Aug. 15, 2006
Moraga, CA- Numerous former Saint Mary's standouts are catching the attention of their respective clubs as they make the ascent towards the Major Leagues. Seven Gaels currently call a minor league club home, but for a few, a call-up to the next level has already occurred.
Matt Yourkin began the 2006 season with the Double-A Carolina Mudcats of the Southern League. One month after opening day, the 6-3 225 pitcher found himself in Triple-A playing for the Albuquerque Isotopes of the Pacific Coast League. For the Mudcats, Yourkin has appeared in 37 games, posting a 3.70 ERA and 41 Ks in 41.1 innings pitched. Yourkin sports a 1-4 record and has nailed down three saves. At Albuquerque, the 25-year-old southpaw tallied a 3.38 ERA and struck out 15 in 13.1 innings pitched.
Yourkin's former teammate Nick Conte is currently playing for the Class-A Augusta Greenjackets of the Southern Atlantic League. Conte has split time behind the dish and as a designated hitter while appearing in 43 games. Conte is hitting .147 with six RBIs and two doubles. In his last start, the 24-year-old backstop batted 1-for-3 in a 5-4 win over the Lake County Captains.
Former West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year Bryan Byrne is having a solid season for the Class-A South Bend Silver Hawks of the Midwest League. Byrne is currently leading the Silver Hawks with 64 RBIs while batting .281 with seven home runs from the cleanup spot. In 99 games at first base and at DH, Byrne has also added 20 doubles and sports a .391 OBP. In his last start, the 22-year-old batted 1-for-4 with a double and run scored.
Byrne's former teammate Mike Sansoe continues to turn heads in the Padres organization as he currently plays for the Class-A Fort Wayne Wizards of the Midwest League. In less than a month at Class-A, Sansoe made a quick stint with the Advanced-A Lake Elsinore Storm of the California League. For the Storm, the speedy outfielder played in seven games, batting .280 with four RBIs and one triple. For the Wizards, the 23-year-old is batting .261 with a team-leading 17 stolen bases, 21 RBIs and nine doubles in 55 games.
The 2006 draft class has fared well in their short time in professional ball. Former West Coast Conference honorable mention selection Corey Madden has quickly caught the attention of the Florida Marlins. The 21st round selection breezed through rookie ball with the Gulf Coast Marlins, posting a 4-1 record and a 2.75 ERA with 21 Ks in 19.2 innings pitched. Madden was immediately called up to the Advanced-A Jupiter Hammerheads of the Florida State League. Madden has appeared in two games out of the pen for the Hammerheads and has fanned two in 3.2 innings.
Madden's Saint Mary's and GCL Marlins teammate Joel Fountain has been nearly untouchable in rookie ball. The 25th round draft pick currently boasts a 3-2 record with a 1.80 ERA in eight games. Fountain has fanned 23 in 35 innings pitched and has tallied a save. Earlier in the season, the 6-4 right-hander rallied off 22 straight innings while only allowing a run. In his last start, Fountain gave up three hits and two earned while striking out six in five innings.
The San Diego Padres organization found a gem in free agent signing Sam Carter. For the rookie ball Arizona League Padres, Carter has turned it on as of late, batting .282 with two home runs and 15 RBIs. The former West Coast Conference second-team selection has added six doubles and sports a .417 OBP in 23 games. In his last game, Carter batted 2-for-3 with a run scored.
Bryan Byrne: South Bend Silver Hawks (Class A) 99g .281 Avg. 7 HR 20 2B 64 RBISam Carter: AZL Padres (Rookie) 23g .282 Avg. 2 HR 6 2B 15 RBI .417 OBPNick Conte: Augusta Greenjackets (Class A) 43g .147 Avg. 2 2B 6 RBIJoel Fountain: GCL Marlins (Rookie) 8g 4 gs 3-2 1 sv 1.80 ERA 23 Ks 35 IPCorey Madden: GCL Marlins (Rookie) 12g 4-1 2.75 ERA 21 Ks 19.2 IP Jupiter Hammerheads (Advanced A) 2g 7.36 ERA 2 KS 3.2 IPMike Sansoe: Fort Wayne Wizards (Class A) 55g .261 Avg. 9 2B 17 SB 41 R 21 RBI Lake Elsinore Storm (Advanced A) 7g .280 Avg. 1 3B 4 RBIMatt Yourkin: Carolina Mudcats (Double A) 37g 1-4 3 sv 3.70 ERA 41 Ks 41.1 IP Albuquerque Isotopes (Triple A) 10g 3.38 ERA 15 Ks 13.1 IP 2 BB
To keep track of all the Gaels in the Minor Leagues, visit http://minorleaguebaseball.com.