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Checking in on Hoosiers in professional baseball

Now that minor leaguers are back on the field, let’s check in with some old pals now in the professional ranks

San Francisco Giants v Colorado Rockies
Caleb Baragar delivers a pitch during the eighth inning of a game between the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies on May 5.
Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

There’s a wall inside Indiana’s clubhouse at Bart Kaufman Field that lists the name of every Hoosier taken in the Major League Baseball Draft. At the rate that IU is producing professional ballplayers, that wall is receiving regular updates.

While a few Hoosiers are currently enjoying life in The Show, many more are getting back to work at the lower levels after last summer’s lost season. With the Minor League Baseball season now a week old, we figured we’d check in on our former IU baseball pals and see where they are and what they’re up to:

Major League Baseball

Kyle Schwarber, Washington Nationals: We’re still getting used to seeing Schwarber without a Chicago Cubs “C” on his cap after he signed a one-year deal with Washington this past offseason. Even so, he’s still doing Schwarber things — namely, clubbing some prolific, timely home runs. Two of his three homers so far have been walk-offs, and while he’s batting just .193 over his first 23 games, he has totaled three extra-base hits over his past four games.

Caleb Baragar, San Francisco Giants: Baragar is back in the big leagues after debuting last summer. The left-handed reliever has yet to yield an earned run in nine innings spanning 12 appearances. He’s struck out eight, walked five, and served as an interesting case study in reverse splits. Lefties are 7-for-14 against him, while righties have combined for just one hit in 19 at-bats. Indeed, Baragar has been a valuable arm in the first-place Giants’ bullpen.

Alex Dickerson, San Francisco Giants: Dickerson landed on the 10-day injured list on Friday after suffering what’s believed to be a minor shoulder injury while making a diving catch a week and a half ago. He’s batting .213 with three home runs and 12 RBI in 30 games this season.

Aaron Slegers, Los Angeles Angels: The right-hander is working out of the Angels’ bullpen this year after an offseason trade from Tampa Bay. He picked up the win in Sunday’s win over the Dodgers, and while he’s allowed only two runs and four hits over his past six outings, he’s walked six batters across his past four appearances.

Triple-A

Jonathan Stiever, Charlotte Knights (White Sox): After debuting with the White Sox last summer, Stiever received another cup of coffee last month. Unfortunately, he allowed four straight singles in his lone appearance out of Chicago’s pen on April 25 and was charged for four runs. In his first start for Charlotte, Stiever struck out four and allowed just one hit over three scoreless innings. Fangraphs ranks Stiever as the White Sox No. 12 prospect.

Sam Travis, Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners): Travis was supposed to spend last season in the Rangers’ organization before the pandemic nixed the minor league season. Now, he’s with the Mariners, playing first base in Tacoma. He has five hits, including two doubles, in his first 18 at-bats (.278).

Kyle Hart, Worcester Red Sox (Red Sox): Last season included some high and low points for Hart, who made his big league debut with Boston last August but also battled the effects of Lyme disease for much of the summer. He made his season debut with the WooSox on Saturday, yielding four runs on seven hits with six strikeouts over 3.2 innings.

Double-A

Scott Effross, Tennessee Smokies (Cubs): The right-handed reliever is back for his sixth season in the Cubs’ system. Effross made two appearances during the first week of the season, allowing four runs on three hits with three walks and two strikeouts over 2.1 innings.

Craig Dedelow, Birmingham Barons (White Sox): Dedelow has reached base four times in four games, including a pair of solo home runs. A ninth-round pick in 2017, Dedelow is getting his first crack at Double-A this season.

Luke Miller, Reading Fightin Phils (Phillies): Philadelphia’s 22nd-round pick in 2018, Miller is also getting his first taste of Double-A. He played in all six of Reading’s games last week, hitting a pair of homers and driving in three runs. On another note, he gets to play in one of this humble blogger’s favorite parks to visit. Baseballtown!

Matt Lloyd, Chattanooga Lookouts (Reds): Lloyd is starting the season on the 7-day injured list.

High-A

Matt Gorski, Greensboro Grasshoppers (Pirates): Gorski collected three hits, including a home run during the first series of the season. Fangraphs considers Gorski, a second-round pick in 2019, to be the Pirates’ No. 47 overall prospect.

Tim Herrin, Lake County Captains (Indians): Herrin is in his second stint with Lake County, which was previously a Low-A affiliate before this past off-season’s minor league restructuring bumped the organization up a level. Herrin worked 3.2 innings over two appearances last week, allowing only one run, striking out five, and walking three.

Pauly Milto, Winston-Salem Dash (White Sox): Here’s something fun ... Milto and former Hoosier Tanner Gordon dueled in a head-to-head matchup last Wednesday. Unfortunately, neither pitcher emerged with a particularly sparkling line. Milto has made a pair of two-inning appearances so far — one a start, one out of the bullpen — while allowing two runs in both outings.

Tanner Gordon, Rome Braves (Braves): In the aforementioned May 5 start, Gordon allowed five runs (two earned) on three hits, including a pair of home runs, with three walks and three strikeouts over two innings.

Low-A

Cade Bunnell, Augusta GreenJackets (Braves): Bunnell gives Augusta options as a utility man, and he’s already made starts at both second base and third base. Of his two hits over his first 14 at-bats, one was a home run. He’s also drawn six walks already and has reached base in every game.

Elijah Dunham, Tampa Tarpons (Yankees): Although he didn’t hear his name called in the shortened draft last summer, Dunham still found his way to the professional ranks via the undrafted free agent route. Dunham has four hits and five RBI across his first four professional games, including a double and a triple.