PGBCL (Update): Thirty Participated in MLB Spring Training

J.D. Martinez (Saratoga 2008) in action for the Houston Astros (Photo courtesy Troy Taormina/US-PRESSWIRE)
Officially, the 2012 Major League Baseball season kicked off last week in Japan when the Seattle Mariners tangled with the Oakland Athletics. However, for the remaining 28 teams in Major League Baseball, the season did not start until April 5. When Major League Spring Training began at the start of March, 12 players with ties to teams in the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League were either listed on Major League rosters as active players or non-roster invitees. With Spring Training now completed, 30 players with ties to teams in the PGCBL were active for Major League teams.

Read the PGCBL official release from the start of Spring Training here.

Here is the final list of players that participated in Major League Baseball Spring Training

Eric Beaulac (Amsterdam Mohawks 2006-2007), New York Mets
Chris Bisson (Amsterdam Mohawks 2008), San Diego Padres
Matt Colantonio (Amsterdam Mohawks 2009-2010), San Diego Padres
Cody Eppley (Elmira Pioneers 2006), Texas Rangers
Mike Fiers (Saratoga Phillies 2007-2008), Milwaukee Brewers
Wade Gaynor (Elmira Pioneers 2007), Detroit Tigers
Brendan Harris (Schenectady Mohawks 1999), Colorado Rockies
Austin Hyatt (Amsterdam Mohawks 2006), Philadelphia Phillies
Reggie Keen (MV DiamondDawgs 2009), Milwaukee Brewers
Mark Lamm (Saratoga Phillies 2007), Atlanta Braves
Chris Lashmet (Glens Falls Golden Eagles 2009-2010), Pittsburgh Pirates
Taylor Lewis (Amsterdam Mohawks 2010), Pittsburgh Pirates
Kevin Mahoney (Glens Falls Golden Eagles 2007), New York Yankees
Darin Mastroianni (Saratoga Phillies 2006), Minnesota Twins
J.D. Martinez (Saratoga Phillies 2008), Houston Astros
Miles Mikolas (Saratoga Phillies 2008), San Diego Padres
Ricky Pacione (Amsterdam Mohawks 2008, 2010), Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Valentino Pascucci (Schenectady Mohawks 1997), New York Mets
Hunter Pence (Schenectady Mohawks 2002), Philadelphia Phillies
Cord Phelps (Amsterdam Mohawks 2006), Cleveland Indians
Tillman Pugh (Amsterdam Mohawks 2009), New York Mets
Mel Rojas Jr. (Amsterdam Mohawks 2009-2010), Pittsburgh Pirates
Stefen Romero (Glens Falls Golden Eagles 2008), Seattle Mariners
Michael Schwimer (Saratoga Phillies 2005), Philadelphia Phillies
Jon Schwind (Amsterdam Mohawks 2010), Pittsburgh Pirates
Mike Spina (Amsterdam Mohawks 2008), Oakland Athletics
Chad Stang (Glens Falls Golden Eagles 2008), Milwaukee Brewers
Caleb Thielbar (Little Falls Miners 2007), Minnesota Twins
Donnie Webb (Saratoga Phillies 2006-2007), Miami Marlins
Casper Wells (Saratoga Phillies 2004), Seattle Mariners

(Note: The Oneonta Outlaws were the Saratoga Phillies between 2004 and 2009. The Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs were named the Little Falls Miners in 2007.)

Matt Colantonio (Amsterdam 2009-2010) was assigned to the Spring Training roster of the San Diego Padres on Mar. 22. He has yet to see game action. Colantonio was a 22nd-round choice of the Padres last June out of Brown University. The 22-year-old drove in 21 runs over 53 games last summer for the Northwest League’s Eugene Emeralds. He committed just three errors in 363 total defensive chances. Matt won two league championships with the Amsterdam Mohawks and he was named to the all-league team in 2010.

Cody Eppley (Elmira 2006) debuted with the Texas Rangers last season though most of his 2011 was spent with the Triple-A Round Rock Express of the Pacific Coast League. This spring, Eppley has appeared in three games for the defending American League champions.  The Dillsburg, Pa. native is entering his fifth professional season and he has pitched in 153 professional games since being taken in the 43rd round of the 2008 MLB draft by the Texas Rangers. The 25-year-old was an all-league selection on the very first Elmira Pioneers summer collegiate team.

Mike Fiers (Saratoga 2007-2008)
was a September call-up to the Milwaukee Brewers last season after pitching his way through the Beer Makers’ farm system in just three years. Fiers was listed on Milwaukee’s roster at the start of Spring Training. He has eight strikeouts in eight innings pitched over five appearances with two starts. The 26-year-old went unbeaten with the Triple-A Nashville Sounds last season; he was 8-0 with a 1.11 earned run average and 69 strikeouts in 64.2 innings pitched. Mike was a two time all-league selection with Saratoga and the 2007 league Pitcher of the Year.

Veteran infielder Brendan Harris (Schenectady 1999) signed a contract with the Colorado Rockies over the offseason and earned a non-roster invite to Spring Training. Harris spent all of last season with Triple-A Norfolk. The Queensbury, N.Y., native has made the most of his time with Colorado. Through 17 games, Harris has a .346 batting average, nine hits, three runs scored and two RBI. Brendan is attempting to break into a Colorado infield that includes all-stars Todd Helton and Troy Tulowitzki as well as well-traveled starter Marco Scutaro. Harris is a veteran of seven Major League seasons and nearly 500 MLB games.

Young strikeout artist Austin Hyatt (Amsterdam 2006) earned a non-roster invitation to Spring Training with the Philadelphia Phillies after leading all of Double-A baseball with 171 strikeouts last season. The 2010 Florida State League Pitcher of the Year started Philadelphia’s exhibition opener against Florida State nearly one month ago. Against Major League opponents, he has appeared in two games and garnered a 1-1 mound mark. The Marietta, Ga., native was a 15th-round pick of the Phillies in 2009 out of the University of Alabama. Austin was an all-league selection with the Mohawks in 2006.

Reggie Keen (Mohawk Valley 2009) was added to the Spring Training roster of the Milwaukee Brewers on Mar. 25. The Radford University product, who appeared in four Spring games with the Brewers last season, has yet to appear in a game for the Beer Makers this year. Keen signed with Milwaukee as a non-drafted free agent in 2010. Last season, the Danville, Va., native averaged a hit per game with the Midwest League’s Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (108 hits, 111 games) and drove in 30 runs. He added 15 outfield assists. Reggie played for the Mohawk Valley DiamondDawgs in 2009.

The Atlanta Braves added Mark Lamm (Saratoga 2007) to their Spring Training roster on Wed., Mar. 28 for a game against the New York Yankees. In a game shown on ESPN, Lamm pitched one scoreless inning in a 5-5 tie. The Vanderbilt University product was a sixth-round pick of the Braves last June. The 23-year-old made the jump to Advanced-A Lynchburg last summer after just two appearances with the Appalachian League’s Danville Braves. Lamm posted a 1-2 record with one save and a 3.16 earned run average in 19 outings for the Lynchburg Hillcats. He struck out 19 batters in 25.2 innings pitched. Last spring, Lamm went 5-0 at Vandy and brandished a 2.00 ERA. Mark pitched for the Saratoga Phillies in 2007 and helped them to the league playoffs.

Chris “Moose” Lashmet (Glens Falls 2009-2010) was assigned to the Spring Training roster of the Pittsburgh Pirates on Mar. 27. He has yet to see game action. The Northwestern University graduate was selected by the Bucs last June in the 33rd round of the MLB entry draft. As a member of the New York-Penn League’s State College Spikes, the 6-foot-4 corner infielder slammed two home runs, drove in 22 and averaged nearly a hit per game with 50 hits in 60 contests. Lashmet dinged 20 belts in four collegiate seasons and appeared in 198 games as a Wildcat. Chris spent two seasons with the Glens Falls Golden Eagles and helped the team to 51 regular season victories.

One week ago, the Pirates added outfielder Taylor Lewis (Amsterdam 2010) to their Spring roster. Lewis, a 10th-round draft pick of Pittsburgh last June, appeared as a pinch hitter that day against the Boston Red Sox. After being drafted out of the University of Maine as a junior, Lewis spent last summer with the New York-Penn League’s State College Spikes. He cracked 35 hits including seven triples, scored 22 runs and drove in 17 as a 21-year-old rookie. The Montville, Conn., native tallied 20 triples over three seasons at Maine and drove in 91 runs for the Black Bears. Taylor won a league championship with the Amsterdam Mohawks in 2010 and finished the summer as the team’s starting center field.

J.D. Martinez (Saratoga 2008) debuted last season with the Houston Astros in just his second full year of professional baseball. The 2009 20th-round draft choice smacked six home runs and drove in 35 for the Astros in 2011. This spring, Martinez has picked up where he left off as he leads Houston with 12 RBI in 14 games played. The 2010 South Atlantic League Player of the Year earned all-star accolades in the Sally and the Double-A Texas League before his promotion last June. The Pembroke Pines, Fla., native drove in 217 runs in 298 minor league games. J.D. led the Saratoga Phillies in 2008 with a .392 batting average and seven home runs in 25 games.

Darin Mastroianni (Saratoga 2006) signed the Minnesota Twins this past winter after spending five seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays. Mastroianni made his Major League debut last fall for the Blue Jays. Mastroianni opened Spring Training on the Minnesota roster. He has played in nine games for the Twins. The Mount Kisco, N.Y., native batted .276 with Triple-A Las Vegas last season. He totaled 88 hits, 63 runs, 23 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 79 games for the 51s. In five minor league seasons, Mastroianni has amassed 200 stolen bases with a single-season high of 46 in 2010 with Double-A New Hampshire. Darin was an all-star and an all-league selection with the Saratoga Phillies in 2006. He helped the team win a league championship.

The San Diego Padres called reliever Miles Mikolas (Saratoga 2008) to Spring Training as a non-roster invitee. Mikolas, a 2010 Midwest League all-star, has a 1.17 earned run average in seven Spring Training outings. He is 1-0 with one save and five strikeouts in 7.2 innings pitched. Mikolas has not allowed a run in his last five games. Last season, the 2009 seventh-round pick went a combined 4-0 with 21 saves and a 1.38 earned run average between Advanced-A Lake Elsinore and Double-A San Antonio. Since moving to the bullpen in 2010, the Jupiter, Fla, native has pitched in 122 games , struck out 147 and garnered 21 saves. Miles pitched for the Saratoga Phillies in 2008.

This afternoon, Ricky Pacione (Amsterdam 2008, 2010) was officially assigned to the Spring Training roster of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Pacione dressed for the Halos on Mar. 16 and was listed on the line-up card but did not play. The Marist College graduate was a 48th-round selection of the Angels last June. He batted .333 for the Pioneer League’s Orem Owlz and socked 23 hits in 29 games played. Over four collegiate seasons at Marist, the Newburgh, N.Y., native drove in 152 runs and he had two seasons with 50+ RBI. Ricky played for the Amsterdam Mohawks in 2008 and 2010; he batted .302 for the Tribe in 2010 and helped the team to a league championship.

Veteran slugger Val Pascucci (Schenectady 1997) is in his 14th season as a professional baseball player and 2012 marks his third-straight year in the New York Mets organization. Pascucci was a September call-up last season and he returned to Major League Baseball for the first time since 2004. This spring, Pascucci has seen action in 11 games. Last season, the 32-year-old was the Offensive Most Valuable Player for the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons. He belted 21 dingers and drove in 91 runs over 130 Triple-A games. Val has appeared in over 1,400 professional games and clubbed 231 minor league home runs.

Major League all-star Hunter Pence (Schenectady 2002) has taken part in nearly every Spring Training game for the Philadelphia Phillies. Through 22 games played, Pence is batting .266 with two home runs and seven RBI. He has already racked up 17 hits and scored 10 runs for the defending National League East champions. The Fort Worth, Texas, native was a second-round pick of the Houston Astros in the 2004 Major League Baseball draft. Pence is expected to be an Opening Day starter for the Phillies and 2012 will mark his sixth season in Major League Baseball. He made his MLB debut for Houston in 2007.

Infielder Cord Phelps (Amsterdam 2006) began Spring Training on the roster of the Cleveland Indians. Phelps split time last season bouncing around the Buckeye State between Cleveland and Triple-A Columbus. He has appeared in 11 games for the Indians thus far, primarily being used in a reserve role. The Indians tapped the Stanford University product in the third round of the 2008 Major League Baseball draft. He made his Major League debut last season in his fourth year as a professional. The Gaviota, Calif., pounded Triple-A pitching in 2010 and 2011. Over 163 games and two years in the International League, Phelps has a .303 batting average, 188 hits, 20 home runs and 94 RBI. Cord was an all-league selection with the Amsterdam Mohawks in 2006.

Tillman Pugh (Amsterdam 2009) was added to the Spring Training roster of the New York Mets on Mar. 6. He has yet to see game action for the Metropolitans. Pugh was a 15th-round pick of the Mets in the 2010 Major League Baseball draft. He split last season between rookie-level Kingsport and Brooklyn of the New York-Penn League. The multi-sport star out of De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif., batted .344 for the Brooklyn Cyclones and averaged a hit per game after driving in 19 scores for the Kingsport Mets. Pugh played collegiate baseball at Arizona State, Gateway Comm. College and Somona State. The 22-year-old was a member of the Amsterdam Mohawks in 2009 and helped the team win a league championship.

Mel Rojas Jr. (Amsterdam 2009-2010) is a rising star in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. He earned placement on the Bucs’ Spring Training roster on Mar. 13. Rojas has appeared in two games against the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees. Over the last two years, the speedy outfielder has played four Spring Training games. Last season, Rojas scored 66 runs, drove in 46 runs, and stole 23 bases for the South Atlantic League’s West Virginia Power. Pittsburgh chose the Wabash Valley College product in the third round of the 2010 Major League draft. Mel spent two seasons with the Amsterdam Mohawks and was part of two league championship teams.

The Seattle Mariners tapped Stefen Romero (Glens Falls 2008) for their Spring Training roster on Mar. 6. Romero did not disappoint in four games with the Mariners. He batted .500, drove in two runs and compiled a 1.238 OPS. The slugger from Tucson, Ariz., belted 16 home runs and drove in 65 scores last season for the Clinton LumberKings of the Midwest League. He batted .280, scored 62 runs and averaged over a hit per game with 120 hits in 116 contests. Romero was a 12th-round pick out of Oregon State in 2010. He blasted 18 home runs and totaled 92 RBI in two seasons with the Beavers. Stefen was an all-league selection with the Glens Falls Golden Eagles in 2008.

Relief pitcher Michael Schwimer (Saratoga 2005) finished the 2011 season with the Philadelphia Phillies. He pitched in 12 games for the National League East champions and went 1-1 with 16 strikeouts in 14.2 innings. Schwimer began Spring Training on the main roster of the Phillies. He has a 1-0 record with one save and five strikeouts in four appearances for Philadelphia this spring. The University of Virginia product spent the majority of 2011 with the Triple-A Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. He went 9-1 with 10 saves, a 1.85 earned run average and 86 strikeouts in 68.0 innings. In four minor league seasons, Schwimer has accumulated 20 victories, 170 appearances, 49 saves and 313 strikeouts. Michael pitched for the Saratoga Phillies in 2005.

Mike Spina (Amsterdam 2008) was added by the Oakland Athletics on Mar. 17. He drew an at-bat against the San Francisco Giants that day in a Spring Training game. Over the last two seasons, Spina has earned two promotions to the Oakland Major League Spring Training camp. The masher from Newberry, Fla., has hammered 40 home runs and posted 191 RBI over three professional seasons. The Cincinnati graduate dinged 10 home runs for Double-A San Antonio last summer and drove in 75 runs. He clobbered 44 belts in his final two collegiate seasons and then was an 11th-round pick of the Athletics in 2009. Mike was an all-league selection with the Amsterdam Mohawks in 2008.

The Milwaukee Brewers added Chad Stang (Glens Falls 2008) to their Spring Training roster on Mar. 21. Stang has a .500 batting average in two games for the Brew Crew. The Surrey, B.C., native has appeared in games against the Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals. Stang singled and scored a run on Mar. 25 against the Royals. He appeared in three Spring Training games for Milwaukee last season. The 22-year-old batted .264 for the Midwest League’s Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in 2011 and knocked in 64 hits in 65 games after missing all of 2010. Chad was an all-league selection for Glens Falls in 2008. He helped the Golden Eagles to the league championship series.

Donnie Webb (Saratoga 2006-2007) was acquired by the Miami Marlins in the 2011 Rule 5 draft from the Cleveland Indians. Webb joined the Fish in Major League Spring Training on Mar. 6. He has appeared in three games for the Marlins with at-bats against the Detroit Tigers (two) and New York Mets. Over the last three seasons, Webb has taken part in 14 Spring Training games; he played in 11 games with the Cleveland Indians between 2010 and 2011. The Oklahoma State product split 2011 between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus. Webb socked 54 hits, scored 34 runs, walked 27 times and drove in 24 runs in 85 games at Akron. He was the 10th-round pick of the Cleveland Indians in 2008. Donnie spent two seasons with the Saratoga Phillies and helped the team to a 2006 league championship.

Veteran outfielder Casper Wells (Saratoga 2004) was traded to the Seattle Mariners last season after spending his entire professional career, seven years, with the Detroit Tigers. The Schenectady, N.Y., native made his Major League debut with the Tigers in 2010. Wells belted seven home runs and drove in 15 runs for the M’s over the final month of the 2011 campaign. This spring, the outfielder appeared in 14 games. He finished second on the team in Spring Training games played. The 2005 Colonial Athletic Association was a 10th-round pick of the Detroit Tigers in 2005. Casper was an all-league selection with the Saratoga Phillies in 2004.

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