Kyle Farmer goes from fielding grounders and catching pop ups in college to catching as a professional this week.
June 19, 2013
A record-setting shortstop for the past four seasons, Farmer signed this past Sunday after being selected in the eighth round by the Los Angeles Dodgers who aim to try him at catcher. He has been assigned to the Ogden (Utah) Raptors of the Rookie Pioneer League. They open their season Thursday on the road against the Grand Junction Rockies. Farmer's manager is former Major League catcher Damon Berryhill. A 6-0, 205-pound native of Atlanta, Farmer batted .308 with 63 doubles, 18 home runs and 168 RBI in 212 games as a Bulldog. He set the record for highest career fielding percentage by a shortstop at .968 in 1,045 total chances.
A two-time All-Southeastern Conference third baseman, Powell is looking to make his debut with the Connecticut Tigers, the Class A Short-Season affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. The New York Penn League opened play Monday, and Powell did not play in the Tigers first game and Tuesday's contest was rained out. Powell, a 21st-round round draft pick as a shortstop, signed last Friday and then reported to Norwich. A 5-11, 179-pound native of Knoxville, Tenn., Powell appeared in 169 games with 163 starts in his three-year Bulldog career. He posted a .341 average with 25 doubles, three home runs and 54 RBI. He batted a team-best .376 in 2013.
Elsewhere in the Minor Leagues, three former Bulldogs are at the Triple-A level. Pitcher Mitchell Boggs (St. Louis) is 0-2 with a 4.91 ERA in 10 games with the Memphis Redbirds of the Pacific Coast League (PCL). Boggs began the year in the Majors with the Cardinals and made 18 appearances. First baseman Rich Poythress (Seattle) is batting .253 with seven home runs and 30 RBI in 50 games for the Tacoma Rainiers of the PCL. Pitcher Brooks Brown (Pittsburgh) is 5-2 with a 5.77 ERA in 17 games including seven starts for the Indianapolis Indians of the International League.
There are two former Bulldog pitchers in Double-A. Jeffrey Walters (New York Mets) is enjoying a fine season with the Binghamton Mets in the Eastern League, posting a 3-2 mark, 2.73 ERA and 16 saves in 26 appearances. Will Startup (Detroit) is 2-1 with a 2.32 ERA and four saves in 14 games for the Erie SeaWolves of the Eastern League.
Trevor Holder (San Diego) is 2-2 with a 7.11 ERA in seven starts for the Lake Elsinore Storm of the Class A Advanced California League. Infielder Levi Hyams (Atlanta) is batting .317 with nine doubles and 26 RBI for the Rome Braves of the Class A South Atlantic League. Outfielder Zach Cone (Texas) saw his season end due to an Achilles injury after only seven games for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans of the Class A Advanced Carolina League. He was batting .308 with two doubles.
Former Bulldog pitchers Alex Wood (Atlanta) and Justin Grimm (Texas) began this year in the Minors and now are regular contributors in the Major Leagues. Wood made his first career start in the Majors this past Tuesday, going three innings in a loss to the New York Mets. He is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA in seven appearances covering 10.2 innings with 14 strikeouts. Grimm is 5-5 with a 5.59 ERA in 12 starts with 55 strikeouts in 67.2 innings. He is slated to start against Oakland Wednesday.
There have been six former Bulldogs in the Major Leagues in 2013. Along with Wood, Grimm and Boggs, the Chicago White Sox have infielders Gordon Beckham and Jeff Keppinger plus the Houston Astros have pitcher Joshua Fields.