Minor League Sports

Minor league baseball: Where former Eastern Iowa preps, Iowa Hawkeyes are to start 2018

Jake Adams hits while playing for Iowa last april at Duane Banks Field. Adams is now with the Quad Cities River Bandits. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Jake Adams hits while playing for Iowa last april at Duane Banks Field. Adams is now with the Quad Cities River Bandits. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Former Hawkeyes everywhere.

There are 10 of them with major league organizations as the 2018 season begins. That includes two here in the Midwest League in first baseman Jake Adams (Quad Cities) and infielder Nick Roscetti (Wisconsin).

Adams already has played a game at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids this season. Quad Cities is scheduled to return to town in mid-May.

Roscetti’s Timber Rattlers don’t come here until late May.

Only one local guy is in the big leagues, and that’s Cincinnati Reds outfielder Scott Schebler. Actually, Schebler is on the disabled list with the Reds after being hit by a pitch in his right elbow in a game over a week ago.

At this point, the best bet to be the next area big leaguer is former Cedar Rapids Xavier pitcher Mitch Keller. He is the Pittsburgh Pirates top prospect and had an outstanding initial 2018 start last week at Double-A Altoona.

Keller isn’t on the Pirates’ 40-man roster at this point, so don’t expect him to be in the majors until 2019.

Here is a list of all local/former University of Iowa players in the minor leagues or extended spring training. Next week, we’ll track down a list of all of the former Cedar Rapids Kernels in the big leagues.

JAKE ADAMS (University of Iowa) — First base slugger is in the Midwest League with the Quad Cities River Bandits (Astros). In his first seven games, he is 5-for-25 with a RBI.

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JOEL BOOKER (Iowa) — The outfielder is with high-A Winston-Salem (White Sox) in the Carolina League to begin 2018. He’s off to a 10-for-25 start at the plate, stealing home in extra innings to give his team a walk-off (run-off?) win earlier this week.

MATT DERMODY (Iowa) — Southpaw reliever threw in 23 big league games last season for Toronto but is at Triple-A Buffalo (Blue Jays) to begin this season. He has posted two shutout relief innings thus far.

RYAN ERICKSON (Iowa) — Is in extended spring training with the Chicago White Sox. Former Iowa hurler made 16 appearances last season in Rookie ball.

NICK GALLAGHER (Iowa/Iowa City West) — Is in extended spring training with the Cleveland Indians, who drafted him last June.

BLAKE HICKMAN (Iowa) — Right-handed pitcher is a reliever this season at high-A Winston-Salem (White Sox), after starting 17 games last season in low-A. Has thrown 3 2/3 scoreless innings in two games, with five strikeouts.

JON KELLER (Cedar Rapids Xavier) — Pitcher announced his official retirement from professional baseball in the offseason. Spent five seasons in Baltimore Orioles organization, with a 10-12 career record, 12 saves and 3.98 earned run average, topping out at Double-A.

MITCH KELLER (Cedar Rapids Xavier) — The Pitsburgh Pirates’ top prospect dealed in his first minor league game of 2018, throwing six two-hit, shutout innings for Double-A Altoona in a win over Akron, striking out eight.

DERRICK LOVELESS (Solon) — Outfielder became a minor-league free agent last season and was not picked up by any MLB organization. Hit .235 over seven seasons in the minors for Toronto Blue Jays, topping out at Double-A.

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MASON McCOY (Iowa) — Infielder has jumped from short season-A to full-season A Delmarva (Orioles) in the South Atlantic League. Is 4-for-24 in the very early going.

NICK ROSCETTI (Iowa) — Infielder is in the Midwest League this season at Wisconsin (Brewers), where he is 4 for his first 15 at the plate.

TYLER PEYTON (Iowa) — The right-handed pitcher has been in three games this season thus far for high-A Myrtle Beach (Cubs). He’s a reliever.

A.J. PUK (Cedar Rapids Washington) — The Oakland Athletics top pitching prospect shined in spring training but came down with an elbow injury late and underwent Tommy John surgery last week. He will not return until the 2019 season.

SCOTT SCHEBLER (Cedar Rapids Prairie) — Outfielder is on the disabled list with the Cincinnati Reds, after being hit in the elbow by a pitch over a week ago. He had played three games, going 4-for-12 with a home run prior to his injury.

JAKE YACINICH (Iowa) — Shortstop and former University of Iowa player returns to high-A Inland Empire (Angels) in the California League, where he played most of last season.

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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