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Water Follies, Draft Picks and MORE!

We are finally into the 2nd half of the MLB season and the 2nd half of the High-A Minor League Baseball season. The All-Star break brings a lot of excitement to the MiLB landscape as teams had until the 25th to sign all their draft picks to contracts. You might wonder if you're a casual baseball fan, you might be asking, "What that has to do with the Dust Devils?" Well, let me tell you.

This time last year, now MLB LA Angels everyday SS Zach Neto debuted with the Dust Devils after being drafted and signed to his deal. This year, the Angels made 19 picks and have signed each one. The Angels are known to have one of the most aggressive systems to push guys through at a robust pace- I.E., Neto playing in less than 50 games between High-A and AA.

  • 1st round pick- 1B Nolan Schanuel, out of FAL, has already been assigned to AA Rocket City after playing in just 3G in the ACL, 2G with Low-A Inland Empire, and skipped High-A Tri-Cities altogether.

  • 3rd round pick- 3B/C/LF Alberto Rios, the Pac-12 player of the year out of Standford. He played in 6G with the ACL before a promotion on 7/25 to Inland Empire 66er where he has yet to appear.

  • 5th/6th/8th/9th round picks RHP Chris Clark (Harvard), Camden Minacci (Wake Forest), Barrett Kent (Pottsboro HS), and Chase Gocket (Quincy U), haven't been assigned to a team. It is common for pitchers to have the summer/fall to build strength and build up for the workload and the intensity of an entire season of minor league baseball.

  • 7th round pick- 3B Cole Fontelle out of TCU also only played in 3G with the ACL team before being assigned to the Low-A Inland Empire 66ers.

  • 10th round pick- RHP Chris Barraza from Arizona was assigned directly to Inland Empire 66ers.

  • 14th-round pick Zach Joyce, yes, that Joyce, brother of now LA Angels reliever Ben Joyce was also selected in this draft.

  • 20th-round pick, INF Mac McCroskey, has already been promoted to AA Rocket City. He crushed in his audition in the ACL in 3G and The to prove that he should have been taken earlier in the draft.

Tri-City Dust Devils' Joe Redfield at bat (Tri-City Dust Devils)

  • 4th round pick- OF Joe Redfield, Redfield out of Houston State Universitylooked, has been assigned to Tri-Cities after playing in just 3G in ACL. So far, Redfield has played in 3G with the Dust Devils and posted a .364/.417/.636 slash for an OPS of 1.053.

I have gotten a chance to watch Redfield play, and I am most impressed by the glove in the OF and the speed he shows on bases. I am thrilled with the combo of 2022 draft pick Joe Stewart and Redfield together in the OF with LAA top prospect Alexander Ramirez.

  • 15th-round pick- INF Caleb Ketchup out of Lipscomb University might end up stealing the draft from the organization. Ketchup played in only 3G with the ACL team. In 2G so far with the Dust Devils, he is slashing .000/.167/.000, which is expected for only getting 10AB and splitting time with Arol Vera, Adrian Placencia, and Wener Blakely around the INF.

I have yet to see Ketchup play in person. However, I am very excited; I don't recall seeing a 15th-round pick make it out of the ACL this closely after being drafted.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the likes of Rios and Fontenelle make it to High-A by the end of the season, even for a couple of weeks. I am keeping my eye on a few names in the ACL that were drafted a little later- 11th-round pick INF John Wimmer out of Rock Hill HS, 12th-round pick 1B/OF Sam Brown out of WSU, 16th-round pick OF Rio Foster out of Florence-Darlington Tech, and 19th-round pick OF Raudi Rodriguez out of Georgia premier Academy.

Now, with the signings and the promotions around the MiLB, someone had to go. The Dust Devils released RHP Emilker Guzman, UTL Osmy Gregorio, OF Steven Rivas, and 1B/3B Ryan Hernandez. Each of these young men was fun to watch, and I wish them nothing but the best as they work to continue their careers.

  • Osmy Gregorio did sign with the Lexington Counter Clocks, who are part of the Atlantic League, a.k.a. Independent Ball.

It's Water Follies weekend here in the Tri-Cities, which means the Dust Devils are your Columbia River Rooster tails for the weekend and rocking their alternate threads.

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