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Sunbelt League Alumni Pro-Ball Roundup: April 18th


Story by Colin Lacy


Atlanta, Ga. – Just shy of 3 weeks into the Major League Baseball season, and having just under 2 weeks complete in Minor League Baseball, the Sunbelt League has 18 alumni spread around all levels of affiliated professional baseball.  As of April 18th, 2018, the Sunbelt League has 5 former players on Major League Baseball rosters, 1 in Triple A, 6 in Double A, 6 in Single A, and finally 2 in extended spring training.  

Major League Baseball

Buck Farmer | RHP | Detroit Tigers | Former Rockdale A

Buck Farmer opened the year with the Detroit Tigers after having 49 games of big league service time sprinkled between the last 4 years. 

2018 Stats: 6 app | 0-1 | 9.00 ERA | 6.0 IP | 8H | 6R | 6ER | 6 BB | 10K | .333 Opp Avg

Alan Busenitz | RHP | Minnesota Twins | Former Berkeley Lake Tide

Busenitz was called up to the Twins for the final 2 months of the season last year.  In 2018, after spending the first 3 weeks at Triple A Rochester, the Twins brought Busenitz up again on April 15th.

2018 Stats (MLB): 1 app | 0-0 | 0.00 ERA | 0.1 IP | 2H | 0R | 0 BB| 0K | 3BF

2018 Stats(AAA):2app | 0-1 | 3.38ERA | 2.2IP | 3H | 2R | 1ER | 1BB | 3K | .273 Opp Avg

Drew Steckenrider | RHP | Miami Marlins | Former Windward Brave

Steckenrider was drafted in 2012 by the Marlins in the 8th round and quickly rose through the organization.  Drew made his Major League Debut in May of 2017 and has been up with Miami since the end of July of 2017.

2018 Stats: 9app | 0-0 | 0.00 ERA | 8.2 IP | 4H | 0R | 2 BB | 11 K | .143 Opp Avg

Tyler Austin | 1B | New York Yankees | Former Rockdale A

Austin was drafted in 2010 by the Yankees In the 13th round, and made his Major League Debut on August 13th of 2016 with the Yankees.  Austin was once again re-called by the Yankees on March 29th of 2018.

2018 Stats: 12G | .262 Avg | 11-42 ab | 4-2B | 2HR | 7RBI | 1-1 SB | 9 R

Tyler Flowers | C | Atlanta Braves | Former Rockdale A

Flowers made his MLB debut in 2009 with the Chicago White Sox, and after 7 years in Chicago, Flowers signed with Atlanta as a free agent in 2015.  Tyler made the opening day start behind the plate for Atlanta, but was injured on opening day and is currently on the 10-day disabled list.

Minor League Baseball

Brandon Liebrandt | LHP | Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Triple A-Philadelphia Phillies)

Former Brookhaven Buck and Windward Brave

Liebrandt was drafted in 2014 in the 6th round by the Phillies out of Florida State and has climbed the ladder since.  Liebrandt, who spent 12 games with Lehigh Valley in 2017, made the Triple A opening day roster.

2018 Stats: 3app | 1-0 | 0.00 ERA | 8.2 IP | 3H | 0R | 0 BB | 9 K | .103 Opp Avg

Brandon Barker | RHP | Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Double A-Miami Marlins)

            Former Gwinnett Grizzly

Barker was drafted by Atlanta in the 16th round of the 2014 Draft out of Mercer, and has bounced between Double A and Triple A since 2015.  He was traded to the Orioles organization in 2016, and was claimed off waivers by the Marlins in March of 2018. 

2018 Stats: 3 app | 0-0 | 4.15 ERA | 4.1 IP | 5 H | 2R | 2ER | 4 BB | 5 K | .313 Opp Avg

Sam Bragg | RHP | Midland RockHounds (Double A-Oakland Athletics)

            Former Berkeley Lake Tide

Bragg was drafted out of Georgia Perimeter College in 2013 by Oakland in the 18th round and made a jump in their organization each year from 2013 until 2016.  Bragg has spent the 2016 and 2017 seasons in Midland (Double A) compiling 81 games at this level entering the season.

2018 Stats: 3 app | 1-0 | 2.84 ERA | 6.1 IP | 7H | 2R | 2ER | 2 BB | 7K | .269 Opp Avg

Matthew Grimes | RHP | Bowie Baysox (Double A-Baltimore Orioles)

            Former Gwinnett Grizzly

Grimes was drafted out of Georgia Tech by Baltimore in 2014 with an 18th round selection, and quickly climbed to the Double A level in just 2 years.  Grimes begins his third season at AA.

2018 Stats: 4app | 0-0 | 2.35 ERA | 7.2 IP | 6H | 2R | 2ER | 3 BB | 8 K | .261 Opp Avg

Matt Rose | 1B | Birmingham Barons (Double A-Chicago White Sox)

            Former Brookhaven Buck

Rose was selected in the 11th round in 2015 by the Chicago Cubs, and was traded to the cross town rival in July of 2017 in a deal that swapped Jose Quintana to the Cubs.  Rose began the year on the opening day roster of the Barons for his first stint in Double A.

2018 Stats: 12G | .273 Avg | 12-44ab | 2-2B | 3RBI | 4 R | 0-0 SB

Touki Toussaint | RHP | Mississippi Braves (Double A-Atlanta Braves)

            Former Brookhaven Buck

After being selected in the first round in 2014 by Arizona, Toussaint was traded to Atlanta packaged with Bronson Arroyo in exchange for Phil Gosselin.  Touki makes his first appearance with Double A in 2018.

2018 Stats: 2 starts | 0-1 | 5.87 ERA | 7.2 IP | 6H | 7R | 5ER | 6 BB | 13 K | .222Opp Avg

Tyler Carpenter | RHP | Mobile BayBears (Double A-Los Angeles Angels)

            Former Windward Brave and Berkeley Lake Tide

Carpenter was selected in the 25th round out of Georgia Gwinnett College in 2014 by the Angles, and was set to begin his 3rd stint in Double A, but was placed on the 7-day disabled list on Opening Day.

Sean Guenther | LHP | Jupiter Hammerheads (Class A Advanced-Miami Marlins)

            Former Brookhaven Buck

Guenther was drafted in 2017 by the Marlins in the 7th round, and split 13 games between short season A ball and rookie ball.

2018 Stats: 2starts | 0-0 | 14.29 ERA | 5.2 IP | 13 H | 12R | 9ER | 0 BB | 2K

Nathaniel Lowe | 1B | Charlotte Stone Crabs (Class A Advanced-Tampa Bay Rays)

            Former Marietta Patriot

Lowe was drafted out of Mississippi State in 2016 in the 13th round by Tampa Bay, and split time last season between Single A and Single A Advanced while hitting .274 between the 2 levels with 59 RBIs

2018 Stats: 12G | .400 Avg | 18-45 ab | 4-2B | 1HR | 9 RBI | 5 BB | 6R

Christian Turnipseed | RHP |Frederick Keys(Class A-Advanced-Baltimore Orioles)

            Former Douglasville Bull

Turnipseed was drafted in 2015 by Baltimore in the 28th round out of Georgia Gwinnett.  Last season Turnipseed split time between rookie ball and Class A-Advanced with a 1-0 record in 14 innings while striking out 13.  Turnipseed is returning from injury and is currently on the 7-day disabled list.

Ryan Peurifoy | OF | West Virginia Power (Class A-Pittsburgh Pirates)

            Former Atlanta Cracker

Peurifoy was selected in the 38th round out of Georgia Tech by Pittsburgh in 2017, and spent the 2017 season in rookie ball.

2018 Stats: 6G | .150 Avg | 3-20 ab | 3-2B | 2 RBI | 3 BB | 4R

Trevor Craport | 3B | Delmarva Shorebirds (Class A-Baltimore Orioles)

            Former Brookhaven Buck

Craport was drafted out of Georgia Tech in the 11th round from Baltimore in 2017, and reported directly to short season A ball where he hit .302 with 30 RBIs

2018 Stats: 11G | .256 Avg | 10-39 ab | 2-2B | 1-3B | 8 RBIs | 1-1 SB | 9R

Armond Upshaw | OF | Hagerstown Suns (Class A-Washington Nationals)

            Former Gwinnett Tide

Upshaw was drafted by 2016 by Washington in the 11th round out of Pensacola State.  Upshaw spent 2016 in Rookie ball with a .325 Avg in 13 games, and was in short season A ball in 2017.

2018 Stats: 11G | .265 Avg | 9-34 ab | 1-2B | 1 HR | 1 RBI | 2-2 SB | 3 BB | 5R

Evan Steele | LHP | Extended Spring Training-Kansas City Royals

            Former Marietta Patriot

Steele spent last season in Rookie ball where he pitched 8 innings and struck out 16 batters after being drafted in the compensation round B of the 2017 draft by Kansas City

Jordan Wren | OF | Extended Spring Training-Boston Red Sox

            Former Douglasville Bull and Peachtree City Chuckar

Wren was drafted for the second time in his career (2016-36th Rd-Boston-Didn’t Sign) in the 10th round of the 2017 draft by the Red Sox and spent 2017 with the Short Season Lowell Spinners.  An off season shoulder surgery has Wren re-habing in extended spring training.

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