last week, Augenstein had an ERA of 6.75, but collected a save in his second appearance.
Catcher Brian Jeroloman plays for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the AA ball club of the Toronto Blue Jays. Jeroloman is currently on the disabled list.
Outfielder Matt Den Dekker plays for the Binghamton Mets, the AA ball club of the New York Mets. In eight games, Den Dekker had a .360 batting average with a home run and five RBI.
Pitcher Kevin Chapman plays for the Corpus Christi Hooks, the AA ball club of the Houston Astros. Chapman was named a Texas League All-Star this week. In two games last week, Chapman had 3.37 ERA in just 2.2 innings pitched.
Pitcher Patrick Keating plays for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, the AA ball club of the Kansas City Royals. Keating will also represent the Texas League as an All-Star as he was chosen to the team this week. In three games, Keating picked up two saves while only allowing two earned runs.
Outfielder Bryson Smith plays for the Bakersfield Blaze, the A ball club of the Cleveland Indians. Smith appeared in just one game last week and was 1-for-5 with four strikeouts.
Catcher Ben McMahan plays for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, the A ball club of the Milwaukee Brewers. In four games last week, McMahan was 2-for-14 with a double and a home run. McMahon also had six RBI.
Infielder Josh Adams plays for the Greensboro Grasshoppers, the A ball club of the Miami Marlins. Adams had three RBI and scored three runs in four games last week for the Grasshoppers.
Pitcher Tommy Toledo plays for the Wisconsin Timber Ratters, the A ball club of the Milwaukee Brewers. Toledo was named an All Star for the Midwest League last week.
Pitcher Alex Panteliodis plays for the Savannah Sand Gnats, the A ball club of the New York Mets. Panteliodis is currently on the disabled list.
Pitcher Anthony DeScalfani plays for the Lansing Lugnuts, the A ball club of the Toronto Blue Jays. In just one game, DeScalfani picked up a win in five innings pitched. DeScalfani had an ERA of 3.60 last week.
Pitcher Nick Maronde plays for the Inland Empire 66ers, the A ball club of the Los Angeles Angels. Maronde is currently rehabilitating from an injury.
Pitcher Tony Davis of the Fort Myers Miracle, the A ball club of the Minnesota Twins. Davis was released from Fort Myers last week.