FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – With many former Razorbacks making waves in the major league ranks, several are also making moves in the minor leagues. As the All-Star break nears for many minor league clubs, some Razorbacks are looking to make a jump into the next classification and some have already done so with gaudy numbers in tow.
With now 15 players currently on minor league rosters, Arkansas’ biggest representation comes at the Double-A level. Seven former Razorbacks are in Double-A with Nolan Sanburn (Birmingham Barons), Brian Anderson (Jacksonville Suns) and Andrew Benintendi (Portland Sea Dogs) as the newest players to make the jump.
Dominic Ficociello (Erie Sea Wolves), D.J. Baxendale (Chattanooga Lookouts), Barrett Astin (Pensacola Blue Wahoos) and Ryne Stanek (Montgomery Biscuits) round out the rest of the Hogs in Double-A. Blake Parker (Tacoma Rainiers) and Andy Wilkins (Colorado Springs Sky Sox) are the only players currently in Triple-A with Wilkins on the Milwaukee Brewers’ 40-man roster.
#ProHogs Minor League Player of the Week – Ryne Stanek
Former Arkansas pitcher Stanek has been with the Tampa Bay Rays organization since being drafted in the first round in 2013. He’s made a steady rise through the minor league ranks and has been with his current Double-A club, Montgomery, since late last season.
Stanek was promoted from the high Single-A Charlotte Stone Crabs early in the 2015 season and hasn’t disappointed. After totaling nine starts in high Single-A with a 1.78 ERA, Stanek had a solid rest of the year in Double-A, making 8 starts and going 4-3 with a 4.09 ERA and 41 strikeouts.
Now in 2016 after beginning the year in Double-A, Stanek struggled out of the gate, garnering just one win in 11 starts. However, his most recent performance seems to be showing that he is turning the corner. Against the Jacksonville Suns on Saturday, Stanek threw 6 innings, giving up just 1 earned run with a season-high 10 strikeouts. The total was just two off his minor league high total coming back in low Single-A in 2014.
Stanek currently leads the Southern League with 73 strikeouts and should make his next start this weekend at Pensacola.
|Ryne Stanek (MTG)||1-6||4.62||60.1||55||33||31||6||2||29||73||.248||1.39|
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) June 5, 2016
#PROHOGS ON THE RISE Brian Anderson (Double-A Jacksonville Suns – Miami Marlins) Former Arkansas infielder Anderson, who was our #ProHogs Minor League Player of the Week last week, has started to thrive in Double-A Jacksonville. Anderson made his first start for the Suns on May 31 against Montgomery, going 1 for 3 with 1 RBI. Since then, the hits have been sporadic as he has five through eight games and is batting an even .200. Anderson was named a Florida State League All-Star last week after the stellar half-season he put up with Single-A Jupiter. It marked the second-straight year that the Edmond, Oklahoma, native was named to the league all-star team.
Barrett Astin (Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos – Cincinnati Reds) Former right-handed Razorback pitcher Astin could be a pitcher on the upswing in the coming months as he has put up solid numbers through the first third of the minor league season. With the majority of his appearances out of the bullpen, Astin has posted a 5-1 record this year with a 2.70 ERA. He’s made 3 starts and has given up just 11 earned runs over 36 2/3 innings pitched with 32 strikeouts. In four of his last five appearances, Astin has pitched 3 innings or more and allowed a combined 7 hits. Check back throughout the summer on ArkansasRazorbacks.com as we provide the most up-to-date information on when and where the Diamond #ProHogs are playing. For more information on Razorback Baseball, follow @RazorbackBSB on Twitter.