Utahns in baseball: BYU alum Taylor Cole leads all minor leaguers in strikeouts; Jake Hannemann promoted
Jim Goins, Dunedin Blue Jays
Former BYU pitcher Taylor Cole struck out 21 batters in 12 innings over the span of two starts this week, while fellow former Cougar Jake Hannemann shined after his promotion to advanced Single-A Daytona in the Chicago Cubs organization.
Meanwhile, C.J. Cron is back in the majors after a brief stint in Salt Lake City and Taylorsville High product John Buck signed with the Salt Lake Bees.
Overall, it was another wild week for professional baseball players with Utah ties.
Cole struck out a career-high 12 batters in 6 2/3 innings on Monday, helping the Dunedin Blue Jays to a 3-0 victory over Bradenton. The BYU product followed it up with nine more strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings on Saturday, as Dunedin fell to Charlotte 6-1.
Cole now has 143 strikeouts on the season in 114 innings pitched (11.3 strikeouts per nine innings). He surpassed Cincinnati Reds minor leaguer Ben Lively, who has 140 strikeouts between advanced Single-A Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola in 115 2/3 total innings, as the strikeout leader of all minor leaguers this season.
"I've always said, to family and friends, you have to find something that's going to separate you. Two years ago in Vancouver, I had a (0.81 ERA) and that got me noticed a little bit," Cole told MiLB.com reporter Sam Dykstra, after his start on Monday. "Last year was more of a learning year, and even though it wasn't a bad year really, there was nothing to really separate me from the other guys then. Now, it's nice to have the strikeouts be that separator."
Cole is 2-1 with a 1.49 ERA in the month of July. He has 36 strikeouts in 24 innings pitched this month. He has led the Florida State League in strikeouts for the majority of the season.
Hannemann, on the other hand, joins the FSL after being promoted to advanced Single-A Daytona. He hit .254, with 25 extra base hits, 39 RBIs, 32 stolen bases and 57 runs scored in 88 games for lower Single-A Kane County.
The Utah native and former Cougar standout shined immediately with his new club, going 6-for-8, with one RBI, two stolen bases and three runs scored in a doubleheader on his first day with the Daytona Cubs on Saturday.
“I’m just going to try to keep it up," Hannemann told Daytona Beach News-Journal reporter Sean Kernan after the doubleheader. "We won the first half in Kane County, and I hope to help us win the second half here and be in the championship with these guys.”
Also in the FSL, former Ute pitcher Tyler Wagner threw another seven shutout innings on Tuesday to continue his dominant run and lower his FSL-leading ERA to 1.61 on the year. Wagner has allowed just two runs in his last six starts, spanning 41 1/3 innings (0.44 ERA).
He leads Pirates prospect Tyler Glasnow (1.74 ERA) for the FSL lead in ERA.
Cron is back in the majors after a brief stint with the Bees. The former Ute went 3-for-11, with a double and a pair of RBIs in his first couple of games back with the Angels.
Finally, Buck signed with the Bees on Monday. The former Utah prep went 7-for-26 at the plate in his first week back in Utah.
C.J. Cron (Utah), Los Angeles Angels: Three hits, one double, two RBIs and one run scored in 11 at-bats throughout the week. Cron started the week in Triple-A Salt Lake, but returned back to the majors after a brief stint that lasted less than a week in the minors.
Cron is batting .269 through 56 games in the majors this season. He has nine home runs, 19 extra base hits and 29 RBIs.