SAINT LOUIS – Saint Louis University Baseball alums are seeing continued success in the minor leagues this season as we have gotten to the midway point of the season.
James Norwood leads the group of former Billikens after taking a big leap forward in his career. The righty is off to a big season and has been promoted to the Iowa Cubs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. So far in three outings, Norwood has yet to allow a run in 4.1 innings pitched. In that span, he has fanned six batters and allowed just three hits.
After beginning the season in Class A Advanced in Bradenton (Fla.), the Pittsburgh Pirates organization have promoted Matt Eckelman to its Double-A Affiliate in Altoona, Pa. So far this season in 25.2 innings pitched split between the two levels, the right-handed pitcher has 28 strikeouts to his credit and is holding batters to a .204 average with eight total saves.
Braxton Martinez is currently spending his days playing for Pericos de Puebla in Triple-A in the Mexican League. While not affiliated with a Major League Baseball team, Martinez is just a step below MLB and is working things out this season with a .211 average, five doubles and 13 RBI in 31 games played.
Among the two newest additions to the minor league system are Alex King and Miller Hogan.
King, the former Billiken shortstop, is now with the Missoula Osprey after a slow start at short season Single-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Hillsboro Hops. Overall, King is hitting .275 overall on the year with three clubs and has an on-base percentage of .455 in his three games in Missoula.
Miller Hogan is having a hot start to his professional baseball career at short season Single-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, the Hudson Valley Renegades in Wappingers Falls, N.Y. Hogan has two appearances on the year and earned his first win of the season in a relief appearance on Monday evening. In the win, the former Billiken starter struck-out five batters in three innings of work. Overall, Hogan has yet to allow a run in five innings. He has allowed just two hits and two walks and opponents are hitting .133 against him.