Titans in the Pros Update: Sept. 8, 2012

Titans in the Pros
Titans in the Pros

Justin Turner Fullerton, Calif. - Twenty-two position players and 16 pitchers played in either Major or Minor League Baseball in 2012. Fullerton has had nine former players play in major league games thus far (David Cooper - Toronto, Reed Johnson - Chicago Cubs/Atlanta, Erik Komatsu -St. Louis/Minnesota, Mark Kotsay -San Diego, Brett Pill - San Francisco, Kurt Suzuki - Oakland/Washington, Justin Turner - New York Mets, Vinnie Pestano - Cleveland, and Ricky Romero - Toronto), with five others ascending to the AAA level. Five of the nine major leaguers played for the Titans' 2004 national championship squad. 

Fullerton increased its total number of former players in the big leagues to 52 when Erik Komatsu made the opening day roster for the St. Louis Cardinals. He made is debut on Apr. 6 and legged out in infield single in his first big league at bat.

STATISTICS: Here is a statistical rundown of all the former Titans in Major and Minor League Baseball in 2012. The update is through Sept. 7, 2012. LINK TO PDF

THE PLAYER TO BE NAMED LATER: The Chicago White Sox 2011 25th round draft pick, Chris Devenski, was the player to be named later in the major league deal that sent right-hander Brett Myers from Houston to Chicago. Devenski was assigned to Astros, Class A Lexington affiliate. The former Titan right-hander didn't take long proving himself in Kentucky, as he threw a no-hitter on Sept. 2 against the Rome Braves.  It was the first individual no-hitter by a Legends pitcher, and the first since the combined effort of Derek Sanford, Chris George and Kirk Saarloos – yes, that Kirk Saarloos – did it in July of 2001. In all, Devenski fanned 16, including the final out of the game. His only blemish was a fifth-inning walk.

PROMOTED: Former Titan first-round draft pick Christian Colon was promoted to the Omaha Storm Chasers of the Pacific Coast League after spending much of the season at AA Northwest Arkansas. While with the Texas League Naturals, Colon hit .289 with 5 home runs and 27 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 73 games. Since Joining the Storm Chasers, Colon is hitting .412 (7-for-17) with a home run and 5 RBI. The Storm Chasers are currently in the Pacific Coast League semi-finals with the Albuquerque Isotopes… Outfielder Khris Davis also got the boost to AAA this summer after tearing up the AA Southern League with a .383 batting average. Davis got promoted to the AAA Nashville Sounds team in the Pacific Coast League where he hit .310 in 32 games.

SWITCHING JERSEYS: The longest tenured Oakland A's player, Kurt Suzuki, was traded to the Washington Nationals on Aug. 3 ending a five and a half-year relationship between the Hawaii-native and the only organization he had ever known. With Oakland, Suzuki was a career .254 hitter who averaged over 10 home runs and 54 RBI a year while also providing superior defense behind the dish. Since joining Washington (23 games), Suzuki has hit .265 (50-points higher than he was hitting in Oakland) and with four home runs and 14 RBI. While with the A's, Suzuki had just 1 home run and 18 RBI in 75 games… Also switching uniforms was Reed Johnson. Johnson, who was in his second stint with the Chicago Cubs, was moved to Atlanta on July 30. Johnson was lifted in the fifth inning of the July 30 game between the Cubs and Pirates and was seen hugging teammates on his way to the locker room, an indication he had been traded. Johnson started his career with the Toronto Blue Jays and has subsequently made stops in Chicago (twice), Los Angels and now Atlanta in his 10-year big league career… Former big league Brandon Duckworth was released in late July by the Red Sox organization after posting a 9-2 record and a 3.17 ERA in 122.1 innings in AAA Pawtucket. Not only has he switched jerseys, but he's doing it in a different league and a different country. Duckworth is now a Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagle in Japan's Pacific League… Erik Komatsu had a crazy year moving all over the country. He started in the Milwaukee Brewers organization and was traded to the Washington Nationals on July 30, 2011. In Dec. 2011, the St. Louis Cardinals selected him in the Rule 5 Draft, giving him a spot on their 2012 opening day roster. He played 15 games for the Cardinals and was then taken off waivers by the Minnesota Twins, for which he play 16 more big league games. In May of 2012, Komatsu was returned by the Twins to the Nationals in the complicated waivers process. The outfielder finished up the season with the AAA Syracuse Chiefs in the International League.

HAIL TO THE CHIEF: On July 20, former major leaguer All-Star and Titan All-American Chad Cordero took the mound for the Washington Nationals for the first time since 2008… but this time he was throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before the Nationals-Braves game that evening. Cordero was with the Nationals for four years (from 2005-08) and two years before that as a Montreal Expos reliever. He led the majors with 47 saves in 2005 and was a National League All-Star and NL Rolaids Relief Award winner. Cordero, who suffered a shoulder injury, attempted a comeback with the Seattle Mariners in 2010, but made it into just nine games before getting released. His second attempt at a comeback came with the Toronto Blue Jays, but the loss of his daughter, Tehya, to sudden infant death syndrome, prompted him to retire. After more than a year away from the game recovering from his family tragedy, Cordero, 30, is ready to give it another go and plans on starting his third comeback in winter ball in the Caribbean in 2012.

• Colon was a Texas League Mid-Season All-Star
• Jared Clark finished 6th in the California League in home runs (24) and 8th in RBI (95)
• Blake Davis was the International Player of the Week (8/13/2012) after going 13-for-23 (.565) with multiple hits in five separate games.
• Khris Davis was the Southern League Player of the Week (7/3012) after homering in five consecutive games
• Josh Fellhauer was a Southern League Mid-Season All-Star
• Josh Fellhauer was names a Southern League Postseason All-Star
• Josh Fellhauer was named the Southern League and Topps Player of the Month (Aug), batting .372 with 14 runs, six doubles, one home run, 14 RBI and 21 walks in 28 games.
• Josh Fellhauer finished second in the Southern League batting title race, falling one point short at .314.  It was the narrowest race for the batting title in the league in the last 40 years. 
• Sergio Pedroza took a three-day leave from the New Orleans Zephyrs to be with his wife for the birth of his first son in May.
• Chris Devenski was named the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week after spinning the team's first individual no-hitter with 16 strikeouts.
• Jake Floethe was a Midwest League Mid-Season All-Star
• Tyler Pill was named a Topps Player of the Month (July) after winning all five of his starts with a 1.55 ERA. He struck out 28 in 29 innings of work.


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