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Top Tier Players Pass Through Emerald Valley Once More

September 16, 2019 - Northwest League (NWL) - Eugene Emeralds News Release

With another season of Emeralds baseball now officially in the rear-view mirror, we're taking a look back at some of the special moments and memories created during the 2019 season. To start this season's series of recaps, we look back at some of the players that passed through Eugene and their noteworthy accomplishments as Ems.

Top Prospects Play In Eugene

All five of the Chicago Cubs' top 2019 picks suited up in Eugene this past season - Ryan Jensen (RHP | Fresno State | 1st Round), Chase Strumpf (2B | UCLA | 2nd Round), Michael McAvene (RHP | Louisville | 3rd Round), Chris Clarke (RHP | USC | 4th Round) and Josh Burgmann (RHP | Washington | 5th Round) all spent ample time in Eugene during 2019 with all but Strumpf finishing the season with the Ems.

Video: Emeralds' Ryan Jensen earns fifth punchout

All told, the Emeralds rostered a total of eighteen (18) players selected in the 2019 draft, a number of each made an instant impact upon arriving in the Emerald Valley.

Ryan Jensen RHP 1 Fresno State 0-0, 2.25 ERA, 19 K (12.0 IP)

Chase Strumpf 2B 2 UCLA .292 AVG, 2 HR, 14 RBI, .855 OPS

Michael McAvene RHP 3 Louisville 0-0, 1.42 ERA, 20 K (12.2 IP)

Chris Clarke RHP 4 USC 0-1, 1.96 ERA, 26 K (23.0 IP)

Josh Burgmann RHP 5 Washington 0-3, 3.79 ERA22 K (19.0 IP)

Hunter Bigge RHP 10 Harvard 2-0, 1.20 ERA, 20 K (15.0 IP)

Darius Hill OF 20 West Virginia .306 AVG, 3 doubles, 1 triple, 13 RBI

Nelson Maldonado OF 21 Florida .414 AVG, 4 doubles, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 1.004 OPS

Zac Taylor OF 25 Illinois .282 AVG, 5 doubles, 2 triples, 17 runs

Chris Kachmar RHP 28 Lipscomb 4-0, 1.56 ERA, 24 K (17.1 IP)


In addition, this past season saw the Ems field seven of the Chicago Cubs' top thirty prospects per (RHP Ryan Jensen: #7 | 2B Chase Strumpf: #10 | RHP Kohl Franklin: #15 | RHP Yovanny Cruz: #19 | RHP Richard Gallardo: #20 | RHP Michael McAvene: #25 | SS/2B Pedro Martinez: #29).

Players Promoted Up The Ranks

Video: Eugene's Zac Taylor makes diving grab

A total of fifteen (15) players - three (3) infielders, three (3) outfielders, one (1) catcher, and eight (8) pitchers - that suited up for the Ems during 2019 finished the season at a higher level (not including rehab assignments).

Kohl Franklin RHP 1-3, 2.31 ERA, 49 K (39.0 IP) South Bend Cubs (A-Full)

Fauris Guerrero RHP 1-0, 0.68 ERA, 15 K (13.1 IP) South Bend Cubs (A-Full)

Brandon Hughes LHP 0-1, 3.86 ERA, 16 K (16.1 IP) South Bend Cubs (A-Full)

Darius Hill OF .306 AVG, 3 doubles, 13 RBI South Bend Cubs (A-Full)

Caleb Knight C .253 AVG, 2 HR, 11 RBI South Bend Cubs (A-Full)

Nelson Maldonado OF .414 AVG, 1 HR, 11 RBI South Bend Cubs (A-Full)

Zach Mort RHP 3-3, 3.72 ERA, 40 (46.0 IP) South Bend Cubs (A-Full)

Riley McCauley RHP 0-1, 2.73 ERA, 6 SV, 44 K (26.1 IP) South Bend Cubs (A-Full)

Yonathan Perlaza INF/OF .293 AVG, 9 doubles, 9 RBI South Bend Cubs (A-Full)

Casey Ryan RHP 0-0, 5.40 ERA, 10 K (6.2 IP) South Bend Cubs (A-Full)

Jake Slaughter INF .308 AVG, 3 HR, 27 RBI South Bend Cubs (A-Full)

Chase Strumpf 2B .292 AVG, 2 HR, 14 RBI South Bend Cubs (A-Full)

Zac Taylor OF .282 AVG, 17 runs, 8 RBI Myrtle Beach Pelicans (A-High)

Carlos Vega RHP 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 4 K (3.0 IP) South Bend Cubs (A-Full)

Blake Whitney RHP 4-0, 3.19 ERA, 62 K (53.2 IP) South Bend Cubs (A-Full)

Ems Receive League, Organizational Honors

In addition to all of the player promotions that occurred during the 2019 season, a number of Ems players received noteworthy honors from both the Northwest League and the Chicago Cubs organization.

OF Fernando Kelli, RHP Riley McCauley, INF Jake Slaughter, and 2B Chase Strumpf were each voted as NWL Midseason All-Stars while OF Edmond Americaan was honored as a NWL Year-End All-Star.

Video: Eugene's Edmond Americaan steals home

Last but not least, INF Pedro Martinez was named as the Chicago Cubs Minor League Player of the Month for July. The 18-year-old was sensational during the month of July, batting .402 (33-for-82) with five doubles, one triple, one home run, 13 walks, 11 RBI and 12 runs scored.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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