Hawks in the Minor Leagues: Opening Day Rosters

By Jeremy Karll on April 10, 2018 at 11:35 am
Dermody gets ready to throw.

© Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

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Baseball has started at almost every level, as minor league levels from Triple-A to Single-A had Opening Day within the past week. There are 10 former Hawks in the minor leagues this season, ranging from Rookie-Ball to Triple-A, but only eight had their season start this week. Similar to our Hawks in the NFL feature, here's a rundown of how they fared:

*Stats are updated through games on April 9

Triple-A

Matt Dermody, Toronto Blue Jays - 1 G, 1 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 2 K, 0 BB

In 2017, Matt Dermody appeared in 22.1 innings with the Toronto Blue Jays to end the season, but after a shaky spring training and acquiring Sam Gaviglio from the Kansas City Royals, Toronto sent Dermody to Triple-A. He has only appeared in one game so far, though he's already showing that he's better than the 10.29 ERA and 14 hits allowed he posted in seven spring training appearances. While making the majors in each of the past two seasons suggests Dermody will eventually be promoted again, it's far from a guarantee for a 27-year-old reliever who has been prone to giving up home runs in the majors.

Double-A

Jake Yacinich, Los Angeles Angels - DL

After hitting 3-for-5 with two doubles, two RBI and a stolen base in six spring training games, Jake Yacinich will start the season in Double-A when healthy. The 25-year-old played most of 2017 in High-A (.264/.316/.377) but also spent six games in Triple-A. He's still a couple of steps away from the majors, but there's a chance the former eighth-round pick moves up to Triple-A this season and makes his MLB debut within the next couple of seasons.

High-A

Tyler Peyton, Chicago Cubs - 2 G, 4 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1.250 WHIP, 2 K, 1 BB

Tyler Peyton only started four games in 18 appearances in Single-A a season ago. Therefore, it makes sense that he's starting his High-A career as a reliever. He has given up two hits in each of his first two appearances, though hasn't allowed a runner to cross the plate. That said, he was credited with a blown save in his last appearance. Peyton could see a couple of starts later in the season once injuries or promotions/demotions occur, but a repeat of his 3.19 Single-A ERA would help him move up another level in the Cubs' organization.

Blake Hickman, Chicago White Sox - 1 G, 2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1.500 WHIP, 3 K, 2 BB

It's been a long road for Blake Hickman. After being a seventh-round draft pick by the Chicago White Sox and being named the organization's 30th-best prospect in 2015, he missed two seasons due to Tommy John surgery. He made his long-awaited debut last season, making 17 starts to the tune of a 3.76 ERA and 1.21 WHIP in Single-A. Now in High-A, Hickman is coming out of the bullpen. That said, he's a prime candidate to enter the rotation once newly-acquired Ricardo Pinto is promoted. Hickman grew up in Chicago and played in many White Sox camps, as he even signed his LOI to Iowa at a Chicago White Sox signing day ceremony, so the Sox know Hickman well. He's a couple of years behind and needs to keep building his stamina up, but if last season showed anything, Hickman's career is far from over.

Joel Booker, Chicago White Sox - 4 G, 4-for-11, BB

Joel Booker had a strong spring training, hitting 5-for-12 with two RBI in six games after being promoted to High-A a year ago. Even though he finished with a sub-par .233/.284/.296 slash line to go alone with nine stolen bases, he finished the season strong. He has started strong this season, too, getting a hit in all three games he had an at-bat in. However, Booker might be in the worst situation. Blake Rutherford (#99 MLB prospect), Micker Adolfo (Sox #11 prospect), Luis Alexander Basabe (Sox #14 prospect) and former third-round pick Alex Call are currently in Winston Salem's outfield with Booker. That doesn't include Luis Robert (#28 MLB prospect) being on the disabled list to start the season but soon to be activated. Booker, as The Athletic's J.R. Fegan wrote, has a lot of speed and could surprise people, but he's not in a favorable position.

Single-A

Mason McCoy, Baltimore Orioles - 4 G, 4-for-11, RBI, BB

After an all-star season in Low-A (.301/.382/.409), Mason McCoy was named the 29th-best prospect and the best defender in the Baltimore Orioles' organization. While he only played in two spring training games, he made his presence felt by drawing a walk and scoring a run. McCoy's off to a strong start in Single-A, too. He has a hit in three of four starts and seems like a prime candidate to move quickly through Baltimore's organization due to his ability to hit for average and play multiple positions effectively on defense. Even though he's still a couple of years away from a potential MLB debut, McCoy is arguably the most intriguing MLB prospect among former Hawks.

Jake Adams, Houston Astros - 3 G, 3-for-13, BB, 4 K

Sure, a .170/.280/.388 slash line isn't what we expected from Jake Adams in Low-A to end 2017. Hopefully, his 10 home runs are a sign of what's to come, though. Adams being strictly a first baseman, with average defense, makes it harder to move up quickly, especially if his strikeout rate doesn't improve. But he's back in Iowa with the Quad City Bandits and still is the same player who hit 29 home runs for the Hawkeyes a season ago. The Astros won't give up quickly on a former sixth-round pick, but avoiding another slow start to the season is crucial.

Nick Roscetti, Milwaukee Brewers - 3 G, 2-for-7, 2 RBI, 2 SB

Nick Roscetti spent his first two seasons in rookie ball, hitting .264/.290/.368 last season. This season, he started in Single-A. Despite only being three games in, he has flashed potential with a pair of hits and runs driven in. Similar to Joel Booker, Roscetti can find extra playing time on the base paths if he can continue to be an effective base stealer. His two stolen bases in three games is a good sign considering he had eight stolen bases in 58 games in rookie league to start his minor league career.

Ryan Erickson (White Sox) and Nick Gallagher's (Indians) seasons haven't started yet.

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